2 Timothy 2:7-13 – No pains, no gains! No cross no crown!


2 Timothy 2v7-13

No pains, no gains! No cross no crown!


Over the past few months we have returned a number of times to the theme of achieving a goal – esp. with the Olympic games in mind and now the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

Last week we saw how Paul writing to his young friend and protege Timothy urges him to be like:-

  • The whole-hearted dedicated of a good soldier
  • The disciplined obedient athlete
  • The faithful hard work of a farmer

… without these characteristics there will be no victory in battle / no prize for the race run / no harvest to enjoy.

Having given Timothy these three everyday illustrations that Timothy would easily picture he urges him to carefully consider what he is saying.

2 Timothy 2:7 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. (NIV)

This verse teaches us a double-sided truth:

  • We are to use our minds to understand
  • Understanding is by divine illumination.

Bear in mind that Paul is an Apostle and therefore teaches with apostolic authority – which means that he his teaching what he has been entrusted with from God. Galatians 1:11-12 11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, …..; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (NIV)

What the apostles taught is now written down for us in the Bible – we are to carefully consider and reflect upon that. Paul sees no contradiction is saying that God gives understanding AND that we need to study carefully and diligently to gain understanding.

Some Christians never get down to the serious study of God’s word simply because they are too lazy

Some Christians don’t spend time in serious Bible Study because they think it is “spiritual” [pseudo-spiritual really] to claim that “The Holy Spirit will guides us”. So the superficially read verses, often out of context BUT fail to obey Paul’s instruction here to carefully consider / ponder / dig-deep.

We can of course, go to the other extreme and do in depth study but fail to recognise that God alone through his Holy Spirit gives understanding.

We must study the Bible carefully and prayerfully – trusting God to enlighten our understanding – not simply acquisition of information rather it is wisely using the information for practical living. Information => Knowledge => Understanding => Wisdom.

God has entrusted us – his people – with His gospel [broad grasp of ALL God’s teaching] and he requires that we be like dedicated, loyal soldiers/ self-disciplined, law-abiding athlete / and hard-working farmers – in BOTH tasks of understanding his gospel and passing it on to others!

The whole thrust of this letter to Timothy is to urge and encourage him to be a good minister of the gospel AND to remind him again that the Road to Glory is by way of toil and hardship. No Pain! No Gain! No Guts! No Glory!

Nothing that is worthwhile is ever easy! Nothing that is easy is ever worthwhile!

He has used the 3 illustrations of soldier, athlete and farmer and in these next verses he reinforces them with example from the experience of Jesus, of himself and indeed of all true believers.

  1. The experience of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, (NIV)

As we read through the OT and examine the history of God’s people in that era one thing is repeated over and over – the people forgot God! Oh – the religious ritual continued BUT God became a convenient appendage to life’s activities.

As we look back through Church history we can see how often the church has forgotten Jesus. Oh – they have been very involved in theological debate, humanitarian relief programmes and internal, often petty / parochial, squabbles while the main task for which the church exists, viz. to know Christ and make him known, has been sidelined.

It seems so fundamentally obvious that we find it extraordinary that Paul should remind us to “Remember Jesus!” BUT in our preoccupation with our own lives and even our Church activities and our pet theological preferences become too important to us then we too will forget Jesus!

The Jesus we are to remember is both risen from the dead and descended from David.

This very short and apparently simple verse is in fact very profound:-

Who Jesus is.

  • only God can defeat death. Jesus is no mere moral like you and me.
  • yet he is exactly that as well – he is moral human – descended from David and he did die like all morals.
  • But he powerfully showed himself to be God the Son by rising from the dead.

What Jesus did.

  • His resurrection was not simply to show off that he was divine.
  • Rather the purpose of his death/resurrection is to rescue from sin and God’s judgement those who come to Jesus in repentance and faith.
  • Why is the mention of David so important – because David was the greatest and most powerful and successful King Israel ever had. The Bible says that Jesus is greater than David
  • THEREFORE taking these together he is both Saviour/Rescuer and King. This is the essence of the message / gospel that Timothy must preach.

What Jesus’ experience illustrates.

  • Jesus’ life, death and resurrection teach us the Christian principle that the death is the door to life – that suffering is the way to glory. This is the path Jesus took, should his followers expect anything less.

Was it not Jesus himself who said Matthew 23:12 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

  • So Paul’s reminder to Timothy is “When you, Timothy, are tempted to avoid hardship and difficulty, suffering or even death in your ministry, remember Jesus and think again”.
  1. The experience of Paul.

2 Timothy 2:8 b -10 8b …. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. (NIV)

Paul has committed no crime but because of his witness to Jesus he is in chains, literally. BUT God’s Word cannot be chained. Throughout history and even today in many places attempts are made to silence the witness of Christians. Christian witness is not just about spiritual matters – of course our concern should be to bring people to Jesus Christ but Christian witness is also about social issues ~ the needs of the poor / sick / refugees / injustices / etc..

I salute people like:-

ILLUS.: James Mawdsley the Human rights campaigner who arrived back in England after 415 days in a Burmese jail – The 27-year-old from Lancashire was jailed for distributing pro-democracy leaflets and was repeatedly beaten by guards at the jail.

I don’t know if James Mawdsley is a Christian –I hear he is but I am not sure.

Remember that Jesus was concerned with the poor and sick, the widows and orphans, the foreigners and powerless. In the OT God punished Israel when they neglected these issues – surely this is part and parcel of our Christian witness.

And Yes, so you don’t accuse me of preaching a social gospel we must always be passionate about people coming to a Jesus for forgiveness of sin and new spiritual life through Christ.

And while Christ’s witness may be chained up like Paul and even silenced in death the Word of God is free – it cannot be held in captivity. Very often the death of a martyr sparks a spread of God’s Word

Even English history is littered with the deaths of martyrs – many burned at the stake but often their suffering served to further the cause of Christ and the spread of God’s word.

The now famous words of Mr Latimer to his friend and fellow martyr, Dr. Ridley, as they were burned at the stake in Oxford on 16 October 1555, “Be of good comfort Mr Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out!”

When I read about Paul and Timothy and others who suffered dreadfully for the sake of their faith in Jesus I find it difficult to apply to my life. By comparison my life is so comfortable. I am unlikely, living in Godalming, to be burned at the stake or imprisoned for preaching the gospel. I don’t think God intends that I look for trouble nor that I purposefully offend people. On the contrary I am called to live at peace with all as far as it depends on me {Rom.12v18}

So how do I apply this to my life? I suppose the question is:-

  • Am I willing to put aside my own natural “wants” / “comforts” for the sake of the gospel?
  • To help the neighbour whose music is too loud?
  • To show kindness to the boss who picks on me?
  • To invite the difficult cantankerous old aunt to Christmas dinner? …….
  • To give up my favourites TV night to pray?
  • To wake up an hour early each morning to prepare to lead a study group / youth activity etc…
  • To put off upgrading to a new computer / new car / bigger house and giving the money to some missionary need….
  • Am I willing to swallow my pride and forego what I think are “my rights”?

