Books of Bible
Summary of Paul's Second Letter to Timothy
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. Greeting (1:1).
1. Written by Paul (1:1).
a. Paul an apostle through the will of God (1:1).
b. According to the promise of life in Christ (1:1).
2. Written to Timothy (1:2).
a. Paul's beloved child in the gospel (1:2).
b. Paul wishes for Timothy grace, mercy, and peace (1:2).
B. Paul's attitude toward Timothy (1:3-5).
1. Paul prayed for Timothy constantly (1:3).
2. Paul wanted to see Timothy and rejoice with him (1:4).
a. Paul remembered Timothy's tears on parting from Paul
b. Timothy was a man of sincere faith (1:5).
c. Paul remembered this same earnest faith in Timothy's
grandmother and his mother (1:5).
C. Reasons for Timothy to be faithful (1:6-18).
1. Timothy received a gift by the hands of Paul (1:6).
a. Apostles could impart a gift of the Holy Spirit to others by
laying hands upon them (Acts 8:18).
b. Paul, an apostle, had laid his hands on Timothy and
imparted such a gift to him--his gift was probably
prophecy, or teaching ability (1:6).
c. Paul urges Timothy to remember his gift and use it by
boldly confirming and defending the gospel (1:6).
2. Timothy was not to be fearful--or a coward (1:7).
a. Show power--strength and not weakness (1:7).
b. Love of God and truth, expressed in obedience (1:7).
c. Soundness of mind, or self-government (1:7).
3. Timothy to be unashamed of the gospel and Paul's
a. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16).
b. Timothy to suffer hardship (1:8).
D. A right attitude toward the gospel and toward God (1:9-12).
1. Timothy to suffer for the gospel according to the power of
God--God strengthens the saint through the gospel (1:8).
2. God saves and calls us with a holy calling (1:9).
3. Our salvation is not according to our works (1:9).
a. We do not gain salvation as a result of living without sin,
nor can we devise our own scheme of redemption, nor can
we be saved by our own suffering (1:9).
b. Salvation is by faith, which is a work of God that we are
to do (John 6:28-29).
c. We are to work repentance and baptism and "save
ourselves" (Acts 2:38-40).
d. Our good works bring glory to God (Matt. 5:16).
e. We must "work out our own salvation with fear and
trembling" (Phil. 2:12).
4. God saves us by his eternal purpose and gift (1:9).
5. Jesus has appeared (1:10).
a. Jesus robbed death of its power by making abundant
(spiritual) life clear through the gospel (1:10).
b. Paul was appointed a preacher and an apostle of the
gospel which makes immortality evident (1:11).
6. This is why Paul suffered (1:12).
a. Paul was not ashamed (1:12).
b. Paul knew the Christ in whom he believed (1:12).
c. Jesus protects what is committed to him (1:12).
7. Timothy to hold to the truth (1:13-14).
a. The good thing entrusted to Timothy was the gospel
b. Timothy was to use the gift supplied by the Holy Spirit to
guard the truth of the gospel (1:14).
c. To guard truth is to teach it and defend it against false
8. Some had not held to the truth (1:15).
a. All in Asia had rejected Paul and the gospel (1:15).
b. Two outstanding examples were Phygelus and
c. Please note that Paul called the names of false teachers.
9. Others held to the truth 1:16-18).
a. Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul (1:16).
b. Onesiphorus came to Paul to help him (1:17).
c. Onesiphorus had also served the cause of truth in Ephesus,
as Timothy very well knew (1:18).
II. Exhortations to Duty (2:1 to 4:5).
A. Timothy to be strong in Christian service (2:1-13).
1. Be strengthened by the blessings that are in Christ (2:1).
2. Having heard the gospel, pass it on to faithful men, who will
teach others (2:2).
3. Be willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel (2:3-4).
a. Be a good soldier of Jesus (2:3).
b. A soldier must be dedicated (2:4).
4. To win the games one must strive and keep the rules (2:5).
5. The farmer is first to eat of the harvest (2:6).
6. Show you understand spiritual matters by paying attention
to what I say about suffering for the cross (2:7).
