I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. 2 Timothy 4:1
“Charge” is a strong word (diamarturomai), usually translated testified (such as in Acts 8:25
). The idea is that Paul is giving solemn testimony to Timothy, testimony that Timothy must heed if he will be a godly pastor.
The verb diamartyromai has legal connections and can mean ‘testify under oath’ in a court of law, or to ‘adjure’ a witness to do so.
The members of the court where Paul gives this testimony make it all the more significant: before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead.
As Paul sits in his cold, damp prison cell, he understands there is a spiritual reality present that goes beyond the walls of his cell. Spiritually, through a letter, he is giving solemn testimony to his young friend and associate, and doing it in the presence of the God who will judge us all.
So the context here is a veteran pastor or mentor giving a strong admonition to a son in the Lord. His exhortation to Timothy is all the more meaningful because he knows he is passing from the scene, and Timothy must carry the torch. God’s workmen pass on, but God’s work continues.
There are some important things in life, more important than making a buck or being popular or having the latest fashionable things. There is a God in heaven who cares about everything we do, and wants to point us to the most important things, the things that really matter.
Here are some of those things Paul the mentor outlines for his son in the Lord. Things he wants Timothy to persist in:
- Preach the Word
Persist in it when it is not convenient… Love the word… Know the word… Protect the word… Preach the word… Preach it when it is easy, and preach it when it is hard. Preach it when the fruit is evident, and preach it when the fruit seems invisible. Just preach it! Somebody once said – comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable…
preach the word; See 2Tim. 4:1-
2. Keep a clear head…
persist in it amidst distraction, and confusion, focus on things that essential… Be watchful… A good pastor or believer always has his eyes open…
As for you, always be sober-minded… 2 Timothy 4:5
3. Be ready in season and out of season
See verse 2 – be ready in season and out of season
Persist in an attitude of preparedness, be ready to give a reason for why you believe, be ready to serve, lead, preach, disciple, encourage,
4. Reprove, rebuke, and exhort
Reprove, rebuke, and exhort means the communicating of all that Scripture includes—doctrine, instruction, correction, and encouragement.
see verse 2
Persist in it even in times when people will not endure sound teaching, but have itching ears. They will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
5. Develop Patience
Patience in such teaching is again encouraged (see 2 Timothy. 2:24–26).
Persist in it even when you see no fruit in what you do… When those you are leading refuse to respond when there is no growth when nothing seems to be working…