Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I Have Not Been Given a Spirit of Fear

I am secure...In Christ, I am totally secure; I renounce the lie that I am guilty, unprotected, alone or abandoned. I am free from any condemnation brought against me I am hidden with Christ in God. I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
2 Tim 1:7, For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. AMP
  for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.’
For relates this verse with the previous one and gives the ground or basis for the challenge to Timothy to keep God's gift alive.
God did not give us may also be expressed as "God did not cause us to be" or "God did not cause us to have."
The word for timidity occurs only here in the whole New Testament. The word pertains to a state of being afraid due to lack of courage, hence "cowardice" (NRSV). The interpretation of the phrase a spirit of timidity depends on how spirit is understood. This is so because "spirit" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible. If spirit here refers to the human spirit, that is, to the inner being of a person or the state in which a person finds himself or herself, then a spirit of timidity is another way of saying "a timid spirit." The whole clause can then be restructured as: "God did not make us timid" (compare TNT "God did not make us cowards") or "God did not give us a timid spirit." It is possible, however, to take spirit here as referring to the Holy Spirit, so that the clause is stating that the Holy Spirit does not make one timid. Many commentaries in fact offer this opinion, but only a few translations make this information explicit (for example, TEV, French Common Language Version FRCL). Some translations make a distinction between the first and second occurrences of "spirit," with the second occurrence being identified with God's Spirit (compare NJB "God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self control"). While all three are possible, the second of these options seems to make better sense.
At any rate, as is often the case in these letters, a list of qualities or traits is given, starting with the negative, and continuing on with the positive. Here the negative trait is timidity, and the positive traits are power, love, and self-control. Power here is not physical but refers to the spiritual strength that enables Christians to be victorious over adverse circumstances and to remain faithful to their Lord. Another way of saying this is "strength in our hearts (or, minds)."
For love compare 1 Tim 1:5. The focus here is on people's love for other people, rather than their love for God or God's love for people.
The word for self-control occurs only here in the whole New Testament and refers to "self discipline," "good judgment" (SPCL), and "moderation." Its opposite is excessive self-indulgence or lack of good sense.
I am Secure I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

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