7. Keep in mind that Jesus, who is of the seed of David, rose
from the dead and by his resurrection demonstrated that he is
the Messiah (2:8).
8. Jesus suffered, the righteous for the unrighteous, and Paul
also suffered (2:9-10).
a. Paul was treated like a criminal (2:9).
b. Paul could be bound but the word could not be (2:9).
c. To benefit those who were selected by the gospel to be
children of God, Paul was willing to suffer (2:10).
9. It is true that if we died with Christ and were buried by
baptism into his death, we shall also be raised from the water
of baptism to live with him (2:11-14; Rom. 6:1-8).
a. If we confess him by enduring persecution, we shall be
confessed and given a place in his throne (2:12).
b. If we confess him, he will not deny us (2:12)
c. If we are not true to our Master, he is still true to all his
promises and warnings. (2:13).
d. Jesus is God and cannot deny himself (2:13).
B. Timothy to remind others of these truths (2:14).
C. Timothy to work hard at showing himself approved (2:15-26).
1. Study the scriptures and get it right (2:15).
2. He was to avoid irreligious and empty words (2:16-18).
a. Impious babbling will increase in ungodliness (2:16).
b. The word of the godless grows like a cancer (2:17).
c. An example of such foolishness is seen in Hymenaeus and
d. These men have blasphemed the resurrection of all the
dead by saying it has already happened (2:18).
D. Men may be faithless, but God's word will not fail; how to
treat and look upon false teachers (2:19-21).
1. The firm foundation stands and has a twofold seal (2:19).
a. God knows the names of his children on earth and their
names are written in the book of life (2:19).
b. Those who confess God must put away iniquity. Paul is
discussing false teachers--children of God are to put away
false teachers because what they do and say is wicked
2. Lesson from a great house (2:20-21).
a. Some vessels in a notable house are good and some are
bad; some are used in the kitchen and some are used in the
b. Wise men will throw out the bad keep the good (2:21).
c. The dishonorable vessels of wood and earth represent
false teachers in the church and are to be cast out; we
must not drink from their vessel (2:21).
d. The person who turns from false teachers and iniquity is
honorable, consecrated, and profitable for the Master's use
3. Timothy is to reject evil and hold to the good (2:22-26).
a. Run away from youthful lusts--sensual desires, pride,
ambition, love of power, and rashness (2:22).
b. Pursue righteousness, fidelity, love, and peace (2:22).
Please note that one can follow after--seek to obtain--
c. Reject questions that have no other purpose than to
confuse and entrap and are not for the purpose of finding
truth; such foolish questions cause useless fighting (2:23).
d. The true servant of Jesus does not enjoy fussing and in his
gentle nature seeks to avoid it. When necessary he will,
however, vigorously engage in controversy with no small
dissension (2:24; Acts 15:2).
e. If truth is at stake, debate is not to be avoided. If the
debate is not for the purpose of finding truth, it is useless
and not worth one's time (2:25).
f. The proper use of strong discussion and questioning is to
deliver the deceived from the devil's trap, and be released
from his rule (2:26).
E. Concerning the great apostasy (3:1 to 4:5).
1. The apostasy was to be expected (3:1-7).
a. Perilous times will come (3:1).
b. Men--both teachers and people--shall be selfish, lovers of
money, boast of being in favor with God, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful,
unholy, without natural affection, grim and merciless,
slanderers, without self-control,fierce, not lovers of good,
traitors, headstrong, swollen with pride, lovers of sensual
pleasure rather than lovers of God; (3:2-4).
c. Holding a form of godliness (love of God), but having
denied the power therefore (3:5).
d. From these also turn away (3:5).
e. They seduce ignorant, lustful women (3:6).
f. Always learning but never coming to knowledge (3:7).
2. Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses even in the face of
overwhelming evidence that God was with Moses (3:8-9).
a. These men also withstand truth even in the face of
convincing proof (3:8).
b. They are corrupt reprobates--unable to distinguish right
from wrong (3:8).
c. All who genuinely love truth will understand the tricks of
the false teachers and reject them (3:9).
d. Those humbugged by them are willingly deceived,
because those who want to know the truth will know it
(John 7:17; Matt. 7:7).