The costs will be different for each one!!

These do not quite equal being burned at the stake or being chained up in a Roman dungeon BUT they do show were my heart is / what I consider to be important!

  1. The Experience of all Christians.

The willingness to sacrifice and endure hardship for the sake of the gospel is something required of all believers.

Verses 11-13 are probably a hymn / quote well-known in the early church and Paul’s point here is to show that Christ’s suffering and his own hardships are not unusual but are in fact common Christian experience.

2 Timothy 2:11-13         11 ..If we died with him, we will also live with him;

12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.

If we disown him, he will also disown us;

13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful,

for he cannot disown himself. (NIV)

Now the Bible uses the imagery of dying and living of dying to sin and being raised to new life in Christ [baptism illustrates that]. In the context of this passage I don’t think that is what Paul is talking about here rather he is talking about death to SELF and SAFETY as we daily take up our cross and follow Jesus. This parallels with the next line of “enduring”.

These verses act as an incentive / encouragement and as a warning ~ but they are conditional.

The Incentive is that we can ‘live’ and ‘reign’ with Jesus is glory ~ think of the most perfect / wonderful / enjoyable place to live in and people to live with that you can imagine !!! – living and reign with Christ is infinitely better!!

The condition is that we die to our selfish desires and ambitions and willing endure difficulty / discomfort for Christ’s sake and the sake of the gospel.

The Warning echoes Jesus’ own words in Matthew 10:33 33 … whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. (NIV)

This is a very serious and severe warning.

What does it mean if we are faithless, he will remain faithful – does it mean that if we turn away from Christ and deny him and disown him that we don’t really need to worry because God is faithful and we can be sure he will abandon or punish us??!!

It is true that God is not fickle and that he can not be unfaithful to us BUT equally importantly God cannot he unfaithful to himself he cannot disown / deny himself – including his warnings!!

Faithfulness on God’s part means that he carries out his promises and his threats. Failure on his part to carry out his threats would mean that God was denying himself and he cannot do that.

Now some people might find it strange to say that there certain things that God cannot do. After all, isn’t God all-powerful? Are not all things possible to him?

NO, God is not a Totalitarian despot who exercises his power in an arbitrary way ~ It is true that he has the freedom to use his power as he chooses BUT he chooses to do only good in keeping with his perfect character.

The one thing God cannot do because he will not is to deny himself by acting contrary to his character.

The Bible tells us that . [Hebrews 11:6] 6 … without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV)

Thus if we are faithless [without faith in God] and deny him then he will deny us ~ sober warning!

God always remains faithful to himself – a God of mercy and justice – one who fulfils all his promises whether of blessing or judgement – giving us life if we die with Christ, and a kingdom if we endure with him, BUT denying us IF we deny him by living for self in stead of him.

Throughout this passage Paul has been driving home this one point {soldier, athlete, farmer – Jesus’ experience, Paul’s own experience} blessing comes through pain / fruit through toil / life through death / glory through suffering.

Why then as Christians do we expect things to be easy – neither human wisdom / experience teach us that nor does divine revelation.

In every sphere of life achieving a goal costs – whether in business / sport / education / BUT it doesn’t mean it has to be drudgery.

Take falling in love and marriage – for marriage to be successful we have to work at it no matter how much we may love our spouse there are personal costs. Raising a family – there are personal costs to the parents financial / going without to ensure the children are provided for / sleepless night when they are babies and teenagers – but we do it willingly for their sakes because we love them.

So too with Jesus – if we love him and are committed to his cause we endure difficulties and hardship willingly for a higher purpose.

Hebrews 12:2 2 … Jesus, …., who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

ILLUS.: Our eyes on the goal – stories from the heart p.111.

Take up your cross and follow Christ,

Nor think till death to lay it down;

For only those who bear the cross

May hope to wear the glorious crown. [Charles Everest 1814-77]

No pains, no gains! No cross, no crown!


2 Timothy 2v7-13

  1. The experience of Christ

Who Jesus is

  • Human and Divine
  • Saviour and King

What Jesus demonstrates

  • Death is the door to Life
  • Suffering is the road to Glory
  1. The experience of Paul

His suffering was for the sake of the Christ’s Gospel and Christ’s Church

  1. The experience of all Christians

      The incentive

  • to live and reign with Christ in glory …

      The warning

  • if we disown Christ he will disown us …

 … because he is faithful both to his promises and his judgements

Click here to read more about 2 Timothy and buy this book from AMAZON


2 Timothy 1:13 – 2:2 – Part of a Gospel Relay Team

  • Timothy 1v13 – 2v2.


Part of a Gospel Relay Team



ILLUS.: The image of the Olympic Flame being lit in Stadium Australia is very fresh in our minds having just had the Sydney 2000 Games. But for 4 weeks before Kathy Freeman, the Aboriginal Australian 400m Gold medallist took the touch and lit the flame in the Stadium, many runners had been carrying the touch from Olympia Valley in Greece.

En route some protestors tried to put it out / or snatch it away from the runner BUT the torch was preserved and guarded and passed on until the day it arrived in the Olympic Stadium to light the Olympic flame, which burned throughout the Games.


The Christian Church has been given something far more precious than the Olympic Flame! And while the gospel is given to all, there is a special responsibility placed on those that are gifted and called by God to lead and teach the Church. That doesn’t mean that those who teach are more important BUT it does mean they carry greater responsibility ~ elders must “be able to teach” and that is a good thing to want to be. Teaching takes many forms and is in no way restricted to a monologue lecture type presentation. For those who tech in any form [pulpit / small groups / SS / one-to-one] there is a warning –

James 3:1             1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (NIV)


A pastor has the responsibility together with the leaders that God has provided to lead and teach the congregation– it is not a one-man show – it is a team effort!


Paul writes to the young Timothy with encouragement and instruction.

Paul’s life is coming to an end – he is in prison in Rome awaiting trial and almost certain execution. He has spent the past 30+ years of his life teaching and preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. He has a few things to say to young Timothy – young – timid – plagued with health problems.

In the first ½ of chapter 1 Paul has thanked God for Timothy’s godly upbringing and his dedicated, disciplined discipleship – AND he has outlined the wonder of the gospel of God’s grace revealed in Christ and now committed to men.


