Serving the Church w/Courageous Enthusiam
Setting up the series
Setting up the series
Paul’s life is drawing to an end. The times have changed and he knew what was coming. We have before us now his final instructions, final appeals to his young protege Timothy.
(intro to 2nd Timothy slide here)
Paul as certain of his death (2Tim4:6) and many of his contemporaries have left him, so he sends for Timothy with some appeals from his heart to Timothy and for the learning of the church.
Paul while an ambassador in chains pending his death was not worried about himself, but for the young evangelist in Ephesus who would pick up the mantle of the gospel ministry.
Paul sent Tychicus to replace Timothy at Ephesus so he could come to Paul (2Tim4:9, 12). so a little more history and set up for today and the series.
This letter is penned during Paul’s second imprisonment in Rome. It was believed to be written
Date: AD 66-67
To: Timothy in Ephesus
Give final thoughts
To warn against false teachers and apostates
Conduct instructions for Timothy to finish strong (suffer, endure, standfast, stay the course and do not compromise)
Key verses: 2Tim1:13-14
13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
Something to consider: Paul had told the Romans that he was going to go see them on his way to Spain and to impart a spiritual gift on them (Rom1:10-11; 15:23-24)
23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you 24 whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while—
So, we have not scripture showing that Paul ever made it to Spain, but there is outside evidence that he did in the writings of Clement in about A.D. 95 (1Clement5:7) and also noted later in the Muratorian Canon (dated in late 2nd century) So, the trip would have been between the 1st and 2nd imprisonments of Paul. Just an interesting thing to consider.
The general outline:
The Pastoral appeal (Chapter 1)
The Practical appeal (Chapter 2)
The Prophetic appeal (Chapter 3)
The Personal appeal (Chapter 4)
Now don’t think we are going to get through this book in 4 sessions, there will be many lessons we can learn from along the way from the appeals that Paul makes to Timothy of which we can apply many today.
(Transition) So, this morning we will start with our first installment from chapter one.
Courage, everyone needs courage to face life and life’s demands. Joshua was told, and told again to be courageous (Jos1:6, 7, 9, 18 and 10:25). Don’t we all need courage? So how about encouragement? That is what Paul does to help prepare Timothy for what was coming.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy.
5 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Courageous enthusiasm is essential not just in ministry but in any kind of work if you want to succeed. Paul is fanning the flames in Timothy (1:6) so to kindle afresh what God had given him.
Paul is not saying Timothy lacked faith, zeal, enthusiasm or courage, but wants to keep that fire burning in him.
Paul accomplishes this through four encouragements to Timothy in these verses
Paul’s love (vv.1-2)
Paul’s prayers (vv.3-4)
Paul’s confidence (v.5)
Paul’s reminder (vv.6-7)
Love is a great motivator, and always endearing. And as Paul’s life and end of life in view he sees what a special place Timothy played in his life and will in the life of the church.
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
Paul was facing difficult circumstances but one thing he knew and it encouraged him was that he was an ambassador in chains for Christ Jesus.
Look at how Paul sees things.
Chosen by the will of God to be an apostle
He has been sent to tell of the eternal life promised.
He knew regardless of his outcome, his circumstance he knew he had eternal life in Christ
Be it in life or death he was OK, makes me think of (Php1:23-25; and let me give you one more (2Tim1:10)
10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
One more quick point to grab, look at (v.2) Paul in (1Tim1:2) says “Timothy my true son in the faith” now says “my beloved son”; and, ok, one more thing, He says grace, mercy and peace. It says that again several other places in the pastoral epistles
2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
and in our verses today and again in Titus
4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
You think Paul knew that Timothy (as well as all ministers, preachers, teachers, pastors) needed mercy?
(Transition) now from Paul’s love, endearing love to Paul’s prayer’s
Do you like it when you know others are praying for you? From a sincere heart Paul encourages Timothy through prayer.
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,
Some questions to consider when you look at these verses.
How did Paul pray for Timothy?
With thanksgiving to God
With a pure (clear) conscience
Prayed without ceasing
What did Paul pray?
We know desiring to see him. Paul is calling for Timothy to come to him before he dies (2Tim4:11-13)
He prayed in knowledge of Timothy’s tears.
He prayed in anticipation of his (Paul’s joy) being fulfilled in Timothy
Paul knew Timothy, called Timothy knowing his strength’s (his history; will see that more in a minute) and his weaknesses. Paul is praying with a heart of compassion and concern for his “beloved son” in the faith.
