Lesson 5 of 5
In Progress

Theological Themes of 2 Timothy


Four major christological titles appear in the Pastoral Epistles: “Christ,” “Lord,” “Savior,” and “Mediator.” The title “Son of God,” used often in the seven undisputed letters of Paul, does not appear. There is an implicit affirmation of Christ’s preexistence and incarnation (2 Timothy 1:9-10; see also 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:11), his true humanity is maintained (2 Timothy 2:8; see also 1 Timothy 2:5; 6:13), and his death is acknowledged (2 Timothy 2:11; see also 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14). He has been exalted to heaven and reigns in the present era (2 Timothy 1:10; 2:12; see also 1 Timothy 3:16). Finally, he will appear at the end of time (2 Timothy 4:8; see also 1 Timothy 6:14), when he will judge both the living and the dead (2 Timothy 1:18; 4:1, 8).


People commit “sins” (2 Timothy 3:6; see also 1 Timothy 1:15; 5:22, 24) due to serving the self and its passions (2 Timothy 3:2-5; see also Titus 2:12). The result is a life leading away from eternal life and toward judgment and eternal death. Salvation consists primarily of the divine rescue of persons from mortality–with its sins, ignorance, and unbelief–for life in the eternal and heavenly kingdom of God (2 Timothy 1:10; 4:18). Christ gave himself as a ransom for all (see 1 Timothy 2:6), thereby bearing the divine judgment against sins for the benefit of others (see Titus 2:14). Being raised from death, he “abolished death and brought life and imperishability to light” (2 Timothy 1:10), exposing life and immortality for all to see as a possibility for themselves. Finally, he will come to rescue his people and save them for his heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18).