Saturday in the Twenty-First Week of Ordinary Time

2 Timothy 1:1-5

A Family Legacy

We now move to 2 Timothy, the last letter the Apostle Paul ever wrote.  This letter has an almost somber mood about it—a heaviness or gravity that bleeds through every line.  Paul knows that this imprisonment will be his last; he will soon die.  How he got there is uncertain.  Paul mentions, “Alexander the coppersmith [who] did me great harm,” and warns Timothy to beware of him (4:14-15).  Did this man calumniate Paul before the authorities?  It is impossible to tell.  But now Paul is imprisoned in Rome a second time after the one mentioned at the end of Acts.  The ancient Church historian, Eusebius, writing in the early fourth century, informs us that Paul was beheaded under the Emperor Nero (Ecclesiastical History 2.25; 3.1), the most perverted and vicious of the Caesars.  This would have happened sometime in the mid-60s A.D.  The Apostle writes at the end of his life to encourage his most gifted and faithful protégé; it reads like a “Last Will and Testament.”

The first five verses of this letter are an encouragement to any Christian family.  Paul begins with his usual greeting, adding that he is “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,” that is, the life that is ours through faith in the Lord Jesus who is himself resurrected and alive; the gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of life.  Then Paul speaks of something he does not normally speak much about—that being the faith of parents and grandparents in the formation of the faith of their children.  Though Paul was converted from a zealous Pharisee to a Christian on that road to Damascus, he is certain that his ancestors worshiped the true God according to the Law of Moses under the old covenant, which having been fulfilled through Christ has now been transformed into the new covenant.  Likewise, Timothy’s sincere faith “dwelt first in [his] grandmother Lois and [his] mother Eunice.”  The lives of both men speak to the godly heritage under which each was raised and trained.  Of course, salvation comes when we are born again of the Holy Spirit, but the ground is prepared by godly parents and grandparents with the hope that God will extend His covenant to succeeding generations.  Of course, we can never say that every child so raised will come to saving faith; likewise, some come to saving faith despite their parents, bless God.  But faithful Christian parents have every reason to hope that the faith that dwells in them will one day dwell in their sons and daughters, and to an even greater extent.  In the meantime, pray for their salvation, that God would give them godly spouses, and that they too would train up children to godliness.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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