2 Timothy | 12:1-72:8-192:20-263 | 4:1-5 | 4:6-22 | PDF |

This 2 Timothy 2:8-19 Bible study contains outlines, commentary, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

2 Timothy 2:8-19 Bible Study Lesson And Commentary


I. Endure (7-13)
II. Focus on what is important (14-19)

I. Endure (7-13)

Discussion Questions

  • How does God give us understanding?How can we increase our understanding?
  • What was the reason Paul was willing to suffer so much?
  • How can remembering Christ help encourage us to face suffering without giving up?
  • What fact encouraged Paul even in the midst of his imprisonment?
  • In verse 10, Paul says, “for this reason.” For what reason?
  • What is Paul’s goal in all of this? Are you willing to face death in order to see the gospel spread?
  • What does it mean to die with him?
  • When can we reign with Him?
  • What does it mean, “if we deny Him, He will deny us?”


On Meditation:

Joshua 1:8 – Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Psalm 1:2 – But whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Proverbs 4:20-22 – My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.

Psalms 119: 97 – I have suffered much; preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Jesus is your inspiration (8-9) – Remembering Jesus’ example, could encourage Timothy to face suffering without fear or giving up. Jesus’ suffering and His sacrifice for us should also motivate us to face persecution boldly without thought of compromise. Jesus gave His life for us even though we had done nothing for Him and had done everything against Him. We should be willing to give our lives for Him who has done everything for us.

2. The Word of God is not imprisoned – No matter what happens to you, God’s enemies cannot stop the spread of His Word. Many times God even uses the death of His saints to begin revivals. There was once many soldiers in a Roman legion who become believers. The commander was ordered to take the out on a frozen lake, strip them, and wait for them to die of cold. Out on the lake, they prayed and sang hymns of praise to God, who they knew were with them in the face of persecution. Their example of devotion and joy in the midst of suffering was so great that the commander himself became a believer, joined them, and died with them out on the ice.

In a more recent example there was a guard in a Muslim country who was instructed to torture his Christian prisoner. The love and forgiveness he saw in that prisoner melted his heart and he too became a believer.

Application: Knowing that the enemies of the cross can never stop the gospel from spreading should give you boldness to stand firm in the faith.

3. The lost motivate us – Jesus is our inspiration. Yet He is not the only reason Paul (and we) must endure. Another thing driving Paul was the necessity to keep sharing the gospel so that all of God’s elect would hear and believe. We should have the same drive to share the gospel with the lost. Like Paul did, do you also say “woe is me” if I don’t share the gospel?

5. Verses 11-13 – We die with him figuratively when we die to our sins and are “baptized” into His death. We must die to live. If we die to ourselves, we can live for Christ. But we won’t only live with Him. We will also reign with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:3. Mark 8:38.)

Malachi 3:6 Bible Verse

God’s character doesn’t change. God will not break His promises even when we do. God will not abandon us even when we sin. In Deuteronomy 31:6 we learn that God will never leave us or forsake us. But yet verse 12 also has a warning. If we publicly deny our belief in Christ, then He too will be ashamed of us. God is willing to forgive as we see in the example of Peter. At the same time we should remember that true believers will repent as Peter also did.

II. Focus on what is important (14-19)

Discussion Questions

  • Who is the “them” in verse 14?
  • What does it mean to “wrangle about words?” Can you give any examples?
  • What is the result of arguing about words?
  • What does verse 15 tell us we should focus on instead?
  • In what way are we to be a “workman?”
  • Why does this workman not need to be ashamed?
  • What is the word of truth? How are we to handle it? What will it look like in our lives if we are a workman accurately handling the word of truth?
  • What kind of talk is worldly and empty?
  • What will the result of it be?
  • What should you do if the people around you want to talk about these things?
  • What can you do to steer conversations toward more meaningful topics?
  • What is the relationship between verse 19 and the rest of the chapter?
  • How does the knowledge that the “Lord knows those who are His” effect your everyday life?


Matthew 12:36-37 – But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Proverbs 12:28 – In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.

James 1:26 – Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Ephesians 5:6 – Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

Proverbs 10:19 – Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Overview – In the past chapter and a half we have learned that Timothy should not give in to fear. He should stand strong and uncompromising on the truth of God’s Word. He should not turn away from Paul or the Lord. He should be strong in God’s grace and not give up because of persecution. He should renew his zeal for serving the Lord. He should give his life for the Lord. He should endure to the very end. He should remain faithful no matter what.

Starting in verse 14 we see Paul encourages Timothy not to get sidetracked, but instead to focus on the important things. He is also to remind those he taught of the same principle. It makes sense that Paul would want to remind Timothy of this. Paul was facing an imminent death. That brings perspective. He could look back at his life and ministry and know what was important and what wasn’t. He knew what was worth arguing about and taking a stand on and what was not.

A lot of people do not understand this. By nature, we are prideful and want to be right. And when all we care about is being right, we lose sight of what is really important. In these verses Paul reminds Timothy of what is important and what is not.

Application: Seek to understand, not debate. There are issues that are worth “fighting” about. The purity of the gospel is one. Jesus’ deity is another. However, most arguments are not worth fighting at all. Before you engage in a debate, ask yourself if it is even worth winning.

2. Do not wrangle about words – Do not get stuck on minute details. Arguing is not something which we should take any kind of pleasure in. We should not pridefully seek to defend our own opinion on obscure and unimportant matters. This is so important that Paul tells Timothy to charge the people in the presence of God not to be like this.

We have probably all been around people who enjoy arguing, wanting to show how smart they are by correcting others on meaningless points. These people often interrupt others to correct them: “It wasn’t 12:30 when we went. It was 12:20.” “That happened Tuesday, not Wednesday!”

Do you enjoy being around these kinds of people? While they may just desire to show how smart they are, in reality it just annoys people and doesn’t accomplish anything productive. Believers may do the same thing toward the Bible.

I knew a guy who attended a church. He wrote emails to at least three different speakers criticizing very small points in their messages. They wrote back gracious and considerate replies in essence saying, “It is not so important. We will have to agree to disagree.” But he could not take that as an answer. He continued sending email after email trying to force them to agree with his viewpoints. He became angry and bitter, often resorting to arguing face to face with people who disagreed with him. His emails often referenced his seminary education as a reason why they should listen to him. This man was sidetracked by details. He missed out on the most important things of following Christ like love and unity and mercy and kindness and instead allowed his pride to take over. According to Paul this is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.

When he kept arguing over triviality I suggested to those people who kept being approached by him to follow the instruction in Titus 3:10, “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.”

Titus 3:10 Bible Verse

Application: What can we learn from this? How can we avoid these things? We should ask ourselves “is this important enough to argue about?” before we start arguing. There are some things that are worth arguing about. Examples include the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture, etc. But many things are not. If it is not worth arguing about, then don’t argue about it.

4. Verse 15 – Wh