Does 2 Timothy belong in our Bible? Is it relevant to us?
My exegetical thread from Philip the Evangelist to You the Evangelist runs through 2 Timothy. But in order to do that, I have to answer "yes" to those first two questions.
2 Timothy (and the rest of the pastoral epistles) was given by God to help us know, love and obey him. Note the "us." I'm including the dude named "Timothy" as one of us. The letter was to him initially, but it is also (in a way) to all of us.
Here's the complexity: Where 2 Timothy says "remember Jesus Christ," it can apply to Timothy and to us, clearly; Where it says "bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas," it applies to Timothy and not to us. So, when it says "do the work of an evangelist," was that to Timothy alone or to all of us? I clearly land on the "all of us" side.
But why? The context of the passage doesn't make it clear. Contextually, it could go either way.
This is where we telescope out, trying to run the right way around the circle of analogical predication, we come to a clearer understanding of what is an Evangelist. What did Philip do (as far as we can tell)? What did 2 Timothy call Timothy to do (in the immediate context)? Do we see an overlap between Philip's activity and Timothy's call and the call to all believers given in Scripture?
Philip was mentioned in Acts...
- going to Samaria and proclaiming Christ there (8:5)
- doing miraculous signs (8:6)
- preaching the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ (8:12)
- listening to an angel, building a relationship with a eunich, and telling him the good news about Jesus (8:26-35)
- travelling about, preaching the gospel (8:40)
- baptizing Samaritans, Simon Magus, and the unnamed Ethiopian eunich (8:12, 13, 38)
Timothy is called to...
- preach the Word (v. 2)
- correct, rebuke and encourage (v. 2)
- keep his head in all situations (v. 5)
- endure hardship (v. 5)
- do the work of an evangelist (v. 5)
- discharge all the duties of his ministry (v. 5)
Do you see, in those lists, anything we might be called to do as followers of Christ?