Girl, Gospel, Go | Day Two Answers

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By: Megan Gover | Greetings from Prison | To type in your answers to today’s study, click here.

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus. To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” [2 Timothy 1:1-2]

Yesterday, we got a sneak peek into Timothy’s character and Paul’s relationship with him. With this knowledge and context, we can now begin to study Paul’s second letter to Timothy!

Read 2 Timothy 1:1-2. Who is writing this letter?

Paul wrote this book of the Bible to Timothy, his spiritual son.

What title does the writer describe himself as?

Paul described himself as “an apostle of Christ Jesus.” (vs. 1)

What’s the difference between an apostle and a disciple? Are they interchangeable?

See below.

Essentially, an apostle is someone who walked with Jesus during His time on earth while a disciple is someone who is closely related to Jesus’ teachings. Though every believer who has a relationship with Christ and follows His Word is a disciple, today we aren’t apostles because we haven’t physically been in His presence.

With this knowledge, why did Paul then consider himself an apostle? Is he ever mentioned in any of the four Gospels?

Though Paul isn’t mentioned throughout the Gospels, we see his conversion experience throughout the book of Acts. This is where he met Jesus on the road to Damascus and changed his life forever.

Let’s read his conversion experience in Acts 9:1-19. Write out a condensed version of Paul’s conversion experience.

After the resurrection of Jesus, Paul was persecuting the church and new believers—to the point of having some killed. Saul was on his way to Damascus, when a bright light and Christ’s voice loudly appeared. Jesus asked Paul why he was persecuting Him. Paul was blinded and the men he was traveling with brought him into Damascus by hand. Ananias was sent, reluctantly, to deliver the Holy Spirit to Saul. It was then that Saul saw the light—figuratively and spiritually.  

What weight did this authority then bring to the rest of the letter?

Because Paul had met Jesus on the road to Damascus, his apostleship signaled a sign of authority, confidence, and boldness to teach the Gospel powerfully.

Go back to 1 Timothy 1:1. What is the promise of life in Christ Jesus Paul addresses?

The promise of life is the promise of both eternal life afforded to us through the Gospel!

What are some characteristics of someone living in the full promise of life in Jesus? What are some symptoms of those not living in his full promises?

Someone living in the promise of life of Christ will be firmly rooted in the Gospel—not swaying by the unkept promises of the world. Living in the promise of life means the utmost faith, trust, and reliance on the Lord. There would be fruit and evidence of this in a believers life. However, someone who is not living in the fullness of the life promised to them through the Gospel would believe the promises the world declares about freedom, religion, and morals to be true.

How are you claiming the fullness of Christ’s promise of life? How are you personally forgoing it?

I know we are spending a lot of time on the greetings section of this letter! But, throughout 2 Timothy, there are some similarities, yet differences in how Paul wrote his greetings. Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these subtleties.

1) Name of Jesus

Look at the following passages and write out who wrote the book and how the author referred to Jesus.

Romans 1:1 –

Paul, Christ Jesus

1 Corinthians 1:1 –

Paul, Christ Jesus

2 Corinthians 1:1 -

Paul, Christ Jesus

1 Peter 1:1 –

Peter, Jesus Christ

2 Peter 1:1 –

Peter, Jesus Christ

1 John 1:3 -

John, Jesus Christ

Jude 1 -

Jude, Jesus Christ

Did you notice a pattern? If so, what was it?

Paul was the only one who used Christ Jesus.

Most of the writers of the New Testament call Jesus by one of two names: Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ. Though it just seems like a simple wordplay, something is interesting to note: Paul is the only one to refer to Jesus as Christ Jesus. What might be the reason behind this?

Though Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul didn’t do life with Jesus. He never high-fived him or hugged him after feeding the five thousand. Do you call your friends by their titles like Elizabeth, daughter of Jo and Sam? No! You just call your friend by her nickname, Lizzy! Likewise, Paul called Jesus by his title rather by his name.

When you think about it, all the other authors were friends of Jesus! They physically walked this earth with Him. Jesus was his birth name, just like you have one. Jesus’ disciples addressed him by His name, not His title. However, Paul didn’t have the luxury of hugging Jesus or help him reel in a cast line full of fish.

He knew Jesus first as Messiah instead of knowing Jesus as a man.

2) A Similar Sentiment

Paul had standard greetings he would write at the beginning of his letters. Though they were structured differently, the sentiment was the same. Look up Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:2. What two elements did Paul wish the recipients in these books of the Bible?

Grace and peace.

Even though this common link may seem meaningless, they symbolize something more in-depth. In today’s culture, we ask people all the time, how are you? A typical reply usually is good--even if we are doing terrible. In Greek culture, people offered a similar question, but the answer was “grace!” instead of “good.” But, in Jewish culture, shalom or peace was used as a standard greeting.

Now knowing these two cultural contexts, what was Paul’s purpose in using these two greetings? Why not one or the other?

Paul was relating the Gospel to both cultures in a context relevant to them.

Interestingly enough, Paul didn’t just use these two sentiments in the greetings he had to Timothy in either of his letters. What third element did he add to Timothy’s greeting in 1 Timothy 1:2 and 2 Timothy 1:2?

Mercy.

What is mercy? How would you explain the concept of mercy to a third grader?

Mercy is withholding something you deserve.

Why would Timothy need it?

Timothy was leading a church rapidly walking away due to persecution. Timothy needed mercy as a man, leader, and believer.

Timothy was facing the persecution of the church he loved and was leading. Paul slipped mercy into this greeting to remind Timothy of the Lord’s promises.

Write out Lamentations 3:22-24.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”

When was a time you received an unbelievable amount of mercy from the Lord? From another person? How did you react to it?

End this time thanking the Lord for his mercies despite trials, allowing us to know him as Christ Jesus, and for the boldness of those before us in our faith!

Megan GoverComment