In v12 he reminded Timothy that the gospel will triumph to the end because God is able to guard “my deposit”. Not so much what we have entrusted to him [NIV] but what he has entrusted to us – The gospel is God’s work – Jesus said “I will build my church” and he gives us the privilege of working with him.


4 keywords…

  1. Preserve

2 Timothy 1:13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, …..


Preserve WHAT?

Paul has just outline the gospel in verses 9-11 – salvation is a gift of God’s grace through Jesus Christ alone – this is the model/ standard – this is the authentic gospel and neither Paul nor Timothy nor you and I have the right to change it. The authentic gospel has never been popular because it humbles the sinner too much. The temptation when we face opposition is that we water it down to make it more palatable. NO says Paul “Preserve it or it will become unsound teaching”…

Now we need to ensure that what we are trying to preserve is the authentic gospel and not our own particular tradition / or particular bias or blind spot.


ILLUS.: When I was a student I worked in a church with a pastor who had studied in USA where in many churches what you believe about how and when Jesus will return divides congregation. He wanted to make his particular view a requirement for Church membership ~ I and others objected strongly. WHY? Because while the fact of Christ’s return is an essential part of the gospel the timetable of event leading up to and surrounding his return is not.


What we are called to preserve is the essential gospel passed down from the apostles. The WHAT!


Preserve HOW?

….with faith and love in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

The gospel came to us, not in cold impersonal proposition, but in the person of Jesus Christ “full of grace and truth” and that too is the pattern that we are to preserve. So it is to be taught is relationship and modelled in our lives.

Remind you this applies not just to Pastors and leaders but to ALL God’s people. Teaching in faith and love is not saying what people necessarily want to hear ~ it is endeavouring to say what God’s word says! Love is not rubberstamping everyone opinions and views ~ love includes sometimes saying hard and unpopular things.


We must keep in tact the authentic teaching of Christ.


  1. Protect

Paul now urges Timothy to 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you — guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (NIV)

It is astonishing that God has entrusted human beings like you and me with the task of protecting the gospel of Christ.

Timothy was ministering in Ephesus, which was the capital of the Roman Province of Asia. It would appear that many who initially having accepted the gospel taught by Paul were now turning away, the ringleaders possibly Phygelus and Hermogenes.[v15] We do not know the reason for their turning away.


BUT there always are and always have been those who come into the church with their own agenda – they seek self-glory / they seek a following / they have their own agenda / they criticise and undermine the leaders for their own ends – in the process they usually distort the gospel. One of the key ways these people operate is to undermine the leaders of the church.


As leaders and as a congregation we are responsible protect the gospel – don’t allow dissenters / vainglory seekers / gossips to compromise the gospel. You will not agree with me or the other teachers in the church on everything – talk to person about it – don’t gossip to others about him/her. Guard the gospel from dissension from within.


And of course also from without. There always have been and always will be opponents of the gospel of Christ. The gospel is an offence to those who refuse to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord.

BUT we are called to guard it and keep it pure / free from corruption whatever the cost. – Esp. those called to lead and teach God’s people.


Thankfully we do not only encounter deserters and dissenters like Phygelus and Hermogenes BUT we also encounters those like Onesiphorous – {lit. bringer of profit} He was an encouager / one who gave his time and resources and even risked his life to minister to Paul. He is one of the unsung hero / a faithful friend.

We all need people like Onesiphorous who will stand by us / encourage us.


We live in a society that is preoccupied with self – everyone except their needs and their rights to be met – we are deluded if we think this thinking hasn’t infected the church – consumerism reaches even into the church.

So sometimes I hear the comment about church “Oh I didn’t get anything out of it / it didn’t do anything for me!” WELL what did you put into it??!!


14 … — guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (NIV)

guarding the gospel in our own strength is impossible. God is able to guard the gospel until Christ’s return BUT our part is that we are to guard it also with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us

Which leads on to my next point – key word –


  1. Powerful

Paul charge to Timothy is that he should be strong – powerful.


If the prevailing mood is to compromise on the gospel to make it more acceptable / palatable Timothy will need to stand firm – so does every pastor/ church leader!


Paul says to Timothy “Never mind what other people may be thinking or saying or doing. Never mind how weak you yourself may feel. As for you, Timothy, be strong!”

Telling someone, esp. someone as timid as Timothy, to stand against the prevailing tide is like telling an elephant to fly. If this enterprise of the Church is simply a human project then we may as well go home … BUT IT IS NOT….


2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Do you pray for the leaders / teachers in this church that God will strengthen them daily by his grace ~ we need your prayers. We pray for you. Without the grace of Christ strengthening us we will fail!


  1. Pass on

Timothy has received the gospel with the charge to preserve and protect it AND much more ~ to pass it on!

God has set in motion a process that ensures that the Church progresses and grows the gospel will not fail and you know what is so amazing? God has committed the gospel to the church!! From generation to generation!


  • Christ ð Paul ~ The faith was entrusted to Paul and the other apostles by Christ. PAUL ~ Galatians 1:11-12    11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (NIV)


  • Paul ð Timothy ~ What was entrusted to Paul he now entrusts to Timothy “… the deposit entrusted to you.”


  • Timothy ð Faithful People ~ 2 Timothy 2:2 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men [people – anqhropos humankind NOT andros males] who will also be qualified to teach others. (NIV)


  • Faithful People ð Others ~ clearly there are those who are esp. gifted to teach – they first need to be taught / and keep on being taught / learning daily from God’s word – then are responsible to teach others! If you desire to teach others / to be a leader in the Church then you MUST be willing and humble enough to put in the time and effort to learn from God through his Word and from those God has entrusted with responsibility to pass on the gospel. {SEAN – motto “Tim. 2v2” – Tuesday Evening – Terry Barratt}


The Olympic touch illus. breaks down at this point – Like the gospel it is preserved/protected / passed on BUT in the Olympic Stadium a few strain and sweat and the rest are spectators. Christians not called to be spectators – to watch the professionals!! God does not call us to be passive!

The temptation is to think that now after all these years without a Pastor you can relax and let him do the work! After all isn’t that what he is paid for!!!


Binscombe doesn’t have one minister – it has 80-100 of ministers.


Ephesians 4:11-12 11 Christ … gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service {MINISTRY}, so that the body of Christ may be built up (NIV)


It is not my role or that of the other leaders to rush around like headless chickens while the rest look on. Every Christian is a minister – Are you exercising the ministry God has given you! Ministry means serving. Being a servant is not a popular concept – we like others to serve us. To meet our needs and wants!

Mark 10:45 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NIV)

Am I more important than Jesus?


ILLUS.: WHICH BODY is responsible to serve?

