Timothy: He is Able



Scripture verse (II Timothy 1:12): “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (Note that Paul says “whom” and not “what”.)



  1. Students should memorize and understand the verse.
  2. Students should understand the context under which Paul was writing.

Background on the book:

            These are two of Paul’s pastoral epistles, letters to Paul’s co-worker Timothy for counsel and encouragement.  Paul had met Timothy when he visited Derbe during his 1st missionary journey.  Timothy was about 18 years old and became a believer.  When Paul revisited Derbe on his 2nd missionary journey, he took Timothy with him as a assistant. Timothy traveled with Paul and often stayed behind to work with new believers in one area while Paul moved on to another.  Timothy became a trusted and loyal friend.  While the book of Acts ends around AD 63 with Paul as a prisoner in Rome under “house arrest”, it is believed that he was acquitted the first time, returned to Asia Minor and Greece, where he was re-arrested (this time by the Romans) and taken back to Rome.  The first letter to Timothy was probably written in AD 64-65 from Macedonia before Paul’s second imprisonment in Rome.

            By the time he wrote II Timothy around AD 66 or 67, Paul was imprisoned in Rome in a dark and damp dungeon.  Nero had burned Rome and blamed the Christians. Paul knew that death by order of Nero was very near.  This would be his last letter.  It contains his last words of encouragement, instruction, and warning.


Possible Lesson Plan:

1.      Open with prayer.

2.      Review the background of the Epistle. Paul is about to die and these are his last words to his good friend, Timothy.  What a life!


3.      Scripture lesson: Have each student read and summarize the salient points of one chapter. Have fewer than 6 students? Let the teacher summarize the other chapters.

·         I Timothy 1: The law and grace – What is the purpose of the Mosaic law? (for the ungodly, to lead them to Christ) What is grace? (unmerited favor) Who did Jesus come to save? Who does Paul say is the chief of sinners? Where do we see these words, “of whom I am chief”? (Pre-communion prayer) Review the life of St. Paul and his conversion. How can our faith suffer “shipwreck”?

·         I Timothy 2: Faithful prayer – What’s it like? Where do we also see the line “kings and all who are in authority”? (litany), How should we pray?

·         I Timothy 3: Orders of clergy are defined here for the first time – What’s a bishop? Qualifications? Deacons? What about wives? Where is the FIRST creed of the church? (vs. 16). Where and when did we get our present creed? (Nicea, 325 AD)

·         I Timothy 4: What are the characteristics of orthodox doctrine and spirituality? Of false teachers? WHO is too young to teach?

·         Summarize for the students Chapter 5: Care of widows and honor elders.

·         I Timothy 6: Christian view of wealth – What do we bring into the world? What can we take out? What does it mean to say, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”? Review the story of the rich young ruler in the gospels. Do we trust in riches? In a good income and pension plan?

·         II Timothy 1: Summarize for the students, Paul is recounting his imprisonment and his love for Timothy and thanksgiving for Timothy’s ministry. Our memory verse comes from this chapter and will be discussed in more detail later.

·         II Timothy 2: Summarize for the students. Paul is encouraging Timothy to be hard-working in his ministry, like a winning athlete or victorious soldier, and not to give up; he is building on a solid foundation and need not be ashamed of the truth.

·         II Timothy 3: Moral decline and the Scriptures – Do we see in today’s society any of the characteristics noted in verses 1-7? How can WE discern the truth in this cacophony of voices? Here is a very famous Scripture verse, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

·         II Timothy 4: Summarize for the students – Timothy is a preacher, Paul is exhorting him to preach the truth, the Word of God. Do we see people seeking truth today? Where are they looking? Are they, as Paul says, heaping up teachers …of fables?


4.      Review other Old and New Testament men and women who knew whom they believed: Noah, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Elijah, John the Baptist.  What gave them courage in the face of death?


5.      Discussion questions:

Why did Paul die? Had he committed some sin or crime? Then why should

he be ashamed? How could Paul know that he need not fear death? Did Paul trust a set of religious beliefs or a person he had come to know intimately?

What is death? Are you afraid of dying? Are you afraid of suffering? Who is the ruler of death? When was death defeated? Review the Pascha song, “trampling down death by death”?

Does God promise us we will have no tough times? Did His saints have an

      easy life? What does He promise us?


6.      Close with prayer.