The Meaning of II Timothy 1:7
The world we live in is a scary place, there is so much reason to fear. This fear is not the fear of God but that of a fear of man. We have fear of all manners in our world today.
Fear in many different ways and forms. Fear of pandemic, sickness, and diseases that have defiled medical solutions, fear of earthquake, terrorism, anxiety, worries, kidnapping- fear of everything.
This bible verse is an exhortation from Paul to Timothy as well as to every believer, especially in this dying world where fear has gripped the lives of many. However, nothing should cause a believer to fear.
God has given us the power to overcome the spirit of fear with boldness, the power to love in this world of uncertainty and self-control when we can’t manage things around us.
Come with me to see why we need not fear.
Who wrote II Timothy 1:7 and when was it written?
Paul the Apostle wrote the book of II Timothy 1:7. It was written between 90 AD and 140 AD.
What is the context of II Timothy 1:7?
The context of II Timothy 1 is to remind Timothy to maintain the faith he has demonstrated in the past and to encourage him to be brave and ready for sufferings that await him for the gospel according to the power of God.
Paul wrote this chapter from the Roman prison cell, just before he died in AD 67. The entire second epistle of Paul to Timothy was written at the end of his ministry, just before his death.
Paul first acknowledges Timothy’s genuine faith and diligence to the gospel of Christ. He reminded him of how he was called into the ministry and how faithful he was. It was like Paul writing a handover note to Timothy.
One could feel the spiritual parenthood relationship between Paul and Timothy.
II Timothy 1:2 says,
“To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul referred to him as his son even though he is not his biological son, no wonder he mentioned how he never cease praying for him.
Paul admonishes Timothy to stir up the gift of God which is in him through the laying on of his hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.
Paul’s main concern is how Timothy would be able to hold himself and still be strong in faith at his death. This is the reason he desired to see Timothy, knowing that he can comfort him better.
This is an encouraging chapter for all believers. We are meant not to be ashamed but to be openly identified with Christ at all times by sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus. (II Timothy 1:8-9)
Paul mentioned in Romans 1 verse 16 to 17,
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Apostle Peter closes the chapter, encouraging us to hold fast on to the word of God and to keep our good works by the Holy Spirit that dwells in us.
What is the message of II Timothy 1:7?
The message of II Timothy 1:7 means God has given us the Spirit of boldness and not of fear, of love, because He loved us first and of sound mind to take charge of situations around us. These three, power, love, and sound mind make a person’s life successful, profitable, and restorative.
The scripture says that the righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverb 28:1) and we belong to the tribe of the lion of Judah. If we belong to that tribe, we cannot be anything less. We have the spiritual DNA of a lion inside us. A giant cannot give birth to a dwarf.
Boldness is one of the major characteristics the Holy Ghost imparted on believers after Jesus ascended into heaven. (Acts 2). If you are not bold, then you will be fearful. When fear comes upon a believer, it does not leave the person the same way positively. Most times, we are a victim of what we fear.
The scriptures say in Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” You are a product of your thoughts. If you have trust in God, you will not fear. No one can have faith and fear at the same time. We all need the Spirit of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
As Christians, we must possess a sound mind which empowers us to live faithfully. It allows us not to be slaves to our fleshy desires, pride, and ego. As we align ourselves with the word of God, we will find ourselves not out of control but being able to live our lives in joy, patience, love, etc.
No matter the chains of fear that come your way, when those lies come to the heart and those voices come speaking in your head, fight them with the truth of God’s word. Jesus died for you because He loves you and His power and love are in you so do not be afraid.
You have a sound mind that when the wind or storm blows, Jesus is your anchor in the storm, His love and faithfulness never changes nor fail.
What is the meaning of “For God has not given us a spirit of fear” ?
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear” means God will not give us what will destroy us. Fear is not of God but of the devil and it’s a destroyer. Rather, we have been given power and boldness by God to subdue the enemies or obstacles.
Fear is the most influential emotion in the world right now, we must beware of it. There is nothing in the devil and his agents to cause a believer to fright. Fear is out to challenge your trust and confidence in God.
The devil knows that he cannot destroy you until he has put fear in you. If he can succeed in putting fear in you, he will hinder you from doing great things for yourself and God.
Break off from the hold of fear in your life and determine to live fearlessly. Don’t allow fear to stop you from fulfilling God’s plan for your life. We need to know who we are in Christ and that we have not been given the spirit of timidity.
Although the scripture warns us of trials and tribulations we will suffer in the world but also admonished us that God has overcome them for us because He that is in us is greater than He that is in the world.
Acts 4:8-13, 29 illustrated the boldness of Peter and John when they testified about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus before the hateful Jewish council and the early church reacted against them by praying for God’s help to continue speaking the word “with all boldness” Peter and John were not afraid to speak about the risen Jesus even though they knew they could be killed. They dammed the consequences.
II Timothy 1:14 tells us “That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” He that dwells in us does not produce fear, we are no longer a slave a fear. We are overcomers and victorious through the blood of Jesus.
What is the meaning of “But of power”?
“But of power” means strength of the mind and faith given to us by God through the Holy Spirit. Power is not wished for, but it’s a gift of the Holy Ghost which He endues a believer with. It is the power from heaven, it achieves far more than we can think or imagine through a believer.
We are limited in our strength so we need the power of God in our lives. True strength does not come by relying on our capabilities but Christ. God’s grace is sufficient for us in times of need because His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
What is the meaning of “Of love”?
