Sermon Series Solutions
A season of suffering #3
2 Timothy 2:1-13
Good morning everyone, may the name of Jesus be lifted up and our hearts open as we let God’s Word speak to us.
If you would turn to 2 Timothy chapter 2, that will be our text this morning.
We have been in a series called “Solutions”, and we have looked at some things going on in our lives.
First week, “The power of God to save”.
Solution 1- NOTE TO SELF- We need Jesus…and we need Jesus to do things that we cannot do for ourselves.
Like save us from our sins.
Second week, “Fan into flame the gift of God” HOLY SPIRIT
Solution 2- We need the Holy Spirit of God working in our lives to empower us to be able to live the life that we were intended to live.
We cannot do what God has called of us in our own strength, it is impossible.
Many have tried and all have failed!
This week, we are going to look at suffering. We do not have to go long before we will talk about and experience tough things going on in our lives and those we love and care for.
Timothy records in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us the spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, love, and of self-discipline.”
Apostle Paul writes these words to Timothy in a letter we read today for several reasons-
They were facing hard times and it was hard for them as it is today to accomplish all that God desires.
They were trying to grow a church.
They were witnessing their faith to a group of people that were unresponsive.
They were trying to live a holy life.
2 Tim. 1:12-
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet, I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”
I know who I put my trust in…I am not ashamed because I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him. Which is my everything!
Keep sound doctrine
Do what I am doing- (example)
Guard the good deposit that is the Holy Spirit who will help us.
Paul tells us in 2 Tim. Chapter 3 that in the last days there will be troubled times-
I don’t know if we are in the last days, but I can tell you for sure they are troubled times where the bible talks of people being lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, unforgiving, out of control, brutal, lovers of pleasure rather than God- ending with the words having a form of godliness but denying it’s power.
Is it any wonder that there is suffering! We are destroying ourselves- God did not bring this, but he is allowing it.
We want to do things without God, we are seeing the costly affects of it.
Yes, there are many righteous people suffering for Jesus and that is why Paul brings this word as a warning to some and as a comfort to others
So let’s continue reading the letter that could, if you are a believer, have your name at the top of it-
Text- 2 Timothy 2:1-13 Read slowly
“You then, my son (daughter) be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
Be strong “in Jesus” and by “his grace”
Grace is a funny thing- everyone wants grace but not many want to show grace.
Grace is God’s riches at Christ expense- meaning that we are offered grace only by what Christ has done for us and we did not deserve it.
We show grace not because someone has deserved it but because Christ has shown it to us, we show grace to others.
(3) “Endure hardship “with us” like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
Most read that as endure like a good soldier- it says endure hardship with us like a good soldier
As a believer, who has been filled with the Holy Spirit, we are not to live in Timidity (fear) but in his power and in his grace!
Inner strength comes where cowards run and the people of God fulfill God’s purpose.
Like first responders who are running in while others are running out!
Some believe Timothy was a shy person and Paul was telling him not to be fearful, but what I see in scripture is a man who was called to build a number of difficult churches especially in Corinth and Ephesus.
He is being called not so much on what he can do, but on what the Holy Spirit of God can do through him. (Repeat)
Timothy be strong in Jesus! Somebody needed to hear that this morning!
You are going through a tough time and you need to stay faithful to the one that has called you for such a time as this!
F.E.A.R. - False evidence appearing real- no matter what you going through… Christ is faithful and will see you through.
We are told to endure hardship like a soldier that is “in Jesus”
Being a good soldier is to keep their focus on their commanding officer- not the distractions around them.
A good soldier is willing to make a sacrifice that benefits the cause and pleases the commanding officer.
Roman Soldiers were properly trained to overcome in battle
Being a good soldier requires a commitment that was more than just talk.
Truth told of a Roman soldier, they could not be distracted by marriage, or be involved in any other business except to please the commanding officer.
The point of the text here is not to be preoccupied with outside issues that would take you away from your calling and commitment made to the commanding officer of your life.
