What does 2 Timothy 1:7 mean?
ESV: for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
NIV: For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
NASB: For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
CSB: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
NLT: For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
KJV: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
NKJV: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Verse Commentary:
The opening phrase of this verse may explain why Paul dwells so much on concepts such as bravery and spiritual strength when writing to Timothy. It's possible this represented a spiritual weakness which Paul was helping Timothy to overcome. Perhaps Timothy was content in his role of serving alongside Paul and did not prefer to be the outspoken leader of a large movement of Christians. And yet, this was the role Timothy held in Ephesus at the time Paul wrote this letter. However, Paul urged Timothy to stand strong. Rather than fear, God had given a spirit or attitude of "power and love and self-control."

"Power" has always been an important part of God's work in the church. In the next verse, Paul notes again the "power of God." In 2 Timothy 3:5, he will speak against those who have an appearance of godliness, but deny its power.

"Love" was also vital theme for Paul (1 Corinthians 13) as well as a prominent topic in the teachings of Jesus. Self-control was a theme in 1 Timothy (1 Timothy 2:9, 15) and appears here again. Paul routinely reminded believers under his care to exhibit self-control, as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23).
Verse Context:
Second Timothy 1:3–7 encourages Timothy to be brave in the face of hardships. Paul reminds Timothy that he is being prayed for, and that he comes from a family of strong faith. Paul also reassures Timothy that they are both in service of the same God, who gave them a spirit of ''power and love and self-control.''
Chapter Summary:
Paul introduces himself, then recaps Timothy's path to becoming a minister. He reminds Timothy of how his family brought him up in the faith, and then how Timothy served faithfully with Paul in the past. Paul then focuses on two primary ideas. First, that Timothy's background in the faith should give him the courage to stand fast against hard times. Second, that Timothy should use that courage to defend the truth of the gospel message. Paul will use these points and examples as the foundation for the rest of his letter.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 establishes Timothy's spiritual background. Paul expresses gratitude for Timothy, by reminding him of his past, in order to set the stage for later teachings. Paul first expresses gratitude for Timothy's prior faithfulness, and reminds him of how God called him into ministry. From that point, Paul encourages Timothy to be brave and to guard the truth of the gospel message. Later chapters will explain why Paul feels these traits are necessary, both for the sake of the world and for Timothy in general.
Book Summary:
Second Timothy is the last New Testament letter written by Paul. Paul writes these words while awaiting execution by Rome. At this time, around AD 67, Timothy was leading the church in Ephesus. Paul writes to Timothy in order to encourage him. Paul is facing the worst of all hardships: his own impending death. So, he encourages Timothy to stand strong in his faith, with a reliance on the written Word of God. This letter echoes many of the themes Paul uses in his other letters.
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