Mr. Somebody, Mrs. Everybody, Miss. Anybody and Nobody were 4 church members and still are. Mrs. Everybody seemed to have an excuse when absent. Miss. Anybody wouldn’t go to church because Mr. Somebody would speak to her. So Nobody went. In fact Nobody was the only church member worth having.

Nobody went to the prayer meeting. Nobody joined in evangelism. Nobody was at services. Nobody did his best to help. Once a Sunday School teacher was needed. Mrs. Everybody thought Miss. Anybody could do it and Mr. Somebody thought Mrs. Everybody would want to do it – so Nobody did it! When a new neighbour moved in Mrs. Everybody thought that Mr. Somebody should befriend him. Miss. Anybody could at least make the effort. So who witnessed to him for Christ? Nobody!


Are you prepared to be a Nobody for the cause of Christ?

The Church is a team and we are all players – and if we behave as spectators we have missed the point of what it means to be a Christian.


The church team does not exist for itself – if we turn in and are self-absorbed we have lost the plot!

Why does the Church exist? To glorify God? YES! BUT how practically?

  • Is worshipping together important? YES!
  • Is fellowship important? YES!
  • Is increasing our understanding of God’s Word important? YES!

ALL these we will do better in heaven – so why are we here on earth?

To bear witness to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord – missions and evangelism.

As Christians we have been entrusted with the most precious and valuable thing in the universe ~ the gospel of Christ. BUT we do not protect it and preserve it by locking it up in a museum and rolling it out now and then to look at it. The gospel is preserved and protected as it is passed on and given away through the grace of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.







2 Timothy 1v:3-7 The matter of Christian character development

2 Timothy 1v3-7


The Matter of Christian Character Development


What are the ingredients that go to make us what we are?

There is much debate today around the subject of what influences who we are? Is it our genetic makeup? Is it our family / cultural upbringing? Is it a combination of these and other factors.

Certainly we inherit certain characteristics from our parents. I sometimes catch myself saying / doing things these days and I think, “I sound just like my father!” It is a bit scary really!!

The culture in which we live also has an influence – many things we do or the way we think is influenced by the culture in which we grow up. We think our culture is normal!


ILLUS.: Just this week is was with a group of people and spoke to one man who I had never met before and after a few moment he said to me, “You have an accent!” And I thought to myself “And you don’t!”

I remember some years ago collecting three American ladies from the Airport and as we drove out the car park onto the roads one remarked “Oh! You are driving on the WRONG-side of the road!”

We judge things from our own cultural perspective because our culture shapes us to a degree – even if we are not aware of it!


As we look at this letter that Paul writes to Timothy we can see some of the ingredients that have help to shape Timothy’s life as a Christian. As Paul writes he is remembering certain things about Timothy – the things that have moulded his life:-


  • I constantly remember you in my prayers. [v3]
  • I remember your tears [v4]
  • I am reminded of your sincere faith [v5]

AND when I remember you Timothy, says Paul, “I thank God”

Those first three words of v.3 are key because it shows us that Paul is very aware that the godly characteristics Timothy exhibits are there by God’s grace and he deserves to be praised and thanked.


Paul now continues and mentions basically 4 things that God has used to shape Timothy’s life. Four things that matter.




  1. Family Matters


2 Timothy 1:3-5 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, ….. 5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.


Paul here mentions his forefathers {and indeed Timothy’s – half Jewish} and also Timothy’s Grandmother Lois and mother Eunice.

We are all to a greater of lesser degree products of our history – both national and family.

Paul often refers to his forefathers – who does he have in mind? Probably Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as other men and women of God from the OT. For Paul, a Jew as for a Jew today, to become a Christian is not to deny their Jewish heritage or be disloyal to their ancestors’ beliefs but to see it as a fulfilment of all their forebears’ faith and hope.


We know from Acts 16 the Timothy’s mother was a Jewess and his father a Greek who, it would appear was an unbeliever. Thus Timothy’s was born into a home of mixed marriage – both in terms of nationality and religious faith.


The sincere faith of Timothy’s mother and grandmother had had a profound influence on Timothy’s young life. It also seems evident that his mother actively taught him – 2 Timothy 3:15 15 …. from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, …..

He was possibly sent to synagogue to learn but that was no doubt reinforced in the home by word and action. It is true that we cannot inherit our parents faith – each child must come to faith in Christ personally BUT God honours the influence of godly parents – that is not a guarantee that children will follow the faith of their parents BUT a child can be led to Christ by his/her parents’ teaching, example and prayers.


The influences on children these days are very great – TV, movies, magazines, peers, advertising, while the influence of parents, teachers and church has dwindled. YET this doesn’t diminish the responsibility of parents for their children.


What if my husband or wife is not a Christian? That doesn’t mean that he/she is a bad parent!! Good parenting is good parenting! And as in the case of Timothy his mother / grandmother influenced him spiritually.

What about single parents? Well of course it is tough – but possible as many prove and God is gracious in answering the prayers of single Christian parents.

What if I didn’t have a godly / good / stable family background? God can use all our experiences, even the bad ones, to mould us and make us into what He desires if we will respond to him and to his ways.


ILLUS.: I grew up with a father who was a very heavy drinker – I till some good things from him – I watched my mother cope with graciousness and endurance. And it has given me as an adult an understanding of the pressures that people living in those circumstances have to cope with. And the struggle of those with a drinking addiction.


Timothy was blessed in having a godly grandmother – grandparents have a key role to play:

ILLUS.: Response of 8 year old to the question “What is a Granny?”

  • A lady with no child of her own who like other people’s girls and boys.
  • She doesn’t have to be smart; just able to answer questions like, “Why do dogs hate cats?” and “Why isn’t God married?”
  • A grandfather is a man-grandmother.
  • He goes for walks with boys and they talk about fishing and tractors.
  • When they read to us they don’t skip bits. Everybody should have one, esp. if you don’t have TV, because they are the only grown-ups who have time


Timothy was blessed with a godly mother. It was John Wesley the great revival preacher and founder of Methodism who said “I learn more about God from my mother than from all the theologians of England.”

“Mums, you have a very unique and privileged responsibility!”


  1. Friends Matter

As we grow older and less dependent on our parents, our friends can have a great influence on our lives.

Paul had a very close relationship with Timothy.

2 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son:

1 Corinthians 4:17 …I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. ….

Paul was Timothy’s ‘spiritual’ father and friend. He had taken him under his wing – took him along on his missionary journeys – trained him. When they had parted the last time it was with tears.

2 Timothy 1:4 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. (NIV)

…I long to see you…carries the sense of homesick-yearning – [Bishop Handley Moule]

In the meantime while they were apart he prayed for him constantly and wrote letters to him to encourage him. Such friends are of infinite value!!


