Peter Barnes: Be Single-Minded in The LORD, 2 Timothy 2:3-7 (Sunday 2 August 2020
Morning Service, 9.00 a.m.)
Count Helmuth von Moltke was brought before the Nazi People’s
Court in January 1945, and the head of the court, Ronald Freisler
harangued him: ‘We and Christianity resemble each other in only one
respect: we claim the whole man!’ Von Moltke was hanged with piano
– Psalm 119:10. Paul goes on to give three illustrations of what it
means to be single-minded or whole-hearted.
1. Suffering as a soldier.
– 2:3-4. Paul cannot mean that Timothy cannot hold down a secular job
– Acts 18:1-3. Paul worked in tents so as to preach the gospel for free.
– No soldier says to his commanding officer: ‘Sorry, not today, I have
to fix the car, or there is a television program I do not want to miss.’
2. Keeping the rules as an athlete.
– 2:5. The KJV has ‘If a man strive for masteries …’ but it is
referring to an athlete. It is either referring to training or to rules for
– 1 Cor.9:25. People can profess Christianity, but they do not pray,
they do not know where their Bible is, and they have no idea of the
way of salvation.
3. Working hard as a farmer.
– 2:6; see Proverbs 10:5; 20:4; 24:30-34.
– 1 Cor.15:10. Grace works hard!
4. Meditating as a thinker.
– 2:7; on God’s law – Ps.1:2; on things that are good and true –
Phil.4:8. ‘Think of a soldier, an athlete, a farmer. They suffer, they
obey, they train, they stick to the rules, they work hard.’ Reflect on