Exhortation – 27 May 2007 Readings: II Timothy 3,4 Bro Gary Penn
2007年5月27日劝勉词 读经：提摩太后书3,4章 加里佩恩弟兄
Good morning my dear Brethren and Sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the last week, our daily readings have covered the letters of Paul to Timothy, concluding the second letter in this morning’s reading. In the letters, we see the special relationship between Paul and Timothy, who is called by Paul in 1 Timothy 1:2 ‘my own son in the faith’. Although Paul did not have any children of his own, he had a deep affection for Timothy, borne out of Timothy’s strong faith together with his love and dedication for the things of God. Timothy’s faith is recognised by Paul in 2 Timothy 1:5, ‘When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which first dwelt in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.’ This verse gives an insight into the people that influenced Timothy in his understanding and growth in the Truth. Acts 16:1 is the first time where Timothy is mentioned by name. The verse notes: ‘Then came he (Paul) to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:’. As no other mention is made of the father of Timothy, we can surmise that, if he was still alive at this time in Timothy’s life,he did not come into the Truth. Without the spiritual support and guidance of his earthly father, Timothy, Paul filled this role as a spiritual mentor to Timothy.
在上周的每日读经中, 我们看到了保罗写给提摩太的书信, 包括我们今天读的这一部分. 在这些书信中, 我们体会到保罗与提摩太之间的特殊关系, 在提摩太前书1章2节中,保罗称提摩太“因信做我真儿子”. 虽然保罗一生没有儿女, 他却因提摩太对神的信仰和为神做工的投入而对他有着深厚的爱意. 提摩太的信仰在提摩太后书1： 5中有所记述: “想到您心里无伪之信, 这信是先前在你外祖母罗以和你母亲友尼基心里的, 我深信也在你的心里.” 我们由此看到提摩太对信仰的理解和成长是由谁影响的. 提摩太的名字第一次被提及是在使徒行传16： 1: “保罗来到特庇，又到路司得。在那里有一个门徒，名叫提摩太，是信主之犹太妇人的儿子，他父亲却是希腊人.” 因为在其它地方没有提到他的父亲, 我们可以推测如果他当时还活着, 应该没有接受信仰.血缘上的父亲没有在灵性上给提摩太什么支持和指引,而保罗对提摩太来说就像是灵性上的导师.
As a consequence of the relationship between Paul and Timothy, the letters are full of fatherly counsel and advice to the young man Timothy. The first letter to Timothy would have been written before Paul’s first imprisonment. In it, Paul gives Timothy instruction on the preservation of the pure doctrine, and the administration of the ecclesia. The tone of the letter is forceful and commanding. There appears to be a sense of urgency and in some places, almost an abruptness in the letter. The letter begins with 1 Timothy 1:1. ‘Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope’. The theme of being commanded, or charged to do something is a central theme in the book of Timothy. Whilst various Greek words are translated as either command, commandment or charge in 1 Timothy, they are used in almost a military sense. Paul is the commanding officer, passing on commands to his subordinate Timothy who, in turn, had to pass these commands on to others. Importantly, he had to ensure that the commands were being followed. This military tone is conveyed in 1 Timothy 6:11 – 12 ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.’
因为有这样特殊的关系, 这封给年轻的提摩太的书信里充满了父亲般的教诲. 它应该是在保罗第一次入狱前写的. 在这封信里, 保罗告诉提摩太如何保守纯正的信仰, 和如何管理教会. 书信的语气是有力的, 命令式的, 显然是在紧急的情况下写的, 甚至有些地方显得有些急促. 提摩太前书1：1是这样开头的:” 奉我们救主神，和我们的盼望基督耶稣之命，作基督耶稣使徒的保罗.” 整封书信都用了命令式的口吻. 提摩太前书中的原文希腊语中有多处被翻译成命令, 戒律, 就像在军队中长官对待下属的口吻. 而提摩太也要把这些命令传给其它人. 重要的是他要确保大家遵行了这些要求, 这命令的话在提摩太前书6： 11-12中传递了出来:“但你这属神的人要逃避这些事追求公义, 敬虔, 信心, 爱心, 忍 耐, 温柔, 你要为真道打那美好的仗，持定永生。你为此被召，也在许多见证人面前，已经作了那美好的见证”。
Whilst having a ‘father – son’ relationship with Timothy, because of the relative youth of Timothy, as noted in 1 Timothy 4:12, where Paul counsels Timothy to ‘let no man despise thy youth’, Paul resorts to this forceful tone. What was the nature of the commandments given by Paul to Timothy? They covered all aspects of ecclesial life. In brief, in 1 Timothy 1:3: ‘As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine’. No other doctrine was to be taught. In 1 Timothy 1:5: ‘Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:’. Obedience to the commandment would result in charity, better translated selfless and sacrificial love, due to moral changes.