LLUS.: Janet and I have a friend in SA – a retired pastor now – who many years ago said he would pray for us everyday and still does – and writes to us at least 2x a year.


The question to ask ourselves is “Am I being that kind of friend to someone else?”

It is called mentoring / discipling.


ILLUS.: Stories for the Heart – p.101 – “Mentoring”


  1. Ability Matters

[Gifts / Talents / Training / Experience]

Paul now moves from the indirect influences that shaped timothy’s life to the direct gifts and ability God gave him.

All the gifts we have whether natural talents of spiritual gifts are ultimately from God himself.

This was so in Timothy’s case. 2 Timothy 1:6 6 .. I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (NIV)


We are not told what gift/s Timothy received but given his responsibilities we can assume in must have included teaching and pastoring gifts.


Everyone has talents and ability. Everyone can do something. On top of that if you are a Christian then you also have spiritual a gift/s. [charisma – grace gift – Rom.12 / 1Cor.12]


What becomes clear as we read Paul’s letters is that God gives gifts and abilities to enable us to do his will BUT it is not automatic – we must co-operate – they need to be sharpened.


4. Discipline Matters

In his 1st letter Paul wrote to Timothy – 1 Timothy 4:14 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. (NIV)


Now he says in his 2nd letter – 2 Timothy 1:6 6 .. I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (NIV)

Paul likens the gift to a fire which need rekindling – for a fire to stay ablaze it needs feeding and fanning.


ILLUS.: This weekend marks the beginning of the Sydney Olympics. ALL the athletes taking part are very talented BUT there are millions of people sitting at home watching on TV who are just as talented but will never qualify for the Olympics. The difference is the Olympians have worked hard at developing their talents. Years and years of training and discipline.


Giftedness is insufficient – natural and spiritual – these need to be subjected to the will and purposes of God. Kept ablaze by faithfully using them AND waiting upon God in prayer for constant renewal.


Timothy, as we saw last week was young, suffered with ill health and was timid by nature. Timothy is shy and sensitive. Therefore Paul reminds him in 2 Timothy 1:7 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (NIV)

Paul urges him not to be diffident in using his God-given gift/s but to be courageous.


When talking about Timothy’s specific gift he says “you” [v6] BUT when speaking of the Spirit of God giving us a spirit of power / love / self-control he says “us” – because this is something that all Christians have.


The gifts we have received and the power we have been given to use them are NOT for self – John Stott puts it like this: “Since he is the Spirit of power we may be confident of his enabling as we exercise our ministry. Since he is the Spirit of love we must use God’s authority and power in serving others, not in self-assertion or vainglory. And since he is the spirit of self control we must use them with seemly reverence and restraint.”


These are the things that make Timothy what he is – and indeed makes all God’s people what they are.

There were many factors that made timothy what he was – godly up-bringing, Paul’s friendship and training, God’s gifts to him and his own self-discipline in using and developing those gifts and character.


As we look at both Paul and Timothy we see a combination of divine sovereignty and human responsibility. Where does one end and the other begin? We can’t and should not try to draw too sharp a division, we can only conclude what with Paul what he says in 1 Corinthians 15:10 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.


When all is said and done whatever we may achieve for the kingdom of God is by his enabling and he alone deserves the praise and glory.

BUT this leaves no room for complacency or passivity. It was the grace of God that inspired Paul to work hard – not necessarily busyness.


Timothy was the same. His mother and grandmother could teach him the scriptures; Paul could befriend him, train him and pray for him; God could give him special gifts; BUT still Timothy himself must stir up that God-given gift and add to that his own self-discipline.


And we are no different:

  • Whatever gifts / talents we have – whether natural or spiritual
  • Whatever influences family and friends have had on our lives

WE are still responsible to be self-disciplined as we co-operate with God — IF NOT we will never mature into the men and women that God desires us to be NOR will we fulfil the ministry he has given us to exercise!


What ingredients have gone and are going into the development of your character? Are you willing to receive from others or does pride get in the way?


What ingredients are you contributing to the building up of others – as Paul contributed to Timothy’s life? Who do you spend time with for the sake of God’s kingdom? Who do you sacrifice for? Who do you earnestly pray for?

Are you using all the God has made you and given you for his kingdom and glory?



The Matter of Christian Character Development


2 Timothy 1v3-7


1.   Family Matters


  1. Friends Matter


  1. Ability Matters


  1. Discipline Matters


Christian character develops by a combination of Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility …


…BUT in the final analysis … by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

The Apostle Paul -1 Corinthians 15:10

2 Timothy 1:1 – The Promise of Life in the Face of Death

2 Timothy 1v1


The Promise of Life in the Face of Death.



ILLUS.: Imagine for a moment – you know your life is about to end. The cause that you have given your life to and worked hard at is under great threat. You have a short time to write a letter of instruction and encouragement to one of a few who also believe in the same cause. Who would you write to? What would you say?


Paul is coming to the end of his life and he knows it only too well.

2 Timothy 4:7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.


His overriding concern is now that the message about Jesus Christ is passed on and the well being of the Christian Church is protected and prospers.


One of the major purposes for him writing this letter is to urge / encourage / solemnly charge young Timothy [look at him in a moment] to preserve at all cost the gospel he has received AND pass it on to others who will then faithfully teach others – from one generation to another!

2 Timothy 2:2 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable [persons –anthropoi] men who will also be qualified to teach others.


This is the core purpose of this letter – that the gospel is preserved and perpetuated.


A little background is helpful.


Paul is in prison in Rome – 2 Timothy 1:8  So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. ….

He was in prison many times is different places on all kinds of trumped up charges – this is the 2nd time he has been in prison in Rome. The first time was under house arrest but this time is different.

This time the persecution under the Roman Emperor Nero was in full swing. He was almost certainly in a dungeon, which would have had a hole in the ceiling for air and light.His friend and fellow worker, Onesiphorus had searched painstakingly for him – 2 Timothy 1:17 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. (NIV)

He literally in chains – 2 Timothy 1:16     16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. (NIV)

2 Timothy 2:9 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. ….. (NIV)

He was also, lonely and bored and cold – 2 Timothy 4:9-13

9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments. (NIV)


It seems the preliminary trial has taken place – 2 Timothy 4:16-17

16 At my first defence, no-one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. (NIV)

I am sure he means literally saved from the Lion’s mouth in one of Nero’s famous touch-light parties!

As he awaited the full trial he didn’t expect to be acquitted but to face death!

2 Timothy 4:6-8

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. [from this life!!]7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race [of life], I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day [[of judgement] — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing [when Jesus Christ returns to this earth].


