GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Priorities For Young Timothy
By Keith L. Estes
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)
But, in contrast to these, Timothy is to watch, which has the idea of being sober and alert. Endure afflictions. Satan doesnít play games. He puts up a fight. The preacher must not get discouraged and run. Do the work of an evangelist. Every pastor must evangelize, he must be a soul-winner. He cannot simply pray and preach. He cannot expect his people to witness if he doesnít. He cannot expect his people to witness if he doesnít. He must preach. To make full proof of his ministry the pastor must be faithful in all the above admonitions.
Paul writes: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
For. Paulís exhortation to Timothy to make full proof of his ministry was given because Paul knew his own ministry was almost over and he knew the deep satisfaction of having done the same himself. What a horrible feeling it must be to come to the end of oneís life and have nothing but regrets at a wasted life. I. The ďIĒ here is emphatic. Paul is saying ďas for myself,Ē How important to be honest with ourselves. I am now ready to be offered. Only one who had finished his course could say this. Offered. This is a word used of pouring out a drink offering. Paul used it of himself in Philippians 2:17, of pouring out himself for the Philippians. The time of my departure is at hand. Godís servants are indestructible until their work is done. Departure was used by the military meaning to take down oneís tent. The idea is like the old saying of the Arab who took up his tent and silently stole away. As servants we must silently steal away and soon be forgotten so that only whatís done for Christ will last!
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (V.7)
What a power packed verse. There are three great statements. A good fight. The definite article is in the Greek. Paul is not boasting of what he had done but that he had spent his life in the good fight or contest. . Fight- was used of the Greek athletic contests. Fought- In the perfect tense speaks of completed action and expresses Paulís confidence. We get out word ďagonizeĒ from this. It does cost. There arenít many who agonize in their labors for Christ today. I have finished my course. Course refers to a race- track. He had crossed the finish line. He didnít quit. The Christianís life is not a hundred-yard- dash; it is a marathon and most often an obstacle course. I have kept the faith. The faith is not personal faith in Christ but the whole body of Christian truth, i.e., doctrine. Paul never was detoured by some new wind of doctrine.
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. (v.8) Henceforth The tragedy of life is what people miss here and hereafter. Only those who have borne their cross will win the crown. Crown referred to the laurel wreath placed on the winner of the athletic contests. There are five crowns spoken of in Scripture, all of which we will cast at Jesusí feet in adoration one day (Rev. 4:10-11). This crown of righteousness is available to all them also that love his appearing. How tragic that many are not taught about the Second Coming of Christ and therefore are cheated out of gaining this crown! No one should say that the teaching of the second coming and all that surrounds it is unimportant! Like the great crescendo of a symphony, Paul has concluded his message in verse 8 and now adds a few final remarks. Some of these give personal insights to this great man who is in a Roman dungeon awaiting his final appearance before the Roman ruler.
Ref: Liberty Bible Commentary- New Testament- The Holy Bible.