Summary: 2 Timothy 2:8-13 gives us encouragements when suffering for the gospel.


Late one night, Emanuel Lighe returned home to find police waiting for him. There was a death in the village, and Lighe’s name topped the suspect list. Cuffed and detained, Lighe was questioned well into the night at the police station. He was refused the right to leave.

Hours turned into days; days dragged into weeks. Lighe remained at the police station, then was transferred to Prison Civile de Lomé, the main prison in the capital city of Togo in West Africa’s Togolese Republic. He remained there for five years and four days.

Lighe was innocent.

Prison Civile de Lomé is a perilous place. Amnesty International cited the prison for its basic human rights violations. Built to house 500 inmates, the prison is packed with 1,800 inmates who live and sleep in one cramped, open-air yard. Infectious disease is rampant, and many prisoners die, often before they’ve served their sentences.

Lighe spent half a decade of his life in this prison—always hungry, always scared, always wondering how he, an innocent man, landed in this place.

“Life in prison is so difficult that it’s hard to understand for outsiders: people get raped, beaten up. Money and possessions get stolen. There’s a lot of violence and pressure,” he says.

For years, members of the Bible Society of Togo…have visited the prison, bringing food for the inmates and supplying them with another life-giving gift: the Bible.

For Lighe, the Bible became a source of life and hope. It inspired him daily to reach out to his fellow inmates, spreading God’s word through preaching and living out its message. Although Lighe struggled to understand why he was placed in prison, God began to teach him that his detainment had a purpose: He was there to minister to his fellow inmates.

“I believe in God’s power and God’s Spirit, so I continued my work, because I am not ruled by man,” says Lighe. With his purpose found and forged in the unlikeliest of places, Lighe thanked God for bringing him to prison.

After Lighe was released, he struggled to find work and was lost daily life. He knew something was missing, so he began to return to the prison regularly to visit friends and continue his ministry. Even though he’s no longer a prisoner, Lighe commands the same respect among the inmates. Inside the walls he is the real, breathing picture of God’s hope.

“A clear conscience fears no accusation,” says Lighe. This message rings loudly through the Prison Civile de Lomé, a place transformed by men like Lighe and the powerful message he brings: there is true freedom in Christ.

The Apostle Paul was no stranger to imprisonment. He knew about harsh conditions. He had been abandoned by most of his friends and colleagues. He wrote this letter to Timothy while he waited to be executed. And yet, in spite of all that he was facing, Paul directed his spiritual son Timothy to the hope that is found in Christ. Paul exhorted Timothy to boldness, endurance, and faithfulness in the face of false teaching. Paul knew what it was to suffer for the gospel, and he wanted to give Timothy encouragements when suffering for the gospel.


Let’s read 2 Timothy 2:8-13:

8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;

if we deny him, he also will deny us;

13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:8-13)


2 Timothy 2:8-13 gives us encouragements when suffering for the gospel.

Let’s use the following outline:

1. The First Encouragement: Remember the Gospel’s Person (2:8)

2. The Second Encouragement: Remember the Gospel’s Power (2:9)

3. The Third Encouragement: Remember the Gospel’s Purpose (2:10)

4. The Fourth Encouragement: Remember the Gospel’s Promises (2:11-13)

I. The First Encouragement: Remember the Gospel’s Person (2:8)

The first encouragement is to remember the gospel’s person.

Paul wrote in verse 8, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel.” Paul pointed Timothy to Jesus Christ, who was the supreme model of a faithful teacher (v. 2), soldier (vv. 3-4), athlete (v. 5), and farmer (v. 6). Timothy was to follow Jesus’ example in teaching, suffering, pursuing the prize, and planting the seeds of truth for a spiritual harvest.

Moreover, Jesus is the focal point of the gospel. The gospel is all about Jesus. Paul insisted that there are two key points about this gospel. First, Paul alluded to Jesus’ work in the phrase “risen from the dead.” This indicates that Jesus died for our sins and was raised back to life to show that his death satisfied the Father’s wrath. It implies Jesus’ divinity, for he was powerfully designated as God’s Son by his resurrection from the dead.

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