The indications are that tradition is correct and Paul’s expectations were fulfilled – he was beheaded on the Ostain Way about three miles outside the city of Rome.


Few Christians in our context are called upon to suffer in this way – but there are many in other parts of the world who have to make the ultimate sacrifice. We may be tempted to think that lack of persecution and suffering is a sign of God’s blessing / approval – NOT necessarily!!


This is Paul’s situation as he writes to his young friend Timothy.


In many ways the mantle of leadership that Paul carries is being passed to Timothy.



If you or I were to choose a successor to Paul it would probably not be Timothy.

  • He was young  – probably in his mid-thirties. In our modern world to be young is desirable / marketable / valued while to be older can mean being less valued / less employable. It is interesting that when we look through the scripture very few people accomplished anything significant before the age of 40!! Does our Western pursuit of youthfulness have something to learn!
  • He was prone to illness – he had frequent ailments and Paul advises him to take a little wine!! [interesting!!]
  • He was timid by temperament  – maybe in today’s psychological analysis he would be considered and introvert.


Yet Paul values him 2 Timothy 1:2  To Timothy, my dear son: ….

– in spite of his youthfulness, his physical frailty and his retiring personality. Timothy has a heart for God and a love for God’s people and he now has placed upon him a great burden of responsibility to lead the Church of God in Ephesus.


Paul writes to him to urge him

  • To be a guardian of the Truth of the Gospel.
  • To be willing to even suffer for the gospel like a good soldier.
  • To never give up but always move forward.
  • To past on to other the message of the gospel.




– a changed man.


Paul was a Jew, from the tribe of Benjamin – he was very well educated – he had studied under the famous Jewish teacher, Gamaliel. He was a shining light amongst the up and coming Jewish rabbis. He hated the Christians and set out to make life for them as miserable and difficult as possible. He was prepared to go to any lengths to stop the spread of this new Jewish sect – the people of the Way.


BUT God had other plans – Paul was dramatically converted on the Damascus road.

He spent three years in the Arabian Desert and then helped teach and lead the church in Antioch. It was from there that God called Him and Barnabas to there missionary work!!


It is interesting that God called the leaders of the church to go – also that Paul and Barnabas were not on cloud 9 waiting a voice from heaven they were involved in the church where they were —- if you have desires to serve God abroad – the best way is to start serving him here!!


God changed Saul from an anti-Christian persecutor into a godly preacher of the good news.


– a commissioned man.


Paul was an apostle – lit. “a sent one” – This word could be used in a very broad sense to refer to anyone sent out on a mission. We could use it of ourselves in the sense that we too are commissioned by God to be his witnesses. BUT Paul uses it in a much narrower sense with reference to himself and the other 12 who Jesus called.


This apostleship which Paul has received is not because a Church council choose him – nor that he volunteered for the job BUT he was chosen and appointed by God [the will of God] to be a messenger for Jesus Christ.  He is not just a great teacher or a missionary hero BUT a God-appointed APOSTLE.


In Acts 26 Paul gives an account of his conversion – The Risen Christ speaks to him  vv. 26:16-18 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (NIV)

This commissioning Paul could never forget – It came from the Risen Christ and not from men!2 Timothy 1:1 …, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, ..


God changed Paul and then commissioned him. God does the same thing today – we don’t have leaders with the same authority as Paul and Peter and the other Apostles – their authority is now recorded in scripture  – but all Christians have been changed and commissioned.

Changed from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive!! 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Commissioned by the same risen Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, …


The Promise of life!

What is the purpose of this calling and commission that Paul has received?

What is the purpose of every Christian’s calling and commission?

………..The Promise of life!


The Gospel – which means Good News, is that God has promised dying sinners life in Jesus Christ!

In none of his other letters does Paul begin with this phrase. BUT when we consider the fact that the Apostle Paul is facing death is seems so apt / pertinent that he should refer to the “Promise of Life”. That is exactly what the gospel is!

If the Good News about Jesus Christ appears to be dull and boring and lifeless than maybe we as Christians have to take a long hard look at our lives.


Jesus was many things but he was not dull and boring and lifeless – and if we Christians walk around looking like we have been baptized in vinegar then we need to ask ourselves if our relationship with Jesus is what it should be.

Jesus was challenging, fun, exciting, radical, unconventional … dull he was not.

He came to give life – John 10:10 ……I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV)


It is a promise of Life that is not just future – it begins NOW!

John 3:36 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, …. [NOT will have!!]


The Promise of Life is in Christ Jesus.


This life – eternal / spiritual / – “ .. is in Christ Jesus”

So Paul writes in verse 10….2 Timothy 1:10 .., Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (NIV)


The Christian Gospel does more than simply ‘offer’ life, it ‘promises’ life !

The Bible is emphatic … 1 John 5:12 12 whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (NIV)


Real Life is more than the physical life we see around us – The apostle Paul is an old man facing an untimely and cruel death – YET he begins his letter rejoicing in the promise of life.

What is there to be happy about – chained up in a smelly, dark and damp dungeon, alone and facing death – “He has the promise of life in Christ Jesus”

For Paul death is not a miserable end but a glorious new beginning!!


On a previous occasion he had written to the Church in Phillippi …

Philippians 1:21-23 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; (NIV)


Can you and I face death or any of life’s other traumas with the confidence that “My life is secure in Jesus?”

This promise of Life is to ALL – If you have received it – Rejoice! If not I urge you to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Paul facing death was confident that all was well because he had received the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus and nothing that happened to him, not even death, could change that fact!


ILLUS.: The story of Horatio Spafford … It is well with my soul


Horatio G. Spafford, Chicago Presbyterian layman,  was born in North Troy, New York, on October 20, 1828. As a young man Spafford had established a most successful legal practice in Chicago. Despite his financial success, he always maintained a keen interest in Christian activities. He enjoyed a close and active relationship with D. L. Moody and the other evangelical leaders of that era. He was described by George Stebbins, a noted gospel musician, as a “man of unusual intelligence and refinement, deeply spiritual, and a devoted student of the Scriptures.”

