Guard the truth
Topic: Discipleship Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:13–1:18
Discipleship in the church
Guard the truth-outline
2 Timothy 1:13-18
Hold the standard and guard by the Holy Spirit the truth entrusted to you
Paul is in prison. He knows he is going to be executed soon and his time is short. He is giving Timothy his final instructions to prepare him to carry on Paul’s ministry. Paul understood from the model of Jesus that his priority was to make disciples who would make disciples for Jesus.
1) Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus, 1:13.
Paul is telling Timothy to “keep holding fast to the standard of healthy gospel words that you have heard me teach.” In what ways are the words of the apostles “sound/healthy” (see 1:10, for example)? What are reasons we may not keep holding fast to the sound words of the gospel-centered Scriptures? (Make sure to use the phrase “chronological snobbery” in part of your answer). How does 2 Timothy 4:3-4 explain why people don’t keep holding to sound gospel-centered truth?
What is the significance of Paul’s saying that we should hold to the sound words of the truth in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus? How do we love those who assume that love just means tolerance and even approval of moral choices that are against the standards of God’s sound words?
2) By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you, 1:14.
What is the good deposit that God entrusted to us? What does Paul mean by saying that Timothy (and we) should guard the good deposit that God entrusted to us? How do we guard the entrusted deposit of gospel-centered truth by the Holy Spirit?
3) You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes, 1:15.
Paul has encouraged Timothy to suffer for the gospel and guard the truth. Now Paul will give some examples of some who were ashamed of Paul and one who was loyal to Paul. Why was it important how people regarded Paul? How do you think Asia’s turning away from Paul impacted his desire for Timothy to remain faithful and fruitful?
4) May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus, 1:16-18.
Talk about ways that Onesiphorus helped and encouraged Paul. Why does Paul desire that the Lord grant mercy to him and his household? What can we learn from Onesiphorus about encouraging and helping Christ’s servants who guard the truth?