A good soldier has single minded devotion to duty.
Both Paul and Timothy were recruited to be soldiers in Christ service. As his soldier, they followed his commands and were willing to suffer for his sake.
Endure like a good athlete
Stress and dedicated training
Rules to follow so as to win the prize the right way
Olympics were started in Greece and the Laurel wreath that is placed on the head of the Olympian is a sign of honor and achievement.
Athletes devoted their whole lives to win the prize.
Christ followers desire the Victors crown that is a reward of faithfully following Jesus.
Professor William Barclay states that Apostle Paul talks about competing by the rules as a way of saying that is the difference between a professional and an amateur.
The difference between a winner and a loser is often the amount of work, discipline and training that goes in the preparation of the race.
Phil 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
(8) “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”
Apostle Paul tells Timothy and speaking to us… this is the gospel- just like Jesus suffered, we will have suffering.
Paul’s appeal is that the reader will want to endure to the end like Jesus our greatest example did.
Paul’s imprisonment is tied to the gospel and the risen Christ. It is an appeal for all believers to endure for their faith in Christ.
One must be willing to suffer like Christ to experience a resurrection like his. (Repeat)
Remember what Christ did!
It is the core of the Christian faith and should inspire us to remain faithful to Christ.
Even though right now I am being chained like a criminal- God’s word is not chained-
I have said before that we all need mentors- those people that help us along rough roads to lead and guide us- Paul is mentoring each one of us-
Paul tells Timothy to “remember Jesus Christ . . . , as preached in my gospel.”
Paul, in jail, can’t be with Timothy to guide him.
All that Timothy has now is the remembrance of Paul’s words. It is this gospel, says Paul, “for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.”
Paul is in chains in some Roman jail cell. But they can’t chain Paul’s gospel.
You can chain a man, but you can’t chain words, the Word.
Paul encourages Timothy to proclaim the word of the Lord. He tells Timothy to give it his best, to not hold back. Share the Good News of Jesus Christ that as sinners we are given a wonderful Savior who provides new life and new beginnings.
(10) “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”
The last verses of our text in the Greek is a poem-
“Here is a trustworthy saying.”
“If we die with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we disown him, he will disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
As I close, this verse is a warning to those who have fallen away and a wakeup call to those who think they have forever to get things right with the Lord.
Trustworthy is the Lord that if we do not want him now in this life that he loves us enough to give us the desire of our heart and that would be separation.
To those right with the Lord and experiencing troubled times, it is a word of encouragement that this is not the end of the story.
For all of eternity, we will experience the grace and love of Almighty God who would not let us be chained to our sins but free because of what Christ did for us.
Salvation is available and eternity can be spent with Almighty God.
New life with Christ comes after death- in this world, it is denying self and dying to self and living in Christ.
In Christ means to submit to Jesus Christ.
The new life marks the beginning of transformation into Christ likeness. The end result is eternal life with Jesus.
If we endure, we will reign with him-
This is terrible times in the sense that we do not know what the future holds.
Some believers are in for some tough times.
With sin and sickness, we may face physical death and persecution.
Timothy faced challenges that had the potential to take his life.
There is a promise here- Enduring is a process and must be to the end- till we take our last breath.
We are told that we as believers are not given the spirit of fear, but given the spirit of power, love and a sound mind or a life of discipline.
We as believers will one day wear the victors crown and be able to present it back to Jesus as our way of worship.
If we endure, we will reign with him- the prize worth the challenge.
A time of suffering for Christ that would give us eternity with him is a prize I am wanting.
I said to a dear friend this week that with so many things coming at us from all directions, it is hard learning the lessons we need to be learning. Jesus is still the hope we need as we go through these times.
The world has opened Pandora’s box- evil has reared its ugly head like never before and attacking and discouraging God’s people from all sides. There is still hope and His name is Jesus.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I want to pray for those who are going through tough times and a season of suffering. Online and in person this morning we have hope and His name is Jesus.