Summary: An examination of the empowering work of the Grace of God in the life of the Believer
In 2Timothy the Apostle Paul is writing to Timothy his son in the faith. Paul is coming to the end of his “race” and is writing to exhort and encourage Timothy to continue and advance in his ministry. To continue on in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ even after Pauls death. But I would say to you today, that every believer has this responsibility.
Paul gives Timothy some principles to follow and put into practice in his life that he might be a Strong Christian. Let us examine some of them in this passage of the scripture.
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (vs. 1)
a. It is “our” responsibility
i. It is a reflective imperative statement “You…be strong”
• No one else can do it for us
• Not even God can do it for us
• It is our responsibility we can not depend on or expect anyone else to assume it for us – it is ours and..
ii. Our fountain of strength is to be found in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus
• We can not do what the gospel demands of us in our own strength
• The work of God always was, is and will be a supernatural work
• As such it requires a supernatural source
• That source is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, he who is risen from the dead
• Everything that we effect or accomplish for God is done so by His grace. God has established it to be so…
• In this way all the glory goes to Him
• The moment that we begin to think that we have done something for God, that it was because of our ‘discipline’ or our ‘ability’ we are in big trouble, because “God will not share his glory with another!”
iii. But if we would strengthen ourselves in His grace then there are some priniciples that we need to know.
I. We Must Live Separated Lives (vs 3-10)
3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
1. We can not find or receive the strength until there has been a decision, a choice, a determination to abandon and distance ourselves from sin.
a. You don’t brush your teeth with sugar
b. You grow muscles with chocolate
c. You can’t loose weight sitting on the couch
2. Note – It is not easy
3. Vs 3 - 3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
a. We must be willing to accept suffering
b. We must accept it like a good soldier. A soldier:
c. Does not pertain to himself
i. He must ready himself to suffer anything -
ii. Freezing rain, blistering heat of the Sun, ice of winter, dust, must
iii. To move as a company or alone when ordered
iv. Every believer must be ready and accept to suffer – It is not for the faint of heart
4. We Must Live Unentangled Lives
a. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
b. Do you remember Uriah – husband to Bathshebah
c. He wouldn’t go to his home but rather slept at the door of the King with all the other servantsWhen David questioned him why he said, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing."
5. There are No Exceptions
a. 5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.