2 Timothy 2
2 Timothy 2
2 Timothy 2
Good morning church! We are continuing on with our study of 2 Timothy this morning. Pray with me church. Lord You alone are worth of our praise, our worship, our devotion. Speak through your living Word we pray, in Jesus name amen. Second Timothy chapter 2 verse one and you will notice that our chapter begins with the word Therefore. 2 Tim 2:1
1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
We have learned that as a part of good Bible study that whenever we see the word therefore, we should seek to know what it is therefore. If we consider the things that Paul wrote to Timothy in chapter one. We will remember that he was charged to stir up the gift that was within him…and I understand there was a whole bunch of discussion and questions in our various growth groups, so in the weeks to come we will put together a much more intensive study specifically on the gifts of the Spirit, Biblical examples of those gifts, and application within the Body of Christ, so stay tuned for more information, it may be more of an additional classroom type offering over a series of weeks.
So stir up the gift Tim, don’t fear, or a reminder that we have not been given a Spirit of Fear from God, but rather of power and of love and of a sound mind. He told him not to be ashamed of the Gospel, but to be prepared to join him in suffering, as Paul was writing this letter in prison for sharing the Gospel. He tells him to hold fast to the sound doctrine that he received from Paul, as many had begun to turn away…so you, therefore, …strong in the grace...
This is such an interesting imperative here. Not a suggestion, but more of a command of vital importance…be strong in the grace. Throughout the Old Testament, over and over and over again we read, be strong and of good courage, be strong and conduct yourselves like men. But in these last words of Paul, before he is beheaded for his faith in Jesus Christ, his urgent instruction to Timothy is my son, be strong in the grace! Legalism will destroy the church, be strong in the grace Timothy, strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
We will continue to hear Paul encouraging Timothy to be strong, I think it is over 25 times that he encourages him in this way. Many people read into that and assume different characterizations of Timothy, and I’m not sure that we can really do that. I think most of us, if we put ourselves in his shoes would welcome a continual encourager telling us to be strong.
You men that joined us yesterday morning for our breakfast and Bible study, first off got some perfectly cooked thick cut bacon, but then after that, Andy shared with us about God’s grace, his unmerited, unearned favor, as exhibited in his life, in his testimony. For any of you that have struggled to be strong in the grace that is in Jesus, I’d encourage you to read why Grace Changes Everything by Pastor Chuck Smith.
Lets keep going here, be strong in the grace, AND, verse 2....2 Tim 2:2
2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Hold fast to the Gospel and the things that I’ve taught from the Scriptures among many witnesses,…don’t just store them up, or accumulate knowledge, pour it back out to faithful men who will be able to teach others. Notice it doesn’t say talented men, educated men, dynamic men, it says faithful men.
You guys might remember Jesus telling the parable of the talents in Matthew chapter 25. I won’t read it this morning as we have a long passage before us, but you can check it out later. In short, a master was going to travel to a foreign land. Before leaving, he entrusted some servants with some talents. A talent was a measure of currency, and it was actually a great sum.
To one he gave 5, to another 2, and yet another 1. To the one he gave 5, upon his return he received the 5 that he had given him, along with another 5. To the one He had given two, upon His return He received the 2 and an additional two, and upon their accounting with their master they heard the words, “ ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
To the one whom He had given 1, He received back the one that he was trusted with, and no more. He had kept it, buried it, to keep it safe. That servant did not invest it with others, nor deposit it with anyone else he just kept it, and that servant received these words, ‘You wicked and lazy servant.
Paul is saying steal all of my sermons and give them away. Don’t hold on to them, don’t take in a bunch of information and just let it swell you, pass it on, commit it to faithful men and women.
One of our Youth leaders, Joe Bailey was given the opportunity to share the Word of God this morning at a neighboring church. As he was doing his preparation for that, I had the opportunity to sit down with him and review the sermon the Lord had given Him to deliver to those people this morning.
