Gamma 17 – The Pastoral Epistles (Study 15)

Study 15




Please look at the questions and discuss the answers. The case histories are designed to let you apply what theoretical knowledge you have gleaned from the study. There are intentionally many more questions and case histories than you can manage in one session but this is designed to cover the many and varied needs of the individuals in the church hence please pick and choose which ones to discuss as long as it gets people sharing and applying the Word to real life situations. Never feel obligated to finish all the questions The answers will be posted on the web the next day.

2 Tim 4:1-3
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Background information
1) In verse 1, Paul ‘charged’ his disciple Timothy with an oath/vow under God to carry out these 4 duties:
– Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season
– Reprove/Correct (show fault) – Rebuke (strong disapproval)
– Encourage/Exhort (comfort)
We as Christians should do the above ‘with great patience and careful instruction.’

a) Objective question, choose any that applies, can be more than one answer. When we see a Christian brother/sister doing something we consider as sinful, we should:
A. Scold them no matter how small the sin is, God sees all sins as equal no matter how small.
B. Pretend we didn’t see anything, everyone sins anyway. Don’t talk about mine, I won’t talk about yours. I help you, you help me.
C. Consider own sins, the severity and the consequence of the action, then tactfully and prayerfully approach them and have a gentle conversation about it.
D. Reflect if you yourself have committed a similar or even bigger sin and if that sin has been removed in your life so that you are not a hypocrite.
E. Consider the personality differences and the emotional state of the person so you won’t add fuel to fire.
F. Consider if you have any biases in your opinion regarding the situation and reflect on your intention before confronting if it is truly out of love or something else.
G. Talk about the ‘hypothetical’ situation to a mature leader to get feedback and consider all factors and options.

b) This answers in 1(a) isn’t exhaustive, please discuss and list more consideration and factors.

Discussion question: Confirmation bias.
In verses 3-5, Paul warns about people who only itch to hear what their heart desires to hear and not the truth. They will fall into false doctrine and false prophecies instead of ‘sound doctrine’. Discussion question: Have you been guilty of wanting to believe in a lie instead of accepting the truth? How can we detect the lie?

Be suspicious if it’s too good to be true.

In verse 5, in contrast to people who will fall prey to false doctrines, Paul gave us some guidelines on how to act. In your own words, define or expand on what they mean today.

keep your head in all situations always be sober-minded don’t blur blur, be aware of the situations around you
endure hardship endure suffering don’t run away from hardship, train and prepare yourself for it
do the work of an evangelist do the work of an evangelist preach the gospel
discharge all the duties of your ministry fulfill your ministry minister to others in whatever gifts you have

2 Tim 4:6-8
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

4) Objective question, choose the most appropriate answer. Looking at Paul longing for God/Jesus’ second appearing, Christians should:

A. Give up on earthly life and material pursuits, and just wait for our death to come so we can join God in heaven.
B. Strive to serve God in faith in this life, and when the race finishes, we know our life isn’t wasted if it’s for God’s ministry.
C. Just do what we want, all sins are forgiven anyway and we can get an entry into heaven because we believe in Jesus.

Personal Remarks
9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings
19 Greet Priscilla[a] and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.[b]

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.

Open discussion questions: Demas’ betrayal.
In other passages Demas has been mentioned as a fellow worker and a friend of Paul, but he has deserted Paul in verse 10. Do you know of people who have deserted the Christian faith because they ‘he loved this world’? What’s wrong with loving this world?

Philemon 1: 24
And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
Colossians 4:14
Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.

6) Reflection questions: Paul’s life
a) In verse 16, Apostle Paul mentions he was totally deserted by everyone. We often think of Apostle Paul as someone looked up upon and will never be alone or rejected, yet even someone as great as him can be rejected with no one supporting him in a difficult time in his life. What should we make of this?

Regardless of gifts and abilities, we may be rejected by society in our ministry for the gospel. Paul depended on the Lord for deliverance and strength in verses 17-18 and in verse 21 asked for Timothy’s companion which shows that he also appreciates his Christian community and requests for support from them.

b) Although Paul was deserted by many people, he wished that ‘May it not be held against them’. Who and where else in the bible also had a similar mentality?

Jesus in Luke 23:34, Stephen in Acts 7:60

c) In verses 13 and 21, Paul requested for his cloak to be brought to him since winter is coming. It seems that Paul and the community are so poor that they do not have spare cloaks to keep him warm in the winter. Yet, his priority in verse 17 is that God can use him to proclaim the gospel to all the Gentiles. Does this make you rethink your priority in life?