Some months prior to the Chicago Fire of 1871, Spafford had invested heavily in real estate on the shore of Lake Michigan, and his holdings were wiped out by this disaster. Just before this he had experienced the death of his son. Desiring a rest for his wife and four daughters as well as wishing to join and assist Moody and Sankey in one of their campaigns in Great Britain, Spafford planned a European trip for his family in 1873. In November of that year, due to unexpected last minute business developments, he had to remain in Chicago; but he sent his wife and four daughters on ahead as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre. He expected to follow in a few days. On November 22 the ship was struck by the Lochearn, an English vessel, and sank in twelve minutes. Several days later the survivors were finally landed at Cardiff, Wales, and Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, “Saved alone.” Shortly afterward Spafford left by ship to join his bereaved wife. It is speculated that on the sea near the area where it was thought his four daughters had drowned, Spafford penned this text with words so significantly describing his own personal grief, “When sorrows like sea billows roll…” It is noteworthy, however, that Spafford does not dwell on the theme of life’s sorrows and trials but focuses attention in the third stanza on the redemptive work of Christ and in the fourth verse anticipates His glorious second coming. Humanly speaking, it is amazing that one could experience such personal tragedies and sorrows as did Horatio Spafford and still be able to say with such convincing clarity, “It is well with my soul.”



The Promise of Life in the Face of Death.


2 Timothy 1v1


The Letter


Written by Paul

      From Rome

            In prison

                  In chains

                        Lonely, cold, bored

                        Facing execution


Written to Timothy

      Young in years

            Prone to illness

                  Timid in temperament

           BUT with a heart for God and God’s Church


The man Paul




The Promise of Life…

… is in Christ Jesus.

      Even in the face of death.


2 Timothy1:8-12 – CHRISTIAN! Proud or ashamed of the Gospel?

2 Timothy1v8-12


“CHRISTIAN! Proud or ashamed of the Gospel?”


ILLUS.: In the early hours of yesterday morning (British Time) Steven Redgrave won a fifth gold medal in his fifth successive Olympic Games. There is hard a Brit alive who isn’t proud to British at that point. Even my SA blood gets excited about that and I am proud of my adopted country.


BUT when football hooligans go on the rampage / or the SA cricket captain admits to taking brides to forecast/fix matches we feel a sense of disappointment and deep shame to be associated with such actions.


These feelings of pride and shame are very strong and very real.

Pride or shame over our sporting heroes is not a matter of life or death in spite of some people’s passion for sport and the now famous comment “Football is not a matter of life or death it is much more impotent than that!”


For the Apostle Paul writing to his friend Timothy telling him NOT to be ashamed of him or the gospel it was in fact a matter of life and death.

Physical life and death because of Paul’s predicament – imprisoned awaiting trial and probably execution and also for Timothy working away in Ephesus in a hostile environment as the Persecution of Christians was gaining pace!


BUT the gospel that Paul and Timothy and every Christian is witness to is in fact not just a matter of PHYSICAL life and death but has huge implications for what happens in this life and after!!


Why then was Timothy tempted to be afraid and ashamed?

Why are we tempted to be ashamed / embarrassed by what we believe and Jesus Christ?


We know that Timothy was young and timid – and given the context in which he lived it was easy to see how he could be afraid / ashamed?


1. Realise your Resources [v.7]

In v. 7, which we saw last week, Paul reminds Timothy of God’s gifts of power, love and self-discipline.


His encouragement is “Realise your Resources!” There is no need to be afraid or ashamed.


2. Resist being afraid / ashamed [v.8a]

2 Timothy 1:8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. ….(NIV)


ILLUS.: How do you respond / feel when in a group someone makes scathing remarks about Christians / Church?

OR “You are not one of those ‘born-again’ Christians, are you?”

          “Don’t tell me you actually go to church – I gave up fairytales long ago!”


Why do we feel embarrassed / ashamed? Usually – certainly for me – it is because we are afraid of what other people may think about ‘me’.


Yet Paul writes to Timothy and urges him to let suffering rather than shame characterise his Christian life! No one desires to suffer but given a choice between suffering and being ashamed of God and his gospel Paul says, “Choose suffering!” After all, what is the worst that can happen to you – death – which is what Paul was facing? In the face of death what others think of me pales into insignificance. AND Jesus has overcome death so what is there to ultimately be afraid of.


Don’t be ashamed Timothy:-

Äof the Lord.

Äof the Lord’s people.

Äof the Lord’s gospel.

…these same three things apply to Christians today.

… of the Lord

We must not be ashamed of Christ. Every Christian is Christ’s witness – essentially Christian witness is testifying to or about Jesus Christ. “Am I ready and willing, if needs be, to be a “fool” for Christ’s sake? 1 Corinthians 4:10 10 We are fools for Christ, …! (NIV)


… of the Lord’s people

Timothy must not be ashamed of his Lord nor of Paul, one of the Lord’s people.

It is possible to be proud of being a Christian but ashamed of belonging to God’s people.

ILLUS.: “I believe in Jesus but I don’t go to church – it is full of hypocrites!”

          Well, why not join us one more won’t make any difference!”


When Paul was arrested and thrown in jail some of his ‘friends’, so called, abandoned him and didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Paul urges Timothy not to be a fair-weather friend to God’s people.


… of the Lord’s gospel

The world we live in where tolerance and pluralistic beliefs abound the claims of the Christian gospel to the uniqueness of Jesus as the absolute Truth and only way to God goes down like a lead-balloon. The gospel can seem very foolish – the temptation to water it down to accommodate popular philosophy is very strong. The days in which Timothy and Paul lived were no different, gods and philosophies were two-a-penny BUT Paul urges Timothy and us not to be … ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16

… resist being ashamed of the Gospel but rather be willing to suffering for it.


3. Rather be willing to suffer. [v.8b]

…. But for the right reasons!!!

2 Tim. 1:8 … But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

We must define what we mean by suffering. What kind of suffering are we talking about?

We suffer for different reasons:-

ÄAs members of the human race – common to all.

ÄAs a result of the wrongdoing of others.

ÄAs a result of our own foolishness.

ÄAs a result of our witness to the Gospel of Christ.


In the context of this letter Paul is talking about the final one!

Having urged Timothy to be willing to suffer for the gospel – because it is worth suffering for – Paul now launches into a description of what the gospel is.


4. Recall what the gospel is! [v9-10]

2 Timothy 1:9-10 9 [God] who has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (NIV)


Here Paul describes the gospel – he has done so in other letters so what he says here in not new – it is the same gospel he received. It is the same gospel that all the apostles taught.


2000 years later there is still only one gospel of Jesus Christ / one message of salvation.

We need to convey the gospel in a contemporary way to people in the 21st C but we are not at liberty to alter in any way the substance of the message!

So what is the gospel?

Three basic areas:-

ÄThe Features of Salvation (What it is)

ÄThe Fountainhead of salvation (Where it comes from)

ÄThe foundation of Salvation (What it rests on)


… The Features of Salvation (What it is)

3 phrases in these two verses that give us an understanding of what salvation is.

