Summary: Are you the type of servant God needs you to be? In this message let us see 7 servant types that Paul encouraged Timothy to be in order to serve God successfully.
Intro: Serving God is a great privilege for anyone.
Timothy proved to be a great servant in so many ways and in our text, we learn just how great of a servant he had become.
Through Paul's encouragement, Timothy saw 7 descriptive titles for a servant and it would be Timothy's goal throughout his ministry to measure up to all of them.
As we examine this text, let us see how great of a servant you are in God's service.
1. Timothy was a Spiritual Son (1-2).
A. Timothy was the spiritual son of Paul, that is, he was converted through the ministry of Paul (1).
B. Paul now encourages his young convert to be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus. Timothy's conversion came about in the same manner as the conversions of others, he believed in and accepted the person of Jesus Christ into his life. John would write in John 1:11-13, "He (Jesus) came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
C. Now that Timothy was a believer, Paul encouraged him to share his faith in Jesus with others, so that many more can come to Jesus and he could teach others to trust and believe in His name. Earlier, Paul would share the fact that his teaching of others about the gospel came about because of his faith. In I Corinthians 15:3a, Paul said, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also RECEIVED..." Paul knew from his experience that what makes a strong witness is a person sharing about their faith and that faith being genuine and unwavering (2).
2. Timothy was a Good Soldier (3-4).
A. Timothy now was encouraged to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Paul shared with the Ephesians in Ephesians 6:10-18, that we are in a spiritual battle for the souls of men. Our enemy is not other people, but our foes are spiritual. God, thus, has fully equipped us for this battle by giving us 6 defensive pieces of armour to use against our archenemy. He also has given to us one offensive weapon to be used to attack our enemy, Satan. Let us see these weapons:
6 defensive weapons include-
1) the girdle of truth or our integrity.
2) the breastplate of righteousness or our commitment to living right.
3) the gospel, also called our footwear. It was important that a soldier protect his feet in
order to move forward and progress for God's glory.
4) the shield of faith or our trust in God.
5) the helmet of salvation which is our commitment to God.
6) the sword of the Spirit or the Word of God.
1 offensive weapons is-
1) prayer, which when used is a personal attack on Satan. We are giving God the opportunity to work in our lives and Satan can't take that since we are reminding him that we are weak, but God is strong (3).
B. As a good soldier, the soldier was totally focused on following the orders of his commanding officer. He would not focus on others problems, challenges or affairs. This would be pleasing to his leader and help him to rise up to the occasion, of engaging the enemy (4).
3. Timothy was a Master Athlete (5).
A. Every athlete strives for one thing, the completion of the competition he or she has signed up for. Paul would later tell Timothy about himself in II Timothy 4:7-8, by saying, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." What Paul was sharing is that only the athletes who complete the competition are rewarded.
B. Paul continued encouraging Timothy to keep on fighting a good fight, striving by keeping the faith, finishing his work by following the rules, and receiving a reward because he had done that which was necessary to receive his reward (5).
4. Timothy was a Fruitful Husbandman (6).
A. For a farmer to produce food, it would be required that he work hard to make the crop fruitful. The farmer would have to prepare the land, sow the seeds, work the produce and then harvest it.
B. Jesus used the farmer sowing seeds in a parable in Matthew 13:3-23. Notice all of us must sow the seed or the word of God, but we have no control over the soil condition that it falls upon. Out of the places where the seed fell, only one was capable of producing fruit. Although we sometimes get discouraged over the way people respond to our witnessing, we must continue sowing the seed, leaving the results up to God. We all desire that the seed we sow will fall on the "good" ground, but oftentimes we will be rejected by the world, but we must keep sowing, we must keep sharing our faith wholeheartedly (6).