2 Timothy 4

2 Timothy 4: Preach the Gospel

                Paul writes to Timothy and explains that he needs to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove [to disapprove of someone], rebuke [criticize], exhort [urge] with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:1) Paul tells Timothy sharply that he must be quick to preach and if necessary tell someone he is teaching that they are wrong, criticize their thinking and urge them to change their thinking using sound doctrine. At first thought one might think Paul is encouraging Timothy to go around and bash others beliefs and force the teachings of Jesus Christ on others. HOWEVER, I believe that Paul wrote to Timothy in this way to encourage him to work hard to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because Paul explains; “…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itchy ears; And they shall turn away from the truth, and shall be turned into fables [A story that teaches a lesson or a false account].” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

What is Paul trying to say? He is telling Timothy to hurry and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because soon the people will not listen to the TRUE doctrine, because they will consume themselves in their own lusts and find teachers to tell them that what they are doing is ok.

In March of 1839, while in the jail at Liberty, Missouri; Joseph Smith received revelation which the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know as the 123rd Section of the  Doctrine and Covenants, verses 12-13 read;

“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it – Therefore, that we should waster and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven.” (Doctrine and Covenants 123: 12-13) For this reason Paul urged Timothy to work hard to convince his fellow brother and sister of the truth!

Paul explains that he “…is now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

2 Timothy 2

2 Timothy 2: Eternal Glory for the Elect

                Paul writes to Timothy and explains that Timothy will need to “…endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:3) Everyone who follows Jesus Christ needs to know that as followers, it is possible to experience or endure hardness. Persecution can and will happen!

Paul explains that “…if a man strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” (2 Timothy 2:5) – In other words, if someone wants to master something, they must follow the rules of that something. For example: Someone who competes in a sporting event must follow the rules of that event in order to have the chance of becoming victorious. If someone competing breaks the rules, they usually become disqualified for the prize. This is the same as our lives on earth, we are here to learn and prove ourselves worthy to live with our Heavenly Father again.

Just as the farmer must labor to obtain fruit, so must we also labor to obtain the fruit (the reward) or eternal life! “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.” (2 Timothy 2:6)

Paul explains that Jesus Christ was the seed of David and was raised from the dead, Paul says that he endures all things for His sake; for if “…we deny him, he also will deny us.” (2 Timothy 2:12) Paul urges the followers of Christ to “…strive not about words to no profit, but… Study to shew thyself approved unto God…” (2 Timothy 2:14-15) We should not waste our time with things that have no profit to us, instead we should be well studied, so that we can obtain as much knowledge in this life.

Paul leaves us with some very good advice;

“Flee… youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace… the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves…” (2 Timothy 2:22; 24-25)

Galatians 2

Galatians 2: Contending the True Gospel

Paul goes to Jerusalem (after he had been absent for 14 years) and preaches the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church in Jerusalem had accepted Titus even though he was a uncircumcised Greek. Paul preaches that God favors no one. The leaders in Jerusalem (James, Cephas and John) accept the ministry of Paul and his preaching to the gentiles.

Paul publicly expresses his disapproval of Peter, because he had separated himself from the gentile Christians in that area. Paul has to remind Peter that the Gentiles are justified before God, not in their keeping of the law, but by the works they put forth in the name of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1

Galatians 1: The Gospel is Received by Revelations

                Paul speaks to the Galatians and tells them that Jesus Christ died for everyone to; “…deliver us from this present evil world…” (Galatians 1:4) However, Paul is a little concerned for the future of the Gospel and how some men will try to pervert the ways of the Lord and His Gospel truthes;

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But thought we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-8)

Paul was so troubled that so quickly could the Gospel of Jesus Christ be converted into something other than what Jesus Christ taught. However, we know that Satan has influence over some men to change the Gospel to add confusion and strife among the believers of Jesus Christ. Paul however testifies that what he preaches is from the Lord; “…I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12) How did Paul receive his testimony of the Gospel? Through personal revelation! Therefore we learn that obtaining answers to gospel questions can only occur through prayer and personal revelation with God Himself. If we only listen to man, we will obtain an answer that man can give us. However, if we earnestly desire to know the truth and ask God with a sincere heart we will obtain an answer from God that is not temporary like that of the world… but an eternal answer.

Paul ends his address by explaining that he was once a persecutor of the church and those who believed in Christ… but that he had converted and repented of his ways. This shows us that even the most imperfect person can change their lives and come to know the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 11

2 Corinthians 11: Satan sends forth False Prophets

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians with his concern that just as Eve was beguiled by the Devil in the Garden of Eden, so will the Members be fooled into believing a different Gospel than the one he preaches.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have no preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4) In other words, if someone preaches a different gospel than what is the truth, you should not listen to them! Paul goes on to explain that the Gospel has no price, and asks the Corinthians if he has done something wrong by offering them the Gospel free of charge; “Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” (2 Corinthians 111:7) It seems that the Corinthians were confused as to how the gospel could be free, and were somehow offended that they were not being taken advantage of. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is FREE, and no one preaching the gospel should be paid for doing so! That means that ministers, reverends, fathers, pastors, etc. should not be paid!

Paul explains that many will come and deceive them, Paul describes such people as; “…false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ… for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Paul knows that the Corinthians are being fooled and because of this, Paul decides to “…glory after the flesh…for ye suffer fools gladly…” (2 Corinthians 11:18-19) Because the Corinthians are not so accepting of his speaking without having divulged into his credentials and boast of himself… Paul caters to them and boasts of himself;

“(I speak as a fool) … Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” (2 Corinthians 11:23; 25-26) Essentially Paul is saying that he has no need to boast of his credentials, as to why they should listen to him. He should have no need to explain all of his acts, but he does so anyways. Why? Because they wouldn’t listen to him if he didn’t.

2 Corinthians 3

2 Corinthians 3: The Vail is taken away…

                Paul explains that he does not need praise for what he writes and explains is the Gospel of Jesus Christ; “…written not with ink, but with the Spirit…” (2 Corinthians 3:3) Essentially he is saying that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not made of men, sure it can be written down… but the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes from the Spirit.

Paul explains a little about the veil that was taken from Moses when he saw God face-to-face in Exodus 33-34. For we too have a veil over our eyes that makes us see things plainly. However, to fully understand the workings of God we cannot understand them in our Physical state, the veil must be removed.

Paul goes on to explain that “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Essentially, any nation or person that turns away from God will lose its Liberty.

1 Corinthians 10

1 Corinthians 10: Christ is the Rock

                Paul reminds the Corinthians of the Jews that traveled with Moses through the red sea on dry ground. He reminds them that they were all baptized and did all eat and drink from the “…spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4) Paul says that while many followed Moses, an equal number or more were not well favored in the eyes of the Lord. Paul reminds the Corinthians that “…we should not lust after evil things…” (1 Corinthians 10:6)

We also should not… worship idols, fornicate, murmur or tempt Christ as many of the Jews traveling with Moses did do. After having warned about committing sin, Paul reminds them (and us) that God “…will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) So is it wrong to Sin? Yes. Are we all guilty of Sin? Yes. Is there a way to overcome our Sin and become closer to Christ? Yes.

Paul tells us that as a body [group] of people who believe in Christ, when they partake of the Sacrament together, they become one Body… because they are all partaking of the same bread. Paul tells us that we should avoid meat that was offered as a sacrifice to an idol, for it had been offered to a devil. Finally, Paul explains that he is “…not seeking mine [his] own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10:33) Therefore, as an Apostle of the Lord he freely preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ without cost. He does it for the good of others and not himself.