“Of love” is about God Himself who is love and the love for others. The word “love” was used 51 times by Jesus during His teachings. Love from humans may fail but God’s love can never fail. You cannot have love (God) in you and be timid. Love is the fulfillment of all laws.
Every one of us needs love in our lives, but God’s kind of love is not what we struggle to produce through our flesh. It can be produced in us as spiritual fruit. When you abide in God and God in you, you are carrying His nature of love.
When you love God and others around you, you will not be afraid of what man can do to you because God abides in you. He demonstrated this first by sending His son to die for us and to liberate us from these spirits of fear (John 3:16). This same love will move through us to other people. What other love can be greater than this?
What is the meaning of “And of a sound mind”?
“And of a sound mind” means God has given us a self-controlled and self-disciplined spirit against every confusion and panic that comes in any fearful situation. He has given us control over every ugly situation or obstacle on our path that is hindering the gift of God in our life or for progress.
Sound mind or self-control is the work of the dwelling Spirit of God in us. The Spirit detests sin, strives to please God, thinks and acts with wisdom, and reorganizes our shattered lives.
Roman 8:9c says, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” If you do not have the Spirit of God in you, then you are far from having a sound mind or self-control characteristics.
I Corinthians 2:16 mentioned that “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” We see here that Apostle Paul confirmed that we have the mind of Christ. Without the mind of Christ, we can do nothing meaningful for ourselves. We will only be tossed around by our impulses and fleshy efforts. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, we will achieve all that God has set for us to accomplish.
What is the meaning of the 'Spirit of fear' and examples of it?
The spirit of fear is a demonic and tormenting spirit. It aims to hinder you from being joyful or overcoming past physical or mental emotions, sometimes it torment its victim of the future, the one we call “the fear of the unknown.” It will also keep you from fulfilling your God-ordained destiny and will keep you awake with nightmares.
Examples of the spirit of fear can be seen in the life of Job. Job said in (Job 3:25)
“For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.”
What is the meaning of the 'Spirit of power' and examples of it?
The Spirit of Power is the unfailing power that God freely gives to His children to overcome fear and to cast out demons. The Holy Spirit is the custodian of the power of God. It is the first manifestation of the Holy Spirit when it comes upon believers.
Acts 1: 8 says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus knew they cannot triumph in the Christian race without power. He said to them in Luke 24 verse 49,
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high..”
Examples of the Spirit of Power was demonstrated immensely by the Apostles of Christ. The scripture says, the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.” Jesus assured them of whom they are in Luke 10 verse 19,
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
What is the meaning of the 'Spirit of Love' and examples of it?
“The Spirit of Love” is God Himself. God is a Spirit and God is love. (I John 4:8) He is the Spirit of God that dwells in a believer. Apostle Paul encouraged believers in Romans 5:5 saying “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
It is the Holy Spirit that makes the love of God in the heart of a believer so great that it overflows. Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit and probably the most well-known (Galatians 5:22).
Love is a fruit demonstrating the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit of love cannot be copied or emulated, it comes only by abiding in Christ Jesus. As the Spirit of love dwells in us, we bear His fruits.
Examples of the Spirit of love are is the one that makes us love God, love His creatures, and love His words. It makes you to love everything that God loves.
This is the kind Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to seek in (I Timothy 4:12 and I Timothy 6:11). Paul admonishes Timothy to love and set an example for other believers to follow.
What is the difference in biblical translations of II Timothy 1:7 (NKJV, NIV & ESV)?
“Timid” is mentioned in NIV while “Fear” was used both in NKJV and ESV.
Timid means lack of confidence. Fear set in when confidence is lost.
“Self-discipline” and “Self-control” mean the same as mentioned in NIV and ESV.
“Sound mind” as mentioned in NKJV means godly thoughts. If you have godly thoughts, you will have self-discipline.
However, the three translations have the same meaning.
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV biblical translation “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
II Timothy 1:7 NIV biblical translation “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
II Timothy 1:7 ESV biblical translation “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
How do I apply II Timothy 1:7 to my life?
Applying 1 Timothy 1:7 to my life is to live a Godly life. Feed on the word of God daily, love God, and others around you, and obey His commandments.
No wonder Joshua 1:8 tells us “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success”
You want to have success in all that you do, dwell on His word. As you do, you begin to exhibit the nature of Christ with boldness and power, and all things that you fear will begin to tremble under your feet because you are more than a conqueror.
What is a II Timothy 1:7 prayer?
Heavenly Father, thank You for being mindful of me because you have not given me the spirit of fear. Thank You for the constant presence of Your Spirit in my life. Lord, empower me with abundant strength and courage as I go about today’s activities.
Let my life be a continuous testimony and demonstration of the Spirit of love dwelling in me.
King of Glory, deliver me from worry, anxiety, and fear. Help me to trust in you, knowing that You are my peace. Help me to live in the spirit you have given unto me, of power, love, and sound mind. There is no one like you Lord. I praise and worship you through Christ our Lord. AMEN
Champions are made out of challenges. It is the exaggeration of your situation that brings fear. Don’t magnify your situation, don’t let the challenges of life trouble you, they are meant to tremble before you because you have been given the spirit of power to conquer every obstacle.
You need the infusion of the Spirit of faith to be free from the spirit of fear and bondage. As a believer, the Holy Spirit dwells in you and He does not produce fear. Walk in the same way as the Holy Spirit direct you.