Stir Up Your Gift

I. The books to Timothy are very personal.

A. 1 Timothy is written to challenge Timothy to overcome pressures to compromise.

1. Be faithful to preaching biblical truth

2. Be bold in exposing and refuting error.

3. Be an example of godliness to the church.

4. Be diligent and work hard in the ministry.

5. Be willing to suffer hardship and persecution in service for the Lord.

a. 1 Timothy 4:6-16 is a good summary of external pressure.
b. 1 Timothy 6:11-16 is a good summary of the charge to faithfulness.

B. 2 Timothy is written to encourage Timothy to expand his ministry.

1. This is Paul’s last written record.

a. Written around 66 A.D.
b. Written from Nero’s “death row” in Rome.

2. This is Paul’s “Legacy” letter and final instructions to his “dearly beloved son.”

a. Paul uses this of Timothy (1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2) and Titus (Titus 1:4).
b. Paul had a close relationship (Philippians 2:19-22; 1 Thessalonians 3:2).
c. Paul knew Timothy’s family well (Acts 16:1-3; 2 Timothy 1:5-6
1) He knew the mother and the grandmother.
2) He participated in Timothy’s ordination.

II. The foundation for this letter is Paul’s own assurance of his ministry.

A. Paul is assured of his calling (2 Timothy 1:1)

1. He is an “Apostle” (a “sent one”).

a. He is called and separated (Romans 1:1)
b. He is particularly called to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13)

2. He is not “cocky” or proud (1 Corinthians 15:9)

3. He is not self-effacing or falsely humble (1 Corinthians 9:1-5)

B. Paul is confident that God has been leading his life.

1. He understands that his commission comes from God (Galatians 1:1)

2. He rests his eternity on the promises of the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 3:1-21)

a. He is confident of his ministry (Ephesians 3:1-2)
b. He knows he is to share in God’s grace (Ephesians 3:3-6)
c. He understands God’s other purposes (Ephesians 3:10-11)
d. He expects God’s blessings through him on others (Ephesians 3:12-21)

III. The greeting is a prayer for Timothy (2 Timothy1:2).

A. GRACE goes well beyond salvation to supernatural gifts and abilities.

1. The Greek word is charis – the basic meaning is “favor.”

a. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8)
b. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

2. The word is extended to charisma - “gifts.”

a. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4)
b. Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts 1 Corinthians 12:30-31)
c. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (1 Timothy 4:14)

3. The two words are used together.

a. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith (Romans 12:6)
b. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10)

B. MERCY goes beyond forgiveness to supernatural help in time of need.

1. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5)

2. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

3. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

a. The source is the unchangeable omniscience of God (James 1:17)
b. The brilliance of Daniel and his friends (Daniel 1:7)
c. The “things” of a godly mind (Philippians 4:8-9)

C. PEACE goes beyond gentle satisfaction to supernatural contentment.

1. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:17)

2. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Romans 14:19)

3. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)

a. The personal “peace” of the Lord Jesus (John 14:27)
b. The “peace” of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
c. The “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8)

IV. The initial charge is to “stir up the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6).

A. The unique verb (stir up) is only used this one time in the New Testament.

1. It is a compound of three Greek terms.

a. ANA, a primary preposition and adverb; meaning “each” or “again.”
b. ZOON, meaning “life” or “living creature.”
c. PUR, a root word meaning “fire” or “fiery.”

2. It is difficult to translate since it is only used this one time.

a. “Bring the fire alive (again)” – implied from the syntax.
b. “Make each fire alive” – emphasize the “each” of the preposition.
c. The tense indicates an ongoing process (hence: “again”)
d. The context (the gift) seems to emphasize the need for Timothy’s action (since God has given the gift through Paul’s “laying on of hands”).

B. The implication is that Timothy had let the “fire” grow dim.

1. Perhaps because of the opposition referenced in the First Letter.

2. Perhaps because of marginal success.

3. Perhaps, conversely, because of apparent successes or achievements.

C. The potential of a weakened “fire” is possible for any of us.

1. Because of thoughts focused on “fun” or “pleasure” too much.

2. Because of commitments to material prosperity or social status.

3. Because of “burn out” or depression or apathy, etc.

4. Because of a critical or suspicious spirit.

5. Because of pessimism, worry, or lack of confidence.

6. Because of pressure from the Enemy.

7. Because of lack of support or encouragement from friends.

D. The causes are many: the result is the same.

1. We can “quench” the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

2. We can “grieve” the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30)

3. We MUST take an active role to “stir up” the fire of God’s gift.

E. The “gift of God” is what must be “stirred” to proper “life.”

1. The gift certainly involves the “eternal life” of salvation (Romans 6:23).

2. The gift also is the “proper gift” given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 7:7)

3. The gift includes the “calling” of our Kingdom work (Romans 11:29).

4. The gift may include a “special” gift in ministry (1 Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6).

5. The gift should not be wasted or allowed to languish.

a. The “pound” that each is given will be evaluated in terms of the spiritual “return on investment” — maximum “profit” (Luke 19:13-26).
b. The “talents” that each are given will be evaluated in terms of effective use of opportunities -- expected “profit”(Matthew 25:14-30)
c. The “unprofitable servant” – called “wicked” and “lazy” was rejected by the returning King.
d. The value of the “gift” was given to the most “profitable” servant in each case.

V. The “gift” to all of us is power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

A. We are NOT given a “spirit of fear.”

1. The Greek word is DEILIA, only used this once = “timid” or “cowardice”

a. The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)
b. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

2. The synonyms are EULABEIA (“good” fear – Hebrews 12:28) and PHOBOS (“terror” – Hebrews 10:27-31).

B. We are given “Power.”

1. The Greek word is DUNAMIS – “ability” – “innate strength.”

2. John 15 – we are “branches” of the Vine. We get “ability” from Christ.

3. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 – Paul’s preaching demonstrated that “power.”

4. 2 Corinthians 12:9-12 – God’s “power” shows best in our weakness.

5. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 – God’s “power” is absolutely necessary to witness.

C. We are given “Love.”

1. This Greek word is AGAPE – “unilateral commitment love” – as differentiated from PHELEO (friendship, fondness). This is the love that our Lord Jesus gave to us – and we are told to give to each other.

2. This play on words is most famously used by Jesus and Peter in John 21:15-17.

3. This “love” drives obedience (John 14:15-31).

4. This “love” for the brethren is because God first “loved” us (1 John 4:7-19).

5. This “love” is defined in 1 Corinthians 13:1-4.

D. We are given “a sound mind.”

1. The Greek word is SOPHRONISMOS, a unique form of the verbs for “save” and “control.” Its basic meaning would be: “safe control” or “whole control” – perhaps even “control that saves.”

2. The various other forms are used to identify behavior of “sobriety” and “discretion.”

a. Titus 1:8 -- But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
b. Titus 2:2 -- That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
c. Titus 2:4 -- That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
d. Titus 2:5 -- To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
e. Titus 3:2 -- A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Command: “Stir up your gift, because you are not to be timid, but powerful, loving, and able to control your behavior.”

2 Timothy


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