And I don’t want to wrongly take credit for anything, but as I was reading it, I was reading things that have been poured into Joe over the years, that were faithful things that had been poured into me over the years and we got a chance to talk about this verse, and how that is how this is supposed to happen. I’ll tell you something else, it wasn’t until I started studying the Word of God, to prepare to pour it into others, that my learning really took off. I’m not talking about when I became a pastor. I mean opportunities to share in a bible study. Or studying to answer questions that people asked at work that I didn’t know the answers too. We need to take what we have freely received and pass it on to others. In one of your lists last week about Spiritual gifts and offices in the church it says in Ephesians 4:11-12
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
So these things are poured into you, or as Paul says heard by you, and you commit them to others, you do the work of the ministry. That is one of the ways we have grown as a church, you guys pouring these things back out, inviting your friends. Understand, we are always just one unfaithful generation away of the church going dormant like in places in Europe here in the United States.
Paul now gives several examples of what it is like to be a faithful servant of Christ, I’m not sure it is the best sales pitch, but I can attest to the truth and accuracy of it. In 1 Timothy he tells him to fight the good fight, now he says...Verse 3 2 Tim 2:3-4
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Again we have a therefore, and it goes directly back to if you are going to be faithful, and commit these things to faithful men, then you will be rich, famous, and get lots of toys and prizes…no, he says it’s going to be hard, you’re going to endure hardship as a good soldier, not just a soldier, but as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Is being a good soldier all about fun and games?, this part isn’t for you Air Force guys…kidding. It doesn’t matter what branch you enter they call it entering the service right. Why, because you have just become a servant of the U.S. Government.
You will now do what someone else wants you to do, when someone else wants you to do it. You might have to go where you don’t want to go, with people you don’t want to go with, to do things that you don’t want to do. Things you may disagree with, but as a good soldier you are going to follow orders. I don’t know too many people, even in the Air Force that describe their time in the service as being fun. Other than my recruiter, he was a lying machine.
Where do we get our orders to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ? Right here in this book. Where is tells us how to be great! Right? Do you want to be great in the Kingdom of God, be a servant of all. Does that sound easy? How about when they are throwing darts at your back while you are washing their feet? Not easy.
He goes on with his example of a soldier saying, 2 Tim 2:4
4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
The second reason he gives for being like a good soldier is their single focus. Their lack of distraction by meaningless trivial things, they can’t afford it. IF you realize you are under attack, or you are actively engaged with the enemy, you’re probably not checking your likes on social media, or any other affairs of this life, it is all about the fight. And then he gives a reason for it, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. That should be our entire motivation. Gratitude and love toward Jesus.
This is probably a tangent I don’t need to take, but have you ever considered, in a day and age where it is common for people to quit when it is hard, what makes soldiers fight? What keeps them in the fight? What causes them to charge into probable death for the sake of others? Those that have studied D-Day and different engagements when the first, the second, the third wave of soldiers knew they were charging to their death, one strong motivator was believing in the leader they were following. Patriotism? Yes A sense of Duty? Yes, belief in a cause, of course, but even greater was the leader they were following, Paul says don’t be distracted by the affairs of this life, the noise of our surroundings, follow Jesus, the one who enlisted us as His followers.
From a secular point of view, what gives soldiers strength and the will to continue in the fight when things get hard…this if from the US Army Combined Arms Center....Different things motivate different individuals to fight. However, researchers generally believe that five factors kindle and sustain a fighting spirit: group cohesion, unit allegiance and pride, ideology and patriotism, lack of alternatives, self-preservation and leadership. However, all these motivating factors tend to deteriorate after prolonged exposure to combat except one: small unit cohesion. I think they mean Growth Groups. Another example in verse 5
5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
I think the meaning of this example is pretty plan to see. We don’t get to make up the rules. You can’t enter the Boston marathon and decide you’re going to ride the bus for the second half of the race. If you’ve been watching any of the Stanley Cup finals, you’ve seen goals scored in the hockey game, where the red flashing light goes off, the crowd goes wild, high 5’s all around, until it is reviewed. And a player was in the crease, or there were too many men on the ice, or there was goal tender interference, it doesn’t count.
