Q.

As I read 2 Timothy 1:6, I am wondering what Timothy’s gift was that the apostle Paul referred to.

A.
In the context of his letters, Paul’s spiritual father/son relationship with Timothy comes through clearly. The apostle saw Timothy as his protégé and mantle carrier, and it seems apparent that the passage you mention has to do with Timothy’s gift of pastor/teacher. The verse mentions the “laying on of hands,” which suggests Timothy’s ordination into the ministry (see 1 Timothy 4:14). Paul admonished Timothy to stir up this gift, which indicates that Timothy.

Perhaps due to his youth, inexperience, timidity (2 Timothy 1:7), and even persecution, needed a good nudge in the direction of continuously using his gift to the fullest.

Some scholars have suggested an unusual gift that only Paul as apostle could ever bestow upon someone, some powerful apostolic enabling beyond the ordinary that does not take place today. But I think we must not go beyond what is intended here. Others believe that “gift” is the Holy Spirit. “Which is in you” does remind us of the Holy Spirit Who indwells and empowers believers, but the verse is still speaking of a gift Timothy was to stir up. That this might refer to the Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to fit. We do not stir up (fan; reignite) the Holy Spirit; if anything, He stirs us. And He makes one’s gift(s) effective in the lives of others as the person obeys and takes the initiative in using it (them).

Do you have feedback or a Bible question to submit? Send to nolson@garbc.org or mail to Norman A. Olson in care of the Baptist Bulletin, 1300 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173-4806.

Reprinted from the Baptist Bulletin (January 2001).
© 2001 Regular Baptist Press. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.