就是因为有这样好像父亲与儿子的关系，而且当时提摩太还年轻，保罗在提摩太前书4：12中告诉他“不可叫人小看你年轻”.这里的口吻依然是命令式的,那么这样劝诫的实质究竟是什么呢? 这些命令包含了所有教会的生活. 保罗在提摩太前书1：3中这样总结到:” 我往马其顿去的时候, 曾劝你仍住在以弗所, 好嘱咐那几个人不可传异教.” 要他们谨防虚伪的道理. 提摩太前书1：5中也讲到:” 但命令的总归就是爱, 这爱是从清洁的心和无亏的良心, 无伪的信心生出来的.” 对命令的顺从带来的将是爱, 更好的翻译就是无私的和有奉献精神的爱, 这爱是因道义的改变而来的.
In 1 Timothy 1:18 and the first part of verse 19, reinforcing the military tone, ‘This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience...’
保罗在提摩太前书1：18-19这样强调了这军人般的口吻:”我儿提摩太啊, 我照从前指着你的预言, 将这命令交托你, 叫你因此可以打那美好的仗, 常存信心和无亏的良心.”
In 1 Timothy 4:9-11, Timothy is commanded to teach the profitibleness of Godliness, ‘This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe. These things command and teach.’
在提摩太前书4：9-11中, 提摩太被命令教导敬虔的益处:” 这话是可信的, 是十分可佩服的. 我们劳苦努力, 正是为此, 因我们的指望在乎永生的神. 他是万人的救主, 更是信徒的救主. 这些事, 你要吩咐人, 也要教导人.”
The commandment is extended to exhort widows in their behaviour in 1 Timothy 5:7 ‘these things give in charge, that they may be blameless’.
In executing the commandments given, Timothy is charged that he does so without showing favour to any of the members of the ecclesia in chapter 5:21 ‘I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.’
在行使这些命令时, 保罗要求提摩太不可偏待人. 提摩太前书5：7;”我在神和基督耶酥并蒙拣选的天时面前吩咐你, 要遵守这些话, 不可存成见, 行事不可有偏心.”
Paul exhorts Timothy to faithfully and unswervingly fulfil the task set him in 1 Timothy 6:13-14, ‘I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.’
保罗在提摩太前书6：13-14中劝诫提摩太要一直信仰坚定地行使被赋予的任务:“我在叫万物生活的神面前, 并在向本丢彼拉多作过那美好见证的基督耶酥面前嘱咐你: 要守这命令, 毫不玷污, 无可指责, 直到我们的主基督耶酥显现.”
There is also a salutory warning to those who are wealthy in 1 Timothy 6:17: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded; nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God...’
提摩太前书6：17中保罗也警告了那些有钱人:”你要嘱咐那些今世富足的人, 不要自高, 也不要依靠无定的钱财, 只要依靠那厚赐百物给我们享受的神.”
The purpose of pursuing these commandments is summarised in 1 Timothy 6:20, where Paul exhorts Timothy to ‘keep that which is committed to thy trust’. The sense of these words, is that Timothy was to ‘guard the deposit’ that had been committed to his care. This deposit is the Truth of the Gospel, which has also been committed to our care. The power of the exhortations given to Timothy are just as valid today as they were in the time that they were given to Timothy. We too are exhorted and commanded by Paul to ‘keep the charge’ of the Gospel, and, like Timothy, in the words we have just considered receive practical advice on how to do so.
提摩太前书6：20总结了这些命令的目的:”保守那托付你的”, 就好像要求提摩太“保管好交给他的东西”, 那就是福音的真理, 这也是交给我们每个人好好保管的. 给提摩太的劝戒对我们今天的人依然很有力量. 我们也被要求像提摩太那样认真保守福音, 而且也告诉了我们如何保守的方法.
