What is the Meaning of 2 Timothy 2.2

“Discipling Disciple-makers”

Entrusting Pauline Doctrine to Faithful Future Teachers

2 Timothy 2:2

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of 2 Timothy 2.2

2 Ti. 2. At the start of this new year, I would like to ask on a global scale, “how is the church doing with Jesus’ Great Commission of making disciples of Jesus Christ?”

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Says one article, “It took nearly 2,000 years for the gospel to spread from the early church to nearly half the world’s population. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in the year 1900, roughly 45 percent of the world’s population were aware of the gospel. Today, the percentage of people everywhere who are aware of the gospel has grown to more than 70 percent.” So, it seems were on the right track.

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Unfortunately, by 2050, that organization predicts only another 2 percent of the world’s population will be evangelized, totaling just 72 percent.

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So to back up 100 years … In 1800, only 25% of the world’s population were even aware of the gospel. In 1900, 20% more are … 45% are now aware of the gospel, and now in 2000, 70 percent of the world’s population knows about the gospel. We would think with that same rate of increase, that in another 100 years, the church would be successful and the whole world would know about the gospel. But no! Whereas in the past 2 centuries, attempts at global evangelization has resulted in high percentages of the world’s population being evangelized, efforts in the next 50 years are predicted to only result in a small fraction of an increase of people being aware of the gospel.

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[btw, I’m guessing that they are including almost all of Canada in those figures, which then makes this whole endeavour suspect…at any rate, the numbers probably reflect some sort of reality…]

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The reason the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary gives for a lack of the continued increase in the success of the church for the Great Commission in this century is in part … population growth and false religions. [1]

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In fact, Pew Research concludes that at some point in the latter half of this century … after 2050, Christianity will no longer be the world’s largest religion. They predict the Muslim population will grow more than twice as fast as the overall world population. And Islam will then be the world’s largest religious group.

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Muslim women have on average 2.9 children. Christian women have on average 2.6 children. That seemingly little statistical difference, makes a world of difference when we talk about large numbers of women.

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So, how is the church doing with making disciples? Assuming that these numbers are accurate, it is clear that the church is on the decline.

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In fact, According to the UK Census, between 2001 and 2011 the number of new parents claiming Christianity as their religion in Britain fell by 5.3 million from the previous census – that’s a fall of 10,000 a week. Assuming a continued rate of decline at this level, the number of UK-newborns to Christian parents would reduce to zero by 2067.

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The Church of England is declining faster than other denominations; if it carries on shrinking at the rate suggested by the latest British Social Attitudes survey, Anglicanism will disappear from Britain by the year 2033. Church of England gone from England! [2] Of course, the truth awaits to be seen.

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But the point is clear: the church is on the decline … It makes you wonder about Jesus’ haunting question in Luke 18:8 … “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” That seems to be a worthwhile question.

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These realities emphasize the need for the Great Commission. Jesus said in

Matthew 28:19–20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, [how make disciples?…] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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And on this first Lord’s Day of the year, I would like to emphasize the need for discipleship and making disciples. This is the heartbeat of following Christ and this is then the heartbeat of our local church.

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We’re in 2 Ti. 2 and this is Paul’s final letter. …you can hear the sharpening of the axe blade in the background, Paul is in jail and is about to be killed…and Paul has a view to the future as he always had….as he writes…

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2 Timothy 2:2 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

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In this verse, we have 4 links in the discipleship chain. Paul is speaking to Timothy. These are the first two links in the chain: Paul speaks to Timothy about “the things which you heard from me in the presence of many witnesses.” Paul discipled Timothy.

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These things are to be entrusted to “faithful men.” The faithful men is the third link in the discipleship chain. Timothy disciples faithful men. And these “faithful men” will be able to “teach others” also. And the “others” referred to there make up the fourth link in the discipleship chain. These faithful men teach others.

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What we have in this one verse is the example and teaching of Discipling Disciple-Makers. We must as well disciple disciple-makers.

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TRANS: But of course, the first link in our discipleship chain didn’t originate with Paul. Paul’s teaching didn’t originate with Paul, as if Paul made it all up! Turn to Galatians 1:11-12 and I’ll show you Paul’s claim of where he got his doctrine, his teaching.

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  1. Christ to Paul

Paul claims in Galatians 1:11-12 that he did not receive the gospel from any human teaching. But that he received it directly from Jesus Christ via divine revelation.

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Galatians 1:11–12 11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

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And we could read in Acts 9 that Jesus Christ revealed himself to Paul. Paul is traveling to Damascus in order to persecute Christians. And with a blazing white light, Jesus Christ reveals himself to Paul.

The Lord saves Paul and commissions him to preach the gospel to Gentiles. And of course, Jesus through His revelations, informs Paul of what the good news, the gospel, really is.

