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 A Christian missionary who once persecuted the church, does not appear. There is an implicit affirmation of Christ’s preexistence and Incarnation literally means “embodied in flesh.” It is a Christian doctrine, based on the witness in John’s Gospel, that God’s Word was made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds confess the central importance of the incarnation of Jesus. (2 The companion on Paul’s later journeys for whom two pastoral epistles are named 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).
Salvation can mean saved from something (deliverance) or for something (redemption). Paul preached that salvation comes through the death of Christ on the cross which redeemed sinners from death and for a grace-filled life.
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).