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Journey Through Second Timothy 1:8-14: Therefore Do Not Be Ashamed of The Testimony About Our Lord

2 Timothy 1:8-14

English Standard Version

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Paul tells Timothy to not be ashamed. Ashamed is the Greek word epaischynomai and it means to be or become characterized by feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, or remorse[1]. Because of our sinful human nature we may desire to shrink back from suffering. Two things that Timothy could have become ashamed by was the testimony of Jesus. Throughout the church age those who are lost and don’t know Christ simply view following Jesus as foolish. Many see Christianity and the bible as a book of fairy tales. But for the person who has become born again and had their eyes open by the work and person of The Holy Spirit, we come to understand that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. It is the Lord who gives us the power to stand and therefore there is no reason to be ashamed or shrink back in fear.

Timothy could have also become ashamed because of his association with the apostle Paul. Those who are in Christ understand how great of a servant Paul was for the kingdom of God. But those of Paul’s day who didn’t know Christ simply saw him as a fool. On Mars Hill when Paul began to speak about the resurrection of Jesus Christ they simply saw it as foolishness. But for the child of God our fellowship with fellow believers is a place of strength and comfort. Timothy would eventually face imprisonment and suffering in his life. It is inevitable for the true servant of God. But it is nothing to fear. For it is God who has given us The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and the one who empowers us and equips us for every good work.

To be able to share in the suffering of the gospel is a high honor and privilege. God gives us power that is without limit and without end. In our weakness His strength is perfected. For everything we will face in this life, Jesus will always be greater. He calls us to trust Him daily and abide in Him. The Lord understands how helpless we are in ourselves, and this is why He calls us to draw near and abide in Him. We are never called to accomplish anything for God by ourselves and in our own strength. We are called always to accomplish all things with our brothers and sisters in Christ and to rely fully on the work and person of The Holy Spirit.

The word save Paul uses in verse nine is the Greek word Sozo and means to free from harm or evil, and in some cases from imprisonment[2]. We are saved and delivered from the curse of sin and death because of what Jesus has done on the cross. It is not only Jesus who has saved us, He has called us with a holy calling. A calling to be set apart from this world and its wickedness. Jesus not only called Timothy but every person who has ever made a decision to follow Jesus Christ has been saved and called by Almighty God. God saves us by His grace. He empowers us and grants us the ability to come to repentance. We are imprisoned in sin and death, and it is only by God’s grace that we are saved. We are called to be holy because He is holy. A right understanding of what Christ has done and what His grace truly means for our lives leads to a life being committed to Jesus and simply focused on glorifying Him.

We are not saved or called because of our works. It is all because of His purpose and His grace. Purpose is the Greek word prothesis and it means an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides planned actions.[3]Grace is the Greek word charis and it means goodwill freely disseminated (by God); especially to the benefit of the recipient regardless of the benefit accrued to the disseminator[4]. Everything we have in Christ is because of what He has done for us. Daily we can get on our face before God because of His goodness to us. All of us deserve hell because of our sin. It is our sin that separates us from God. But God in His mercy so loved us that He sent His Son to take the wrath and punishment we deserve.

It was God’s plan from the beginning to send forth His Son. This was not a reactionary plan. It wasn’t as if God created Adam and Eve and was surprised by their sin. Paul tells us was granted in Christ Jesus from all eternity or from the beginning of time. Before anything was, God had a plan to redeemed humanity. When we understand the depth of our sin and what lengths Jesus would go to die for us, we truly see how much God loves us. He is not waiting to punish us, He is waiting for us to come to Him so that He can deliver and save us.

In verse ten Paul states it has been revealed by the appearing of our savior Jesus Christ. Other translations use the word manifest. The word revealed means to come into sight or view. All that we have concerning God’s love and grace has been manifested and revealed in the coming of Jesus. Before Jesus came the nation of Israel lived under the law. The purpose of the law reveals the righteousness of God and man’s need for a savior. It is impossible to keep the law perfectly. But Christ came born of a virgin under the law that He would live a life perfectly keeping the law and offering His life in exchange for all those who would call upon Him as Lord and Savior.

Jesus has abolished death and brought life through what He accomplished at Calvary. His precious blood that was shed enables a sinner regardless of what they have done to received redemption and forgiveness. This is all found in the message of the gospel. Paul in Romans 1:16-17 says For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.[5] Paul says the gospel brings salvation to everyone who believes. The gospel is the righteousness of God revealed. We are separated because of our sin. But in God’s grace and mercy He has provided a way of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ even though we deserve none of it.

In verse eleven the word appointed is the Greek word tithemi and it means to move and set into a certain place or abstract location.[6] It was God who chose Paul. Paul did not appoint himself as a herald, an apostle, or a teacher. The gospel was revealed to Paul directly by Jesus Christ Himself. This was not a story that Paul made up in His own mind and He did not hear it directly from the original disciples who walked with Jesus. Paul before coming to Christ tried to destroy everything connected with Jesus Christ.

