Why might (we and) Timothy be tempted to be ashamed of the Lord, and of Paul?
How do the truths Paul reminds Timothy of give us reason not to be ashamed, but to be willing to join in suffering for the Gospel?
Why and how is Paul suffering?
Verse 12 balances v.8. How does what Paul says further encourage Timothy (and us) not to be ashamed? N.B. The second half of verse 12 could be taken two ways – either God is able to guard what He (God) has entrusted to Paul, viz. the gospel, or God is able to guard what Paul has entrusted to God, viz. his own life or the fate of the churches. The NIV takes it as the latter, but most commentaries take it as the former, which seems preferable because of the parallel with v.14. If you like, consider what the encouragement would be if one took it either way.
What is the “good deposit” that Timothy is to guard?
How is he to go about guarding it?
What resources is he to rely on?
Is that really sufficient? (nb verse 12 makes it abundantly clear that it is.)
What aspects of the Gospel are particularly under threat today?
How might we apply these verses to ourselves?
Why do you think all had deserted him, apart from the few like Onesiphorus?
Onesiphorus had different gifts from Timothy, he wasn’t a pastor or preacher. What can we learn from him about what it might look like to join with Paul “in suffering for the gospel”?
How might we follow his example?
If tempted to be ashamed as Christians, what encouragements can we take from this passage?
What should we pray for ourselves, or our church leaders, in the light of this passage?
We are a friendly, evangelical church in the centre of Oxford. As those seeking to love and follow Jesus Christ we welcome people from all walks of life and all parts of the world. We believe that in the Bible God speaks a message of hope and forgiveness that is life-giving and life-changing.