Thoughts on 2 Timothy 1:7
The author of the letter is the Apostle Paul who is Timothy’s mentor. Paul sees great promise for Timothy as a minister of the Gospel. However, it appears Timothy needed some inspiration, a reinvigoration.
In 1 Timothy Paul had given Timothy a lot of instructions regarding the church structure, relationships and expectations of behavior. He also encouraged Timothy to live up to his calling.
In 2 Timothy 1 the Apostle Paul tells his mentee, Timothy, to remember his heritage through his mother and grandmother. Then Paul tells Timothy he needs to stir up the Spiritual gifts within him, and, by the way, you have everything you need to minister the Good News. Paul writes:
2 Timothy 1: 6 I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.(The Passion Translation)
The word fear as used above is a translation of the Greek word deilia which Strong’s Concordance says denotes cowardice and timidity.
Being timid in life causes us to miss a lot of opportunities. We don’t know what prompted Paul to remind Timothy that he did not need to be timid. However, the same reminder can speak to us. Paul reminds Timothy that he had received an impartation from Paul through the laying on of hands. In verse 7 Paul defines the power pack combo that was imparted. That combo is available to the church today. As followers of Jesus, have we become timid, intimidated by the culture around us? When we showsome fearlessness, it is often towards the wrong target with the wrongexpression, but that discussion is reserved for another blog post.
Paul tells Timothy, and us, that the impartation of the Holy Spirit did not give timidity. What was imparted, though, was quite powerful and still is today.
What was imparted?
Power – not just any power, a power from indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word is dunamism which speaks of miraculous power, more than just human power. It is the same power that raised up Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11).
Love – the Greek word used is agape which is the love that comes from God, the love Jesus told us to have for each other, the love God has for the whole world, such that He sent His son to die for the world, the love that is the indicator of the group of people called Christians and by which they will be known.
Sound mind/self-control – the Greek word is sophronismus and self-control is the better translation for me, the rhema revelation. We can stay on topic and respond appropriately to any situation. We can ‘act’ and not ‘re-act’. We are called to act unilaterally and not return attacks in-kind.
I have used 2 Timothy1:7 as a declaration regarding soundness of mind and it certainly fits that use. However, as I meditated on this verse and the preceding verses, I could see that Paul was giving Timothy a strong pep talk reminding him of his heritage, how much had been invested in him.
Maybe Timothy was in a dry spell. Maybe ministering was not as successful or easy as when he first stepped out to share the Gospel. That early emotional energy was no longer as intense. Basically, Paul was telling Timothy that he was armed and dangerous. He was filled with the Holy Spirit which meant he was empowered to demonstrate the power of God and manifest the love of God. That same empowerment also gave him the ability to minister that power and love guided by the Holy Spirit and to make appropriate responses to any objections. Putting verses 6 and 7 together, is the message “you were given what you need to do the job, you need to keep the fire burning”?
We are enabled with a powerful combination – the love of God and the power of God. We have been given spirit enabled self-control. That is a winning combination.
Father, make these words of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 to be rhema to us. May we truly understand the magnitude of what we have been given by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Amen.