Gospel Coalition Conference – Observation #8

Ligon Duncan is one of my favorite contemporary preachers (and rappers?).  His treatment of 2 Timothy 4:6-22 was excellent.  Here are my notes…

Ligon Duncan

2 Timothy 4:6-22

READ and PRAY the pastoral epistles of Paul.

Problems in the Western Church:

1)    Paul’s message won’t work today

2)    Message works, but our methods need overhaul and they are removed from the church’s doctrine and theology

However, Scripture makes plain that our methodology is connected to our theology.  If our methods are contrary to our beliefs, then methodology will overcome theological positions.

The pastoral epistles give us gospel message and gospel means.  Our theology informs our methodology.

“What you win them by is what you win them to,” James M. Boice.

What can we learn about the gospel and ministry in closing remarks?

2 Timothy is more personal than 1 Timothy, yet they both are written with the corporate body in view.  So, it is a public letter.

Chp.4:6-22 outline

Exhortation, Requests, Warnings, Greetings, Benediction

Remember, the main message of the letter is for Timothy to fan the gift of the white hot flame of the gospel and to endure even through suffering.

Exhortation (vv.6-8)

–       There is no goal / finish line short of the Day you see your Savior.  Do not find some contentment to finish early.  See communities and lives transformed NOW to see Him face to face THEN!

–       Early in ministry, you may have wanted to do great things and be great for God, but ultimately your aim now must be to finish the race, cross the finish line, and all the while not shaming the bride of Christ or the gospel.  Just endure and finish well.  Be spent and spilled out for Him.

Requests (vv.9-13)

–        “Come Before Winter” Spurgeon’s sermon on this passage

–       Paul is lonely.  He wants books and parchments.  Something in these writings gives him comfort.

–       Give yourself to reading.  Focus on the Puritans and biblical Expositions.

–       Consider this meeting – Paul is there with Timothy, Luke, Mark (these men comprise the majority of NT writings…wow!)

Warnings (vv.14-18)

–       Being faithful in gospel ministry does not mean that you will not be left alone.

–       Those bitter toward the church have forgotten that faithfulness and love for the bride of Christ should continue even if they’ve been left alone.

–       While alone, he was able to proclaim the message for Gentiles to hear (1:8; 1 Tim.2).

Greetings (vv.19-21)

–       Paul genuinely loves God’s people and wants the people to know that and that they genuinely love one another

–       This is inspired as well

Benediction (v.22)

–       Assurance of Christ’s presence and ongoing grace

–       Reflect on Moses’ response to God’s charge in Exodus 33 to go on up to Canaan without Him.  Moses says to kill him now.

–       Our longing (regardless of circumstances) must be, should be, to be with Him – the absence of fellowship with God should be horrendous to the disciple.

–       Our charge is “go” but it also includes the vital “I will go with you.”

–       How will Timothy deal with finishing well?  Fulfill requests?  Face danger?  Be alone?  Deliver messages?  Only by the GRACE OF GOD.

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