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Paul’s miracles prove his teaching was right

But it’s one thing to claim that you received truth from divine revelation; it is another thing to prove it. And that is why the Lord worked miracles through Paul. In Acts 13, Paul temporarily blinded Elymas the magician who was opposing the truth and preventing others from coming to Christ. Paul healed a man from Lystra who was crippled from birth and had never walked. Paul cast out demons, and performed other extraordinary miracles… So that even pieces of cloth were carried from Paul’s body to the sick and the various diseases would leave them.

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Those miracles prove that Jesus Christ really did reveal himself to Paul and that Jesus really did reveal the gospel to Paul as Paul claims.

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TRANS: Christ reveals the truth to Paul. Paul teaches Timothy is the next link in the discipleship chain.

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  1. Paul to Timothy: things which you have heard from me

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2 Timothy 2:2 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, …

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  1. Things Timothy heard from Paul

    Timothy heard Paul preach. Hearing and listening is very important.

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    Romans 10:14 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

Ephesians 1:13 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, [it takes listening then believing]

Philippians 4:9 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Paul places a great importance on listening. As is stated in these verses, listening to the gospel, listening to Paul’s preaching and following his example.

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When Timothy listened to Paul, what Timothy would have heard from Paul…would include the gospel…. but would also include everything Paul taught as we have reflected in the New Testament.

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For Paul’s teaching on the gospel, let’s turn to 1 Co. 15. If someone ever asks you what is the gospel, or what the main message is that you teach, you could just remember 1 Co. 15 verses 3-5. In order to establish the importance of discipleship for 2018, we need to understand what we’re following. A disciple is a follower learner. A disciple of Jesus is a follower learner of Jesus. A disciple of Jesus follow Jesus…follows His life and example and he learns from Jesus. The initiation into that kind of relationship with Jesus demands an understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done.

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Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 gives to us an understanding of the gospel.

1 Corinthians 15:3–5 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance [this is the primary thing] what I also received [received from the Lord], that Christ died for our sins [Christ’s death is divinely powerful to solve our guilt problem before God…He died for our sins…He died for our sins; He died for our sins instead of us having to die for our sins…He paid it all, He solved our guilt problem before God … this death was he says … ] according to the Scriptures, [that is, it was predicted in the OT Scriptures in many passages] 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures [as Ps. 16 predicts that the Messiah would be raised from the dead]…

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And then in verses 5-8, Paul emphasizes the importance of the appearances of Jesus Christ after he was raised from the dead.

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And Paul would have explained to Timothy the importance of responding to the gospel … to the person and work of Jesus. For example …

Romans 10:9 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord [that He’s truly God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

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As well as the need to turn from your sin in repentance (Rom 2:4; 2 Cor 7:9f; 12:21; 2 Tim 2:25). TRANS: Now, Back to 2 Ti. 2:2..

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TRANS: … Paul taught these foundational truths to Timothy … in the presence of many witnesses

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  1. in presence of many witnesses

    … Paul taught openly, publicly. Not just a few people heard him speak, but many. These witnesses heard him speak and they themselves received it.

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    These witnesses were there that day to testify to the authority of Paul’s words that they are indeed the truth of God. Others would have heard the other apostles and could confirm the truth of Paul’s gospel that it is from God. These witnesses were there and heard what Paul was saying and they affirmed together that Paul’s teaching was indeed the word of God and divinely authoritative.

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    “Timothy, you heard from me in the presence of many witnesses the very word of God.” So the fact that this truth was given in the presence of these witnesses makes solemn the passing on of the truth. The witnesses give weight to the teaching and the need to pass it on.

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    ILL: In a marriage ceremony, people are wedded in the presence of witnesses. Those witnesses confirm the reality of what has happened and make it binding and solemn.

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    Similarly, Paul, in appealing to the witnesses who also heard him speak, makes solemn his own teaching. As Paul himself says…

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    1 Corinthians 14:37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.

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    And again, Paul’s authority from Christ is seen in his miracles.

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    APP: And so we see the importance of doctrine and practical teaching and the solemn need to entrust it to faithful men, which makes up our third link in our discipleship chain.

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  1. Timothy to faithful men: entrust these to faithful men

    Christ to Paul; Paul to Timothy; now, third Timothy “entrusts” these doctrines, these truths from God’s word, to faithful men.

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    EXP: To “entrust” has the idea of “to commit for safekeeping.” Timothy is to entrust these truths to faithful men.

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    ILL: It’s like what you do when you deposit money into a bank account. You are entrusting those funds to the bank for safekeeping.

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    These truths, these gospel truths, these eternal life truths, these truths that save people from God’s wrath for all eternity need to be entrusted with certain people.

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    What is a faithful man?

2 Timothy 2:2 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these [precious soul-saving truths from God’s word] to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

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A faithful man is a trustworthy man, a dependable person. Like Paul says in …

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1 Corinthians 4:1–2 1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.

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Paul wants Timothy to entrust the riches of God’s word to faithful men, faithful stewards of God’s word. Of course, you want those who are trustworthy and faithful to the Lord to be entrusted with the word of God.

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And that’s because we live in the social context that is opposed to the truth. And people actively oppose it. People in our churches are not enduring sound doctrine and even leaders in the church reject the truth and go astray. So because of this, it’s important that the precious truths of God’s word be entrusted to faithful men.

