What’s Imperative for Ministers?
On my latest investigation I found
thirty-two explicit commands given in the epistle of
II Timothy. In thirty-two verbs in the imperative mood
Paul tells Timothy what is absolutely necessary, urgent,
and compelling. Paul makes it difficult to miss the
focus of his instruction, because seventeen
of those commands, more than half, deal with the ministry
of the Word.
Let’s read through these instructions.
II Timothy 1:8:
Be not thou therefore ashamed (imp.)
of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner:
but be thou partaker (imp.)
of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power
That’s a good place
to start. Let’s not be ashamed of the Word; it’s
the power of God unto salvation. If we suffer hardship
for the sake of the gospel, we do not let it deter us.
II Timothy 1:13,14:
Hold fast (imp.) the form
of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith
and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14That good thing which
was committed unto thee keep (imp.)
by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
This Word is established
in our lives as we hold it fast and do not allow anyone
to separate it from us. We should keep this valued trust
and operate manifestations of the spirit so that we
maintain and demonstrate the wholesome reality of the
Word in our lives.
II Timothy 2:1,2:
Thou therefore, my son, be strong (imp.)
in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2And the things that thou
hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit
(imp.) thou to faithful men,
who shall be able to teach others also.
As we realize God’s
wonderful grace that has allowed us to be put in trust
with the gospel, we speak boldly. We share the same
truths that delivered our lives in the same way with
the same heart to others who will rise up, follow our
example, and do the same.
II Timothy 2:7,8:
Consider (imp.) what I say;
and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from
the dead according to my gospel:
We meditate on the truth
of God’s Word for understanding, considering it
over and over again, remembering relentlessly that our
risen savior is alive and in us as we minister.
II Timothy 2:14-16:
Of these things put them in remembrance (imp.),
charging them before the Lord that they strive not about
words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16But shun (imp.)
profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto
It is our responsibility
to rightly divide the word of truth and charge others
to do the same. The Word alone stands. Its truth endures
forever. The ramblings and babblings of man only undermine
and corrupt and increase ungodliness. The Word is without
error and without deficiency. It is perfect and has
everything we need. We dare not add to it or subtract
from it. It is worthy of our study and pursuit.
II Timothy 2:23:
But foolish and unlearned questions avoid (imp.),
knowing that they do gender strifes.
In our diligent effort
to live and proclaim the truth, we must not be sidetracked.
There are so many important battles to fight, we must
not put our efforts into piddling trifles. We have only
one life to live and give. Let’s not waste it
on second hand causes and crusades.
II Timothy 3:14:
But continue (imp.) thou in
the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured
of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
We must continue in these
things because as the immediate context declares: This
Word of God is God-breathed and profitable that we might
be fully equipped for every good work. Why would we
ever end the greatest adventure man has undertaken.
II Timothy 4:2:
Preach (imp.) the word; be
instant (imp.) in season,
out of season; reprove (imp.),
rebuke (imp.), exhort with
all longsuffering and doctrine.
As this Word of truth
becomes dear to us, we waste no time or opportunity
to preach it. Knowing what it did for us we offer it
freely to others.
II Timothy 4:13:
The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou
comest, bring (imp.) with
thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
parchments.” “Especially the parchments!”
When we are diligent to see to our needs, let’s
not forsake our greatest one. The parchments, Paul’s
epistles, the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the
great mystery. Let’s never be ashamed of it, and
let’s never lose the appreciation of their unique
importance to our lives. The proper attitude concerning
God’s Word, will take us a long way to incorporating
it to our lives.