The Soteriology Of 2 Timothy 2:11-13 – Part II -- By: David S. Ermold
JODT 15:44 (April 2011) p. 71
The Soteriology Of 2 Timothy 2:11-13 – Part II
In this article, 2 Timothy 2:11-13 will be considered on its own accord, outside the influence of the development of its interpretation. Interaction with secondary sources will be limited to those supporting the view presented here. Comparing and contrasting the following view with the preceding views will be the topic of the next article.
Background To 2 Timothy
Second Timothy is one of three Pauline epistles collectively known as the Pastoral Epistles. Carson and Moo explained the title by saying that the epistles “are directed to people with pastoral responsibility and with the task of appointing pastors.” To this end, two are written to Timothy, and one is written to Titus. Second Timothy is the second canonical letter that Paul wrote to Timothy, and it is almost universally accepted that it was the last of the Pauline epistles to be composed, with a date around AD 64.2
The theme of this epistle can be summarized as enduring to the end.3 Enduring suffering is mentioned throughout the book (1:8, 12; 2:9, 12; 3:11-12), and, as Carson and Moo inidicated: “[Paul] leaves Timothy no doubt that, while our salvation is a free gift from God, it is also demanding. In living out its implications, the believer is going to run into difficulties and will find that the God who sent his Son to die on the cross is always served at a cost.”4 In other
JODT 15:44 (April 2011) p. 72
words, Paul was clear in this epistle that obtaining eternal life is through belief; however, Paul’s focus here is more on the outworking of that belief in enduring suffering for the sake of the gospel.
Examination Of The Context
Given the background and content of the epistle, it is clear that Paul was writing to his protégé and fellow slave, Timothy, with a view to Paul’s imminent martyrdom. He was reflecting upon his faithful service, and encouraging Timothy, a believer, to persevere and mature in the faith despite the persecution and suffering he would endure. As such, the reader should expect the commands and exhortations in the epistle to be written to a believer, unless the context clearly communicates otherwise.
In the context, Paul wrote to Timothy in order that he may “not be ashamed of the testimony of [their] Lord or of [him] His prisoner, but join with [him] in suffering for the gospel” (1:8). Support for this th...
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