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These faithful men must not lose the true gospel or the saving response to the gospel… They must not neglect it, ignore it… But they must accurately handle the word of life.

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APP: Entrust the gospel to faithful men. So, our pastors must be faithful men, our elders and deacons as well. But let me apply it this way. There is a reason why, in the first place, there are faithful, dependable men in the first place. And that’s because they have been discipled. Somebody has come alongside them and encouraged them.

Somebody has taught them the word of God. Somebody has gotten with them and they have been strengthened. Somebody has helped them overcome their sin issues. They did not get to be faithful dependable people apart from discipleship.

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If we want to see the next generation of faithful Christian servants … at all… We must be committed to discipling the next generation. The spread of the truth is on the decline.

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Our society as a whole is rejecting and rejecting and increasingly rejecting the truth. If we fail our children by failing to teach them the word of God… If we fail our young people by failing to encourage them to make a stand for Jesus Christ… if we fail to to tell others in our communities the Good News of Jesus Christ and we fail to insist that they receive it is indeed, the truth of God, we will fail to carry out the Great Commission.

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So you must seek to have your light shine beyond yourself…

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For each one of us, the end is coming. I want to have an influence that extends beyond my earthly life. And be able to say on my deathbed with many around me whom I’ve influenced, “Now, it’s your turn, keep the truth, keep it safe, pass it on.”

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TRANS: These people that we evangelize and disciple become faithful people with whom we entrust the word of God to and they are future teachers themselves.

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TRANS: The faithful men are future teachers

2 Timothy 2:2 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

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  1. Faithful men to other teachers: who will be able to teach others also

    These faithful people are teachers, perhaps called in a more public teaching role such as public preaching, or a ladies Bible study, but really by way of application, all of God’s people are called to teach.

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    Matthew 28:19–20 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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    We each participate in the Great Commission and that includes teaching.

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    In Titus 2, the older women are to teach what is good and to encourage the young women to love their husbands and their children, to be sensible, sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” An older woman is expected to be teaching.

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    We’re all to be teaching each other.

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    ILL: It is like a relay race. When I was in school, I ran the 400 m relay up to the 2 mile relay. And when I got the baton, I passed it on to somebody else.

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    You receive truth; you are now entrusted with it. You need to pass that on. The race doesn’t end with you! Make a disciple of Jesus Christ!

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    To keep up with the world population growth and local population growth, we have to disciple each other and evangelize the lost.

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    ARG/ILL: What would have happened if Timothy wasn’t faithful…if those men he told weren’t faithful…if they weren’t, etc…and what if the person who lead you to Christ wasn’t faithful…? Be faithful! Serve the Lord; be involved in personal discipleship.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of 2 Timothy 2.2

So, practically then, what should you do? Two things…Get with someone and be discipled or get someone to disciple or both! This could be someone in the church or outside the church; someone who’s saved or someone who isn’t but has a lot of questions.

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Last year I gave this exact same challenge and many of you responded. Many of you are meeting regularly with someone, and reading the Bible and praying together…on your own time, with others. That’s wonderful … nothing rejoices my heart more than to know that you are meeting with someone either to be discipled or to disciple someone.

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If you are doing that and you haven’t told me, please make my day…, week, my year and tell me “this year I’m discipling someone” or “this year, I asked so and so to disciple me.” In fact if you are doing that, I would insist on knowing that I might pray for you. And if you are discipling someone else, you will need help helping them, so please make it known that you are meeting regularly with someone so that you can get the support that you need. You’re not alone in making disciples. If you have any questions or you need help, please let me know.

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What do you do exactly? If you need discipled, ask for it. If you need to be trained, you feel yourself lacking in some way…some sin, or basic immaturity, or you have a desire for further training, let me know and I can pair you up with someone or you can pray about who you want to meet with and let them know.

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If you sense it’s time for you to disciple others, pray about who to disciple and ask them if they are already meeting with someone and if not, ask to meet with them regularly. Maybe someone from our church or our community, or wherever your community is.

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And it’s not difficult: get to know them, ask them questions, find out their testimony for Christ, ask them any areas they are struggling with, and read through and explain and apply a book of the Bible to them…just take the gospel of John, for example…read through it, try to explain it to them … and just the basics, nothing fancy. Talk about the Scripture with them. Ask them what they think the passage is saying. The more you get to know them as individuals, the deeper your applications to their specific situations will get.

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If they are dealing with a particular sin habit and you need help helping them, that’s what we’re here for. So, let’s make 2018 a year of discipleship…discipling disciple-makers.

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692 Jesus saves

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Go to 2 Timothy Main Page

Go To New Testament Books

Go To BibleTrove Home Page

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  1. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/july-august/babies-halt-great-commission.html

  2. https://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/06/2067-the-end-of-british-christianity/

    https://www.inquisitr.com/2170856/christianity-to-be-extinct-by-2067-says-new-government-report/

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