We Have a War to Wage

2 Timothy 2Part 5

Paul’s letter to his “son” Timothy is literally bursting with lessons and challenges for all of us, especially those of us who are in ministry. In 2 Timothy 2, he covers a plethora of areas and I have simplified them into five themes. The themes overlap each other throughout and are general to the entire chapter rather than being based on verse sections. Here are the five themes:

Work to do

Word to give

Warning to follow

Ways to live

War to wage

Let’s examine the last one.

Paul challenges Timothy about the war he needed to wage.

Verse 1: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Verse 3: Thou therefore, endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Verse 4: No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier

Verse 5: And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Verse 10: Therefore I endure all things for the elects sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Verse 22: Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Verse 24: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

In order to fight the good fight and win the war, Paul challenges Timothy in 6 areas!

1. Paul challenges Timothy to be strong. We are not able to win the war apart from the grace that is in Jesus. It is his strength and power that will make the difference.

2. Paul challenges Timothy to be firm. “Hardness” will inevitably come and can discourage us even to the point of quitting if we allow it. No matter the circumstances and discouragements, we are to remain firm.

3. Paul challenges Timothy to be free. A soldier cannot become entangled with pursuits that hinder his effectiveness in his calling and responsibilities.

4. Paul challenges Timothy to be right. Apparently not “everything is fair in love and war!” There is a “lawful” way to win. May God help us to be right and to do right.

5. Paul challenges Timothy to be focused. Why fight this battle we are fighting? Why face hardships? Why limit our pursuit of a comfortable and easy life? We are doing it “that they may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” As long as souls are needing Jesus, we must stay focused on the battle at hand.

6. Paul challenges Timothy to be pure. This is surely self-explanatory. More men have lost the “fight” in this area than we care to admit! We must fight to be pure and we must be pure in order to fight.

7. Paul challenges Timothy to be gentle. We are not “warring” to destroy lives, but to save them. We are to stand firm and yet do it with the meekness and gentleness of our Savior.

May God help us to win. We certainly have a war to wage!

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