Summary: To be able to grasp and live a holy and pleasing life for God, we have to beable to understand what the Lord is calling holiness.
Blessings of Holiness
Introduction and prayer:
To understand and grasp what the apostle Paul is saying here, you have to understand the background of it’s writing.
The Apostle Paul is in prison. That is not unusual, many of Paul’s writings were done while he been locked up. But this is the last writings. He knows that he is not leaving this place alive.
The death row experience, he is writing his son in the gospel Timothy words of encouragement to be faithful.
I can picture Paul here, writing this letter and a big burly guard saying to him, whatever your writing, you better get it finished because soon we are going to take the long walk down the hall (kind of like the green mile) to your death.
Treated like a criminal, the only thing he did wrong was believe and serve Jesus Christ.
He is reminiscing his time with Timothy. reminding him of everything he needs to know because he will not be getting another chance.
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me on that day- and not only to me, but also to all who longed for his appearing.”
Looking back on his life
Fought the good fight.- hasn’t been easy, but I made it.
Finished the race.- Started, and with God’s help...will finish the race. Like the Nigerian runner who fell and injured himself and finished the race after everyone else. When asked why he didn’t just quit and try again another time. “My country did not send me here to start a race, they sent me here to finish the race.”
Kept the faith.- God’s grace, keeping me from false teachings, my faith is still in tact.
Notice that he is not reminiscing all the things that he owns or cool vacations that he took. He is reminiscing his relationships with people, and his relationship with God.
I have never sat with someone close to death that wanted to talk about processions, they always want to talk about relationships.
The Apostle tells Timothy that he comes from a long line of faith, and that by prayer and the laying on of his hands on Timothy that he believes it is in him too.
Paul tells him to fan into flame the gift of God, which is the Holy Spirit active and working in his life.
Key verse- v7
“For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self control”
“Religious people” can quote Scriptures. They know how to tell others how they should live.
“ Holy people” live the life of Christ. They want above all things to please God.
Paul told Timothy to fan the flame because he knew that if you don’t purposely keep the flame burning the flame will go out.
He understood that a lot of people feel like it is their ministry to throw water on other people’s fire. (In Jesus name)
We talked about this in Bible study - Jeremiah faced the same thing.
The burning desire to serve God must be more than the strain of the job we are doing or the fire will go out.
We cannot live the yo yo life.
He’s telling Timothy to fan the flame because being lukewarm is a dangerous place to be.
Let’s go back to the text.
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline.
For God did not give us.. Who is us?
Each and everyone of us who claim the name of Jesus Christ as Lord.
Greater is He that is in you , that he who is in the world.
Do you understand the power that comes from this truth.
The blessings of holiness is not about us. It is what the Lord can do with a willing vessel.
It is not about all the things you get rid of in your life. Quit this. Stopped that.
That is important and it needs to happen, but ut is not the main thing.
It is about what God does in and through your life.
There is only one way that you will not quit when the going gets tough.
When God controls more of your life than you do.
When you control it, pressures will cause you to want to quit. When He does, He gives us the strength that quitting is not an option.