I think it would only be fair to take a quick journey about the “pure conscience.”
Paul served God with a pure conscience before the Damascus Road. He was a Hebrew of Hebrews (Php3:5) raised in the ways of Jewish orthodoxy faith. He did it zealously even persecuting the people of the Way and consenting of the death of Stephen. Until that Damascus Road time when everything changed. He had served as his forefathers did, now he served with full revelation of the mystery, Jesus Christ and the Church.
Can we live with a pure, clear conscience today? The answer is YES!
Yes for we have the truth and the truth has set us free
Yes we have full counsel of God at our fingertips for our learning
Yes we have the body of Christ (the church) to help us to grow, to encourage, to edify and to unify us together as One Body.
(Transition): From Paul’s love for God, for the love the promise of life in Christ Jesus and for his beloved son Timothy, to heartfelt prayers now leading us to our next point
Sincere faith, not just his own, but faith in Timothy. A confidence he had in Timothy that was evident.
5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
Paul was confident of Timothy’s genuine, sincere faith.
Paul did not think Timothy was weak or that his faith was weak. Paul knew that Timothy’s faith was genuine. It was genuine faith needed and it was genuine faith that would help him to face the things he was facing and would go through.
The reason for His genuine faith, his upbringing
How did Timothy get genuine faith? It was displayed and lived by his grandmother (Lois) and his mother (Eunice). Now Timothy was one-half Greek (Act16:1) so his mom would not have been a practicing Jew. But they taught him the scriptures
15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
What scriptures would these be? The O.T. scriptures that would lead to salvation (expand on this)
Timothy travelled with Paul on his 2nd and 3rd missionary trips and knew his faith was genuine. Timothy’s upbringing mattered as does how we raise, example for our children and grandchildren.
He was raised in a godly home
He was trained/mentored by a great teacher
He was given great opportunities to serve
Be a mentor to your child, grandchild as you raise them in a godly home. Lead them to opportunities to serve the Lord. Now mentors do not necessarily be in the home, but that is the best place for them to be.
1 My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; 2 That you may observe discretion And your lips may reserve knowledge.
and I can’t stop there for true teaching and mentorship should start in the home.
1 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding, 2 For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction.
3 When I was a son to my father, Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, 4 Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live;
5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
(Transition) from love, to prayer, from prayer to confidence and now from confidence to gifts from God so to be able to fulfill the ministry.
Paul gives some reminders and encouragement so to be able to be courageous and able to serve with enthusiasm.
6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
What does Paul call Timothy to do (v.6)
To stir up the gift, to kindle afresh the gift
This is miraculous gift by laying on of hands.
What did God give Timothy according to (v.7)?
A spirit of power, love and sound mind not one of fear or timidity.
Timothy had been concerned that people were looking down on him because of his age (1Tim4:12) and it made him timid
The gift given was so that Timothy could fulfill his ministry . This laying on of hands was common in the day, but today no believer has the authority and privileges that the apostles did.
We are called to lay hands on people, and pray for people. But we do not have authority or power to give miraculous gifts.
It is the Holy Spirit that gifts us, enables us to serve God and to overcome fear and weakness.
One of the things the Holy Spirit gives to us is love (Gal5:22) and He energizes that love
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
that love gives us the heart, mind, ability to love and serve others.
Another thing the Holy Spirit does is give us a sound mind (v.7); discipline.
Paul was pointing out to Timothy to stir up, to kindle afresh something that was already in him.
Think about it, do we need to be kindled afresh now and then?
Are you using the Spiritual gift that God has given you? Do you need to stir up, kindle afresh it again? Don’t wait, do it. For when we don’t use our spiritual gifts we can grieve the Spirit (Eph4:30) or even quench the Spirit (1The5:19) and I’m confident we do not want to do that.
Timothy had every reason to serve with courageous enthusiasm because of whom was in him and for people to remind him like Paul did and to challenge him.
Timothy had genuine faith, sincere faith (1:5) and he Had the Spirit (1:7) to accomplish God’s will and purpose in the ministry.
God has given you the opportunity for genuine faith, and the Sprit to accomplish the good works God prepared for you (Eph2:10)
(Invitation slide- God calling slide)
God called, God provided, God forgives, God gives, God equips, God commands.
(Song) (Prayer) (Exit)