Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Do Not Be Ashamed of Lord": Mediations on 2 Timothy 1:1-14

Being ashamed of God or Christ as a 'still sanctifying' Christian is easy to do, especially when the consequences of following Christ seems too much to bear such as a lost of reputation, money, family's approval, and maybe your life.

In 2 Timothy 1-14, Paul writes a letter to Timothy encouraging him not to be ashamed of being a Christian and exhorting him not to compromise the gospel truth despite the pressure of persecution. Lets see how Paul exhorts Timothy, so that we can be encouraged not to be "ashamed of Lord" too.

1. Don't be ashamed of God but share in the suffering for the gospel and by the power of God

8Therefore 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,

In verse 8, Paul, who is in prison, commands Timothy not to be ashamed of God or his imprisonment, but to suffer for the gospel through the power of God. It's important to note that Paul doesn't tell Timothy to avoid suffering, but to "share in it", that is, he is reminding Timothy that in order to be a godly Christian, it will involve suffering of some kind (2 Timothy 3:12). But Paul also reminds Timothy that he is not alone in this suffering for the gospel but "the power of God "will help him.

2. Past Testimony of God's Power

We should not be ashamed or fearful in our suffering for the gospel because the power of God has been shown in the past by God's redemptive purposes in Christ.

a. God's power has been shown through our holy calling, that is, through the regeneration of our hearts by the Holy Spirit

who (God) saved us and called us to[a] a holy calling (regeneration)(v.9),

b. God's power in salvation and regeneration was given outside of our works but was received based on God's sovereign design and grace through Christ

(Being Saved/Regenerated) not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began (v.9)

c. God's power in his purpose and grace has been reveal in the glory and beauty of Christ, who has conquered death and brought live through the good news.

and which now (salvation/redemption) has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, (v.10)

3. Present and Future Promise of God's Power

a. In verse 12, Paul is not ashamed and won't compromise the gospel in his suffering because he is convinced that God is able to protect him through the Spirit (v.14) until the day of God's judgment ( 2 Tim. 4:8)

But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed (God), and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. (v.12)

b. In verse 13-14, Paul encourages Timothy to be devoted to Christ and his teaching, knowing that the Holy Spirit will also help guard the gospel

13Follow the pattern of the sound[d] words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit (gospel) entrusted to you.


So FPC, let us never be ashamed of God and Christ by compromising the gospel, but let us be strengthen, realizing God's power in the past and in his present and future promise of the "Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, helping us guard the good deposit".

Please also pray for our brother in Christ, Pastor (Toby) Brown, and the Mission Presbytery (PC(USA)), which will be making some critical decisions on how to deal with some tough denominational (PC(USA) issues. Pray that they will be given wisdom on how to best guard the good deposit (gospel).

See below for more information on the issues they will be facing:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouragement 'in the Spirit'!

I just logged on to the Together For The Gospel website and purchased all 7 of the presentations. I finished John Piper's address...

WOW. I can hardly catch my breath!

Thanks be to God for his gifts to us all!