The rewards of being a faithful soldier in the fight of faith are clearly shown in our reading of this morning in 2 Timothy 4. The second letter was written towards the end of Paul’s life. He knew that his death was near. This was to be the last of Paul’s letters before his execution under the hand of Nero in approximately AD 68. Paul is now a man in his sixties. His ministering to the saints, our brethren and sisters, of the first century ecclesia was now at an end. He was waiting for the time of his departure to arrive. The work which had taken him to many parts of the Roman Empire, had taken its toll on him. He had suffered many things, as he notes in 2 Timothy 3:10 – 11, ‘But you have closely followed my doctrine, the conduct, the purpose, the faith, the long-suffering, the love, the patient endurance, the persecutions, the sufferings, such as happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, in Lystra, what persecutions I bore. And the Lord delivered me out of all’. Paul’s perspective on his sufferings is most encouraging. ‘The Lord delivered me out of all’. We know that he suffered beatings, shipwreck, stoning, but his summary is that ‘the Lord delivered me out of them all.’ He had truly learned, as he notes in Philippians 4:11 in whatever state he was, therewith to be content.
作为持守信仰的精兵, 能够得到什么作为奖赏清楚地写在提后2章4节中.保罗写这第二封给提摩太的书信的时候已经是他生命快要结束之时了. 他知道死亡临近了. 这是保罗在尼禄的统治时期被处死之前写下的最后一封书信，即公元68年左右。这时的保罗年逾六旬, 他对第一世纪的圣徒们和弟兄姐妹们的管理也要接近尾声了.他一生中去了罗马帝国的很多地方传教, 他已经精疲力竭. 他也经历了很多患难, 就如他在提摩太后书3：10-11节中讲到的:”但你们已经服从了我的教训, 品行, 志向, 信心, 宽容, 爱心, 忍耐, 以及我在安提阿, 以哥念, 路司得所遭遇的逼迫, 苦难. 我所忍受是何等的逼迫!但从这一切苦难中, 主都把我救了出来.” 保罗对待苦难的态度是多么得鼓舞人心! “主都把我救了出来.”, 我们知道他经受了鞭打, 船失事，被石头砸, 但他的总结却是”主都把我救了出来”. 就像在腓立比书4：11中讲的, 他真的学会了无论在什么情况下都知足.
Paul circumstances at the time of writing the second letter, as a captive under the hand of Nero, were particularly desperate. Nero was a sadistic brute who destroyed not only Christians, but many others as well. He gratified every sensual and fleshly evil, and his actions became so vile and offensive that even his own people began to revolt. History tells us a General in Gaul, where rebellion was taking place issued a proclamation accusing Nero of being a ‘Murderer, Matricide, Poisoner, but worst of all a dreadful singer who did not even know the rules of art!’ We are told that it was this last comment that incensed Nero more than anything else. Revolt was quickly and cruelly suppressed.
What chance did Timothy’s mentor, his father in the faith have under these circumstances? How would Paul’s imprisonment under these conditions affect the young man to whom he had enstrusted so much? Paul feels it necessary to write again to Timothy, to offer exhortation and encouragement to his beloved son in the faith. Paul perhaps felt that Timothy would be so concerned about the plight of his father in the Faith that he would neglect the work which Paul had commissioned him to do.
The tone of the letter is far more reflective than that of the first letter. In the fearful circumstances of his own life, Paul encourages Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7-8: God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God
Timothy was not to worry about Paul, but to focus on the Gospel. As Timothy had a charge committed to him in the first letter, Paul knew the great benefits that would be realised in his own life from keeping the charge, as he continues in chapter 1:10 – 12. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Paul was fully persuaded that no matter what he would personally have to endure, in being faithful to the commandments of God, he would realise the Hope of the Gospel.
As Paul noted in 1 Timothy 4: godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. In commenting on this particular verse, Brother Robert Roberts in his book, Seasons of Comfort writes: “Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come. And what is that promise? That we shall have plenty? No, perhaps that would be a curse. That we shall always be well off? No; perhaps that would blind our weak eyes to the wretchedness of our present lot, and dim the glory that is to be revealed. It is a promise that, come prosperity or come trouble, come plenty or come poverty, come health or come sickness, come honour or come reproach, come the couch of ease or the bed of thorns, come weal or come woe - come what may, if we are called according to His purpose, He will be at the helm, to make all things work together for our ultimate good.”
