The Scriptures command that we be faithful to Christ.
At the time the apostle Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, Christians were being persecuted by the Roman Emperor Nero. Paul was in prison at Rome, awaiting his death for the sake of the gospel, and Timothy was at Ephesus, facing adversity for the sake of the gospel. This letter turned out to be, not only a letter of encouragement to Timothy to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus, but also a source of encouragement for Christians since then who have read and studied this letter. This lesson is a reminder that we must not be ashamed of the gospel, and we must remain firm in our commitment to Christ, regardless of the opposition we face from the unbelieving world.
So many times in the church today we hear the word “offended”. While the Bible guidelines are surrounded and focused on the love and mercy of God and our savior Jesus Christ, it runs parallel with the commands and truths that we must abide with. Look back at the opening statement, “Paul was in prison at Rome.” I wonder how many people today would still be focused on others spiritual well being while in prison and awaiting execution. While we will surely become offended by the world, we can never let the gospel truth and exhorted preaching cause self reproach. May we ever serve the Lord with an open mind and open heart to what He has to say, and what He desires to change.
Question to self: How strong, how durable, is my commitment to Christ and the Gospel?
DO NOT BE ASHAMED
A. Do Not be Afraid
2Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2Ti 1:2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2Ti 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
2Ti 1:4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
2Ti 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
…….What a testimony of remembrance!Great chances are, our children are going to be only as dedicated and responsible as we are. When troubled times and temptations come, the easiest state to resort to, is how mom and dad reacted. It is important that we be proactive in our dedication, setting the best Godly example possible for the ones around us.
2Ti 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
…….because Timothy had a pastoral ministry promise from God, He was reminded to not be afraid of what was to come. Often times we get caught on the what if’s of life. If God has called us, he will keep us and perform through us!
B. Hold On to the Truth
2Ti 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker (have company) of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
…….While in prison, Paul fought the thoughts of his closest friends being ashamed of the outcome of his afflictions. Not only did he encouraged to not be ashamed, but to also be a partaker in everything that comes with the ministry. (What we call today, through the good and bad, through the thick and thin.)
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
…….Do you realize how holy the calling is? Paul said this calling was given to us before the world began! God’s whole purpose in creating mankind was to be close to Him. This was His eternal plan from the very beginning! The calling means to be summoned to His side! When we have been called to His side and have experienced the supernatural experience of being by His side, we do all we can to stay by His side!
It is God’s desire to empower His people to minister to all who are without. When we let Him do the work, we can be positive that it WILL work! He didn’t call us because of the good He seen in us, He called us because He knows how powerful He can be in us!
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
…….Before Jesus Christ appeared on the earth, mankind had only heard of God and the messiah which was to come. Now that he had come after waiting so many years, proving himself through every prophecy, there was no greater commission than to preach the gospel.
2Ti 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
2Ti 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
…….Paul had experienced through faith the power that comes with being faithful to Christ! No matter the sufferings that would surely come, He was persuaded that the Lord would keep him! Are you persuaded that the Lord will keep you?!
2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
…….Whatever the calling is and no matter what is to come, the Holy Ghost will cause us to stand firm in what we believe. While others may fall by the way side in the process, as long as we remain with the Holy Ghost we will not be shaken.
BE STRONG IN CHRIST’S GRACE
A. Be Strong and Disciplined
2Ti 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
…….Through the same grace that was able to save us, comes the strength that is able to keep us. This unmerited favor that called us from the depths of sin provides power that can keep us from ever going back!
2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
…….Preachers make preachers, Teachers make teachers, and all ministries are able to have the same effect. When we commit ourselves to ministry we are making a commitment to produce ministers. What a thought, that while we allow God to use us He’s is transforming others for the use of His ministry! I want to be used by God!
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure (undergo, encounter and live through) hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
…….We have got to be ready to fight. There hasn’t been one person in the will of God that hasn’t had to fight for what was to come.
God doesn’t give a ministry without a proving! We have to prove that we want it more than life itself!
Too many people, as soon as the road gets a little bumpy, when the weather gets a little stormy, and when the heat gets a little uncomfortable, they just walk the other way, not knowing that the reward was only steps away!
2Ti 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
…….The fight is all about the Lord! I am determined to fight for the one who fought for me!
B. Identify With Christ
2Ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
…….This is what it means to be a Christian. There is an eternal reward for all things in Christ!
LIVE FOR GOD
A. Prepare to Serve God
2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting (overthrow, apostasy) of the hearers.
…….A diluted gospel causes diluted believers. There is nothing more dangerous than a minister who’s heart is not balanced with truth.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
…….It is our duty to teach and preach the truth in all circumstances. There are times it may be tough, and some may walk away like the rich young ruler, but the truth is the only way to salvation.
2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings (fruitless discussion): for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
…….In every conversation we partake with the unbelieving world, it must be known that we stand firm in our dedication to God and His truths. If the conversation gets out of text, we can no longer abide. This is the importance of knowing and being well versed in why you are what you are!
2Ti 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
2Ti 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
…….How dangerous to the church false teachers and their false doctrines are. They can do much harm to the church, but they cannot ultimately defeat the church. “Nevertheless,” in spite of those who seek to subvert the Gospel, what God is doing by Christ through the church will endure (“the foundation of God stands sure”), because the Lord Jesus knows all who belong to Him, and they are kept faithful by Him. Therefore, every person who is truly identified with Christ will live for God and “depart from iniquity” (v. 19). The life of a person who is faithful to Christ is not characterized by sinful living, but by living in the righteousness of Christ.
B. Be Consecrated to God
2Ti 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
…….Because it takes much more time to design a vessel from a precious metal, there is much more appreciation in its keeping. He said, “if we purge ourselves from these”, (speaking of the ways of those who have erred from the truth in vv. 17-18) we will be that vessel of honor. In simpler terms, don’t give up and hold strong!
2Ti 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
……. I love the way this lesson ends with these last three verses. To all who seem confused and are outside of the body of Christ, we are to be gentle and loving, ministering through meekness. What a blessing it is to look back and see how our dedication to the Lord has helped others. There is no greater feeling than to see others saved through what God has done through us.