“… saved us…” / “…called us…” / “… brought life and immortality to light…”

The gospel of salvation is not JUST forgiveness for sin. We do not simply teach a gospel of ‘sin management’ as some kind of spiritual insurance policy. “Your sins are forgiven, you have a ticket to heaven, now relax and live your life as you wish!”


Also called to life a holy life [v.9].  To live for God in a way that pleases God.

Also ‘immortality’ is an integral part of salvation.

ÄSaved us – justifies us before God – on the basis of what Jesus did on the cross God accepts us and pardons of offences against him

ÄCalled us to be holy –sanctifies by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God as we co-operate with Him he progressively transforms us to be more and more like Christ.

ÄThen finally we will have new bodies / immortality in heaven perfect in every way – will finally glorify all his people.


We must never restrict the gospel of salvation to a narrow view of just forgiveness of sin as important a part as that is.


… The Fountainhead of salvation (Where it comes from)

Answer in v.9 – 2 Timothy 1:9-10 9 ….. — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, …..


before the beginning of time …OR before the world began / OR from all eternity.


This wonderful gospel of salvation that is offered to all in Christ is something for which we can claim no credit. This was in the plan and purpose of God before any of us were born. This salvation is all God’s doing and the teaching that this was planned and given us ‘before time’ is difficult to grasp and understand and causes our finite minds to boggle and still come up short!


However, this teaching of the Bible about God’s plan and purposes for us from before the beginning of the world are not there to baffle us or to entertain our curiosity. BUT when we consider that the God of the Universe is concerned about “me” and has taken the initiative and completely provided for my salvation / rescue – it should cause great humility and gratitude in me.

It also brings the assurance that my eternal safety doesn’t ultimately depend on me but on the purposes of God.


ILLUS.: Recently the world watched with great anxiety as the Russian submarine the Kurtz lay stranded at the bottom of the Barents Sea. Sadly all the crew died.

There have been other such incidents where the crew has been rescued.

Imagine a diving bell being lowered to the ill-fated sub and the members of the crew saying to the rescuers:-  “I’ll think it over!” — “I’ll wait for a more convenient time!”– “I am in good health just as I am.” —  “There is too much to give up – this is a very sophisticated life as a sub-mariner.” — “I don’t understand the workings of the diving bell.”

Ridiculous?? Yes! Yet refusing God’s rescue is just so!


… The foundation of Salvation (What it rests on)

It is not some fanciful theory or mystical ritual. The gospel of salvation is firmly founded in history. 2 Timothy 1:10 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (NIV)

God’s grace may have been given ‘before time..’ BUT it was shown to us in history – in time and space – in the physical world!


What did Jesus accomplish? Look at v.10b

  • He destroyed death  — the result of sin

–    physical / Jesus rose from the dead / we still die BUT

–       spirtiual death / all like this until made spiritually alive in Christ

–       eternal death separated from God’s love forever.

  • “He brought Life and immortality to life” – The positive counterpart to the abolition of death is that from death Christ rose from the dead never to die again – immorality for a human being!   And he offers to ALL who will believed on him life and immortality.

Whether there is a distinction between these two words is unclear – though probably it is immortality that describes the kind of life that Jesus offers.


Bear in mind who is writing these words – a man facing imminent execution. YET in the very presence of death he can loudly claim: “Christ has abolished death”

Now I realise that the process of dying can be unpleasant / leaving loved ones to struggle in this life concerns us deeply / sorrow and bereavement is very real and painful BUT as Christians surely we need to witness to the world that death is not a terrible final end – but a glorious new beginning and so even in the midst of sorrow Christians can REJOICE.


This is the gospel Paul believed: So why was he suffering for it?

Because he was endeavouring to pass it on – he had been appointed a preacher / apostle / teacher.


5. Recognise your responsibility.


2 Timothy 1:11 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am… (NIV)

There are no apostles like Paul today. But there are preacher and teacher, men and women call by God to devote themselves to this work.

While some are esp. gifted in preaching and teaching ALL Christians are responsible to testify / witness to Christ and gospel of salvation.

If we faithfully bear witness to Jesus and his claims we will suffer for it in some way. We are not to look for trouble / force the gospel on people BUT the gospel is an offence to those who reject it.


ILLUS.: How can you be so arrogant as to claim that your beliefs are the only true ones.


We don’t have to condemn other beliefs but simply by claiming Jesus as the absolute Truth we automatically exclude other claims. BUT it is not our claim it’s HIS.


6. Remember where true security lies.

2 Timothy 1:12. …….Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (NIV)


Paul is not ashamed of the gospel nor is he ashamed to suffer for it.

Because his security and the security of the gospel is in safe hands – GOD’S!

The words … what I have entrusted to him … are lit. “my deposit”.

Does he mean the deposit of my life into God’s hands OR does he mean God’s deposit of the gospel to me?


Both are taught in the NT BUT having just described the gospel and himself as it preacher/ teacher and in 2v2 he will talk of entrusting to others what he has taught Timothy it seem he has in mind the gospel that God’s has committed to him / and us / to pass on!

And what gives Paul great confidence for the future success of the gospel is the fact that God himself is the Guarantor of the Gospel. He takes final responsibility for its preservation. Just as he takes final responsibility for the preservation of all his saints.


IF the gospel of salvation, even in small part, depended on us it would be very shaky ground – Fortunately it depends solely on God who is able to guard it and us until the day Jesus returns!


Jesus gave a stark warning to those who were embarrassed by him: Mark 8:38 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (NIV)


Are you, like Paul, convinced of the truth of the gospel and  that God can guard His Gospel and you to the end?

It is a glorious gospel from a glorious Saviour – we have everything to be proud of if we belong to Christ and nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.


“CHRISTIAN! Proud or ashamed of the Gospel?”

2 Timothy1v8-12


1. Realise your Resources[v7]

“… spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline”


2. Resist being afraid / ashamed [v8a]

of the Lord

of the Lord’s people

of the Lord’s gospel


3. Rather be willing to suffer [v8b]

As members of the humanity – common to all.

As a result of the wrongdoing of others.

As a result of our own foolishness

As a result of our witness to the Gospel


4. Recall what the gospel is  [v9-10]

The Features of Salvation (What it is)

“… saved us…”  – Justifies

“…called us…”  – Sanctifies

“… brought life and immortality to light…”  – will glorify


ÄThe Fountainhead of salvation (Where it comes from)

– salvation is all God’s plan and God’s doing


The Foundation of Salvation (What it rests on)

“Jesus destroyed death”

“Jesus has brought life and immortality


5. Recognise your responsibility[v11-12a]

ALL Christians are responsible to testify / witness to Christ and gospel of salvation


6. Remember where true security lies[v12b]

God himself is the Guarantor of the Gospel

He guards all his saints