In this knowledge, Paul was able to calmly reconcile himself to the fate that he knew awaited him. He calmly records in 2 Timothy 4:6 – 8, ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.’
What a remarkable example of a servant of God having complete confidence in the mercy of our Heavenly Father. Paul confidently believed in that the righteous judge would award him a crown of life in that day.
As we come around the emblems of the body and blood of our Lord, we know that, as recorded by Paul in Hebrews, our Lord was able to overcome the challenges of his trial and crucifixion through his firm and steadfast belief in the joy that was set before him.
In the path of our lives, my dear Brethren and Sisters, let us keep the charge of the Gospel that we joyfully accepted at our Baptism. Encouraged by the Hope of the Kingdom, let us, like Paul and Jesus, obey the commandments of our Lord, that we too may have the realisation of the promise of the life which is to come.
Good morning my dear Brethren and Sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ.
· Over the last week, our daily readings have covered the letters of Paul to Timothy, concluding the second letter in this morning’s reading.
· Special relationship between Paul and Timothy, 1 Timothy 1:2
· Evidence of Timothy’s faith, 2 Timothy 1:5,
o Insight into the people that influenced Timothy in his understanding and growth in the Truth
o Father mentioned Acts 16:1
o No further mention – perhaps reason for the development of the relationship
· fatherly counsel and advice to the young man Timothy
· First letter written before Paul’s first imprisonment.
· Paul gives Timothy instruction on the preservation of the pure doctrine, and the administration of the ecclesia.
· Tone of the letter is forceful and commanding, almost military
· The theme of being charged to do something is a central theme in the book of Timothy.
· Paul the commanding officer, Timothy his subordinate Timothy
· Timothy had to ensure that the commands were being followed
· Military tone in 1 Timothy 6:11 – 12
· Why the military tone in view of the ‘father – son’ relationship? 1 Timothy 4:12
· What was the nature of the commandments given by Paul to Timothy?
· They covered all aspects of ecclesial life.
· 1 Timothy 1:3: No other doctrine was to be taught.
· 1 Timothy 1:5: Obedience to the commandment would result in selfless and sacrificial love, due to moral changes.
· 1 Timothy 1:18 and the first part of verse 19: Fight the good fight
· 1 Timothy 4:9-11, Commanded to teach the profitableness of Godliness
· 1 Timothy 5:7 Exhortation to widows
· 1 Timothy 5:21 Show no preference in applying the commandments given
· 1 Timothy 6:13 – 14: Encouraged in the task
· 1 Timothy 6:17: Do not trust in riches
· The purpose of pursuing these commandments is summarised in 1 Timothy 6:20 This deposit is the Truth of the Gospel, which has also been committed to our care.
· Exhortation and advice given to Timothy are just as applicable
· Rewards of being a faithful soldier in the fight of faith 2 Timothy 4.
· Timing of second letter – Paul about 60 in age, captive in Rome about AD68
· Just before his death.
· 2 Timothy 3:10 – 11: He had suffered many things
· Paul’s perspective on his sufferings is most encouraging
· He suffered beatings, shipwreck, stoning, but his summary is that ‘the Lord delivered me out of
· Compare Philippians 4:11
· Comment on Paul’s circumstances – held captive by Nero
· Nero’s cruelty well known and recorded in history
· How would Paul’s imprisonment under these conditions affect the young man to whom he had entrusted so much?
· Paul writes again to Timothy, to offer exhortation and encouragement
· In the fearful circumstances of his own life, Paul encourages Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7-8:
· Timothy was not to worry about Paul, but to focus on the Gospel.
· Paul’s incredible confidence in the Hope of the Gospel and righteousness of God – 2 Timothy 1:10 – 12
· As Paul noted in 1 Timothy 4: godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Note Brother Robert Roberts comments
· In this knowledge, Paul was able to calmly reconcile himself to the fate that he knew awaited him. 2 Timothy 4:6 – 8,
· Remarkable example of a servant of God having complete confidence in the mercy of our Heavenly Father
· Introduce emblems – Jesus able to overcome through joy set before him
· Conclude relating our responsibilty to keep the Truth, and encourage audience with the great Hope we have been blessed with