Paul was called to proclaim the gospel. Wherever he went he would proclaim and herald the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul not only proclaimed the gospel, but signs, wonders, and miracles demonstrated the authority that Paul carried. But what ultimately saved people was the work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel. Paul was God’s mouthpiece and he did it without compromise or succumbing to fear. Paul was not only called to proclaim and herald the good news of Christ, he was sent forth by Jesus throughout the world. Paul as an apostle would go forth through the leading of The Holy Spirit and would establish churches wherever he was sent. Everything Paul did in his life was by the power of The Holy Spirit.

Paul was not only a herald and an apostle, he was called to teach. The word teacher is the Greek word didaskalos and means a person who instructs others by imparting skills or knowledge; probably as an occupation[7]. Paul would instruct and bring forth greater revelation and understanding of who Christ was and what His finished work means for all humanity. Truth is not life changing or useful unless the person who is listening and receiving understands how to practically apply it to their lives. Paul was gifted in many ways by Almighty God but in all that Paul did it was the work of The Holy Spirit through him. There is nothing that Paul could boast about but simply because of God’s grace and mercy Paul was able to be used greatly by God to accomplish the purposes of God’s kingdom.

In verse twelve Paul speaks of his suffering and not being ashamed. Paul found himself in a dark prison cell and the normal human being because of the present circumstances he faced would be overcome by dread and sorrow. But Paul’s hope is in Jesus Christ. He is in that prison cell because of his faithfulness to preach the gospel. Paul was a man who demonstrated the character, courage, and strength of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that all he did for the kingdom was not found in himself but ultimately was found in his union with Jesus Christ. We are called to abide in Christ because it is through Jesus Christ that the life of Christ fills us and enables us to fulfill the purposes and plans of God.

Paul speaks about God being able to guard what I have entrusted to Him. Paul understood he was not only saved by the grace of God, but he was kept by the grace of God. It is God who sustains us and who empowers us. Paul had made a deposit in the life of Timothy and others concerning the gospel. All that Christ had revealed to Paul, he turned around and deposited in the lives of others through the preaching and teaching of God’s word. Paul knew that even though his death was near, that the preaching and advancement of the gospel would not stop. We might look at the world and the increasing darkness of our day and at times feel overwhelmed and frightened. But we have nothing to fear. Even in the midst of suffering it is God who will sustain us. His joy is truly our strength. His joy is supernatural. His joy is found in knowing Him and no matter how difficult and dark the prison cell Paul was in, the presence of the Living God filled that place and Paul would fulfill every plan and purpose God had for his life because of the grace of God.

Timothy is called to follow the pattern of sound words or standard of sound words. Paul had spent his life investing in Timothy. Timothy was his spiritual son. The words Paul speaks of today are the words we have written in scripture. As the Holy Spirit came upon Paul, Paul wrote and spoke forth the word of God. Often Paul would use someone who would write down what Paul dictated as he was led by the Holy Spirit. Paul knew that false teachers would come in and try to destroy what God was building. As a faithful teacher and preacher of God’s word Timothy would need to hold fast to sound doctrine. If we build on false doctrine and things that do not align with the word of God, it is building on a false foundation.

Faith and love are found in Christ alone. When we come to know Him personally and are called to minister by the Living God, it is our responsibility to hold to sound doctrine. We will be tested often because people may complain or even criticize when we hold to the truth of scripture because it will go against the culture of our day which is built upon the world system. But regardless of the cost and the suffering we will face, we must hold fast to the word of God and rightly divide the word of truth. It is the truth that sets people free, not the opinions and wisdom of man.

When we come to Christ it is the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. We are sealed by The Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who equips and empowers us for ministry. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus working in our lives to produce His character and His nature. Through the Holy Spirit, Timothy is called to guard the good deposit that has been given to Him. Timothy has been entrusted with the word of God. If the purposes of God were simply dependent on human beings, we would not find ourselves where we are today. But because of the grace of God and the work of The Holy Spirit, the word of God continues today, and every purpose and plan God has will be fulfilled in the earth because of the person and work of The Holy Spirit.

Paul knows that his time is short and that these are the last instructions Paul is leaving his spiritual son. When we know, our days are coming to an end, we know the very last words we share are those that will most likely be remembered the most. This letter Paul has written to Timothy is something that Timothy would treasure and hold near to his heart and life. No doubt that Timothy would face continual challenges not only to the truth of God’s word, but also as a pastor and leader. The life of a leader can be very lonely at times and often every major attack against a body of believers will be targeted at the leadership. But Paul is encouraging Timothy and for all those who lead today we must always look to and rely on the precious Holy Spirit to help us always in our time of need. The grace of God is sufficient for all things.

[1] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020). [2] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020). [3] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020). [4] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020). [5] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ro 1:16–17. [6] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020). [7] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020).

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