3. Timothy to imitate Paul's life (3:10-12).
a. Paul had detected and exposed false teachers and Timothy
was to follow him in this (3:10).
b. Paul was faithful in teaching the truth, and Timothy knew
his manner of life, purpose in preaching, fortitude in
danger, meekness under provocation, and patience under
c. Paul remembers when Jews from Antioch and Iconium
stoned him at Lystra (3:11; Acts 14:19-20).
d. The wicked world hates the church and will always
oppress children of God (3:12).
4. Warning to be immovable in the truth (3:13-17).
a. Wicked teachers will use false signs to beguile the gullible
and will be themselves deceived (3:13).
b. Timothy knew the truth and was to continue in it--the
plea to not forsake truth shows the possibility of turning
away from what one knows to be right (3:14).
c. Timothy was taught the sacred writings (Old Testament)
from childhood. The prophecies about Messiah were
fulfilled in Jesus. Timothy could be certain--know
something and know that he knew it (3:15).
d. Not only the Old Testament, but every scripture that is
God breathed, is profitable to make the man of God
complete in the sight of God (3:16-17).
e. This would include what inspired men of the first century
wrote. Their writing was God-breathed--in words given by
the Spirit (John 16:13).
f. God-given writing is profitable and teaches, corrects,
reproves, and instructs in righteousness (3:16-17).
5. A charge to be faithful in preaching the truth (4:1-5).
a. The charge is solemn, and in the name of God, and in view
of eternity (4:1).
b. Preach the word no matter what may come--disprove
false teachers and rebuke sinners always (4:2).
c. This must be done whether it is convenient or
inconvenient for you (4:2).
d. People will demand that preachers speak smooth words that
soothe them in their vices (4:3).
e. They will deliberately reject truth and accept error,
preferring false doctrine (4:4).
f. Timothy was not to be fooled - he was to be calm and
levelheaded, enduring persecution and ridicule, fulfilling
his ministry (4:5).
III. Conclusion (4:6-22).
A. Paul knew his work on earth was almost over (4:6-8).
1. He was already being offered (4:6).
a. He was being poured out as an offering (4:6).
b. The death of a servant of Jesus is a libation (4:6).
2. He was soon to depart on an exciting journey (4:6).
3. Paul had been a good soldier and a faithful servant (4:7).
a. He had fought the good fight (4:7).
b. He had finished the course (4:7).
c. He had kept the faith (4:7).
d. He had nothing to fear (4:7).
4. Paul knew that a crown of victory awaited him (4:8).
B. Paul wants Timothy to come to him and comfort him in his
last hours on earth (4:9-15).
1. Demas abandoned Paul (4:10).
2. Crescens and Titus had been sent on missions (4:10).
3. Only Luke was with Paul. The apostles wanted to see both
Timothy and Mark (4:11).
4. Tychicus had been sent to Ephesus (4:12).
5. Timothy to bring the cloak and the books (4:13).
a. It is remarkable that the apostle, after mentioning his
coming death, should give instructions about clothes and
b. He was calm in the face of death, which shows his depth
of faith and the certainty of his hope (4:13).
6. Paul speaks of people who had opposed him (4:14-15).
a. Alexander the coppersmith did Paul much harm (4:14).
b. Paul is not vindictive, but knows that God will render to
him according to his works (4:14).
c. Timothy was to mark and avoid Alexander (4:15).
d. Alexander's opposed revelation (4:15).
C. Paul before the emperor (4:16-18).
1. When Paul was before the Ruler of Rome, his fellow-
workers were terrified and did not show up in court (4:16-
a. Paul understood their fears and prayed that God would
forgive them (4:16).
b. God was with him, and Paul was delivered (4:17).
d. This was at his first hearing and Paul expressed
confidence that God would strengthen him and save him
in the heavenly kingdom (4:18).
D. Final remarks (4:19-22).
1. Greet Prisca and Aquila for me (4:19).
2. Erastus is at work in Corinth (4:20).
3. Trophimus I left sick at Miletus (4:20).
4. Get here before winter, if you can (4:21).
5. Greetings from some members of the church at Rome
6. "The Lord be with thy spirit. Grace be with you" (4:22).