AND being an athlete is hard, it requires discipline, practice, practice, practice, and when we get our shot to go in the game, we need to follow the rules, not our own rules. We can’t look at sin in our own life and call it something else. We can’t look at sin in our own life and somehow try to justify it before God, lying to ourselves and to others, because WE think, or WE feel, and God will just have to understand. I’m sorry, but you don’t get to make up rules as you go as an athlete, and you certainly don’t as a Christian if you want to receive a crown. Verse 6 2 Tim 2:6
6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.
I like that Paul makes hardworking part of the farmers title. I don’t know how many of you know any real farmers, our country is doing it’s best to wipe out all of our smaller farmers. My uncles and cousins were farmers when I was growing up. I don’t ever remember stopping by the farm day or night and not having someone there, they were always working.
Some of you have gardens, some animals, maybe even what might be called a gentlemen’s farm, and even on a small scale like that it is hard work! AND then even when you work hard and till the ground, plant the seeds, water the seeds, pull out the weeds, it takes a long, long time to see any fruit. Sometimes you do all the work and there is a prolonged cold snap, or too much rain, and there is no fruit that year, and the labor continues.
Paul says this is supposed to be hard work, like the soldier, like the athlete, like the farmer, and it’s not like walking through the farmer’s market with a basket and just picking out what you want. There is labor involved and it might be a long, long, time of investment before there is ever any return. And if we expect a return, we need to partake first. That means if I’m studying this passage, and preparing to teach this passage, I need to apply it in my own life first.
I need to be living this book, I’m not to be a lazy servant, I can’t make up my own rules and compromise, or allow sin to continue in my life unchecked. Paul is saying Timothy, practice what you preach brother. And then he says, in verse 7 2 Tim 2:7
7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
That really should be our verse of the week in our bulletins, you can write it in there if you want. This follows the examples Paul gives to Timothy and has application there, but it also has application for us. For these examples, as a soldier if you don’t endure hardship and avoid entanglements with the affairs of this life, if you quit, you will never win the fight. As an athlete if you try to make up your own rules, if you don’t practice, practice, practice and give your all, you will never win the race and receive a crown. And as a farmer if you don’t work on the hot days, the hard days, the days you are sore, or you only plant the fields, but don’t tend the fields, and water the fields, and weed the fields, if you quit too soon, you will never see the harvest.
Too points of application for us church, in our world how often to we stop to consider these things. I encouraged you all on your growth group homework to do just that. TO slow down. Take the time to sit with the Lord, actually read the questions. Consider what was read and said in the message, consider the application in your own life, meditate upon it, chew on it, that the Lord may give YOU understanding.
Second point of application for our church. I think the Lord wants to do great things with us. In us. In your families, in this community. In the lives of your friends, in your unsaved family members, we can’t be lazy, we need to remain faithful when it gets hard. Too many Christians, too many churches, quit, give up, right before the harvest was to come in, let that not be us church. Now he says, remember Jesus. verse 8 2 Tim 2:8
8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel,
Remember Jesus, remember that Jesus is unlike any other. Unlike Muhammad, unlike Buddha, unlike Confucius, Jesus was raised from the dead, He is the One and Only Living God! Raised from the dead according to the Gospel.
9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:33)
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.
You could write in your Bible this is the social media verse.
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Cut it straight.
16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
Now this can be things like Paul talks about in Philippians 2:14-16
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
But it can also be ANYTHING that takes the focus off of Jesus, off of the Gospel, off of the work He has for us as a church united in Him, anything that divides us, Paul basically says, if you see that kill it. It will spread like cancer or gangrene, first making us sick, then spreading to other areas of the body, when it will eventually bring death, unless you cut it out. Right he says in 18, 2 Tim 2:18
18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
If you don’t deal with it, allowing it to continue will cause others to stray concerning truth, and it will actually overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Nevertheless, God has a plan, He will build His church and the gates of Hell shall not overcome it.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
How do we cleanse ourselves?
22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Grace and Peace