“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
2 Timothy 4:17-22
17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick. 21 Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren. 22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
In his earlier life he was a despiser of the crucified Christ. He hounded, imprisoned, and killed Christ’s followers. It is safe to say that he didn’t really know who he was; he had no peace; and he really didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing with his life.
He thought he had taken care of those matters. He was, as we say, “on a roll.”
But Jesus came and changed all that. Our Savior had specific things in mind for this man. He was to become His servant and apostle, and he was to herald and explain His gospel to unbelievers.
After his conversion and to the end of his life this new man—the Apostle Paul—exemplified and claimed these things, as is evident in the introductions to his divinely inspired epistles.
Just as it is today, so in most of the world at Paul’s time many individuals were searching for personal, private happiness. They used Greek and Roman philosophies and pagan god genealogies on which to base their views. Not a lot has changed!
Strange as it may sound, the good news is that such searching will not lead you to find real personal happiness. Instead, it finds you! And it is far more than you or I ever dreamt of. It is forgiveness of sins, faith, peace, joy, and hope—and it all has a name, Jesus Christ!
This faithful Savior and Friend of sinners has found each of us by means of His gracious Word. Our being found was probably not as dramatic as what happened to Paul on Damascus road. But it was and still is just as amazing and exciting.
These verses to Timothy in our text are probably the apostle’s last written words. They are very good for us. You can use them. Here and now you learn to confess—as he did in verses 17 and 18—that the Lord stands by you, that He strengthens you, that He delivers you from every evil work, and that He will preserve you right into eternal life.
All of this is for repentant sinners like us, for our comfort
With even a longer list of blessings than noted above, this
same Christ belongs by faith to us and our fellow Christians.
That is why Paul sends greetings personally to Timothy, and to other members of the congregation as well, from believers in Rome!
And notice how Paul’s concluding words focus on God’s
undeserved love, His grace.
What a beautiful ending to his writing and his life!