The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 147 of 181
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4: 5, - end.
pp. 232 - 240
The Apostle, having given his last solemn charge to Timothy in view of his impending
martyrdom, goes on to say:
"Do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. For I am already being offered, and
the time of my departure is come" (II Tim. 4: 5, 6, R.V.).
Paul had already used the words `depart' and `offered' once before in Phil. 1: 23 and
2: 17. The R.V. margin of verse 6 points out that the word `offered' (spendomai) means
`poured out as a drink offering', a beautiful figure of sacrificial spending of himself in
service for His Lord. We readily understand this figure when we see people giving their
lives in devoted service for others. We say they are `pouring themselves out' for the
benefit of other people. Thus it was with the Apostle Paul; his conception of service was
to spend himself and all that he had without stint for his Saviour and Lord. This was the
`mind of Christ Jesus' (Phil. 2: 5-8) Who freely gave Himself for sinners to the utmost,
even to Calvary's cross, and this attitude of mind remained with Paul right to the very
We might well ask ourselves, how much does our Christian service cost us? Are we
willing to go `all out' for the One Who gave His all for us? Service that does not cost is
worth very little!
Paul continues:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith:
henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous Judge, shall give to me at that day: and not only to me, but also to all them that
have loved His appearing" (4: 7, 8, R.V.).
The three perfect tenses here convey a sense of finality. For the Apostle this is the
end. In I Tim. 6: 12 he had appealed to Timothy to `fight the good fight of faith' and
now he states that his own fight is over. "I have finished my course (race)" he declares.
When he addressed the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:, considering the afflictions that lay
ahead, he said,
"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I
might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord
Jesus" (Acts 20: 24).
This was his own aim all along, `one thing I do . . . . . I press toward the mark for the
prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus' (Phil. 3: 13, 14). He has now attained
his goal and could write with truth: "I have finished (completed) the race (course)".
While he was running he had to say `not as though I had already attained' (Phil. 3: 12).
Now he has the assurance that at last he had breasted the tape and won the victor's crown.
We have seen that the `crown' speaks of the added reward and reigning of the overcomer