Strong in Grace

by Feb 16, 20202 Timothy, Sermon

Strength is found in the grace of God. The things we learn from God are worth passing along to others—those who are showing themselves faithful already. Living for God and investing in others is always related to faithful endurance. Life is difficult and so is life with God. But our endurance will be rewarded that day when we stand before Jesus.


Good morning!  I’m really glad we could be together here today. So excited! If you’re a guest with us, we welcome you. If you’re joining us online, we’re glad you’re here, too—or right here on our campus in our video café. I love that we get to do this. I hope you feel the same way. Week, after week, after week we can gather together—there’s something about the Spirit felt in the room, and then of course, as we open God’s word—what a powerful thing!

I think you’d all agree that last words are important words. If you knew you were dying and had to choose a set of words to pass along to those that you love, that would be quite a challenge—for some of us it may come easy, for some of us it may come difficult. We would choose those words carefully, however, and that’s what the apostle Paul has done with his disciple Timothy. He’s writing his very last letter included in the scriptures because he is about to be executed—he’s  about to be executed for his faith, his belief in Jesus. So, while all scripture is inspired, I particularly find the words of 2nd Timothy inspiring. Because, in that context, we understand that these are words carefully chosen under the influence of the Holy Spirit written to young Timothy.

We are in Part 3 of a verse-by-verse look at the book of 2nd Timothy, a small little book in the New Testament and my hope is that you brought a Bible with you here today.  We’re going to spend time going through this, and I have a lot that I want to communicate to you, so pray that God allows me to do that in an intelligible way because there’s a lot to cover.

Long before Tom Cruise starred in Mission Impossible there had already existed a television series by that same name—and I see quite a few of you that are around my age or older, and so you would remember that. I grew up in an age where the whole spy/secret-agent thing was just so intriguing to me. Even now, I kind of want to be a secret agent and I think being a pastor would be an awesome cover! Wouldn’t you?  Yeah.  Some of you are wondering…. So, when I thought about that whole show all those years ago, I remember how each episode would start. It would be very similar. It would go something like this: it  would begin with Jim Phelps going to some clandestine location and there he would find an envelope with his mission orders and he would find a tape recorder.  He would pull that out and he would be informed about his mission. It usually started with something like this: he would push play on the tape recorder, and we would hear, “Good morning Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you decide to accept it….” And it would go on to describe the details of the mission that he and his team were about to embark on, and then the voice on the tape recorder would continue and it would say, “as always, should you or any member of your IMF team be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your action. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.” Okay? And they were off on the mission. Now, I don’t know if you have thought about this or not but you and I are on a daily mission. We are on a mission from God. We are to share the light of Jesus Christ with people. We are to live in such a way where God is honored by the way that we live, the things that we do, say and think, and so Paul is writing to young Timothy and he is urging Timothy and he’s urging you and me to be on mission—to be people that wake up every day and understand that God has something for us to do that is enormously significant and He wants us, with His help, to accomplish that. So, we are in this study and it is filled with all kinds of exciting ideas. Again, I hope you have a Bible with you.  We’re going to follow along together. Let’s jump right in and pick up where we left off last week.

This is from 2 Timothy 2:1 which starts like this: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  Man, I love that—that is so clear! It is so powerful. It is such a compelling challenge as Paul writes to Timothy. “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  Now, one of the things we miss in English that you don’t miss in Greek—the original language in which this was written—is that little word you there, is emphatic. If we were to try to highlight this, we might circle it or, you know, put quotes around it or make it bold or whatever, but he starts this verse almost as though he is saying YOU!  It’s just really important, Timothy—YOU therefore, my son—literally my child—be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Now one of the reasons I think he starts by emphasizing Timothy is because, if you were here last week you know, if you will glance back in chapter one there, you know that Paul is comparing Timothy to Paul’s less faithful friends who abandoned him: Phygelus and Hermogenes.  These were guys who had every opportunity to support Paul and support the gospel and they drifted away; they loosened their grip. So, Paul is writing now to Timothy and he’s saying YOU—in contrast to these deserters—YOU, by the way, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  Grace.  Be strong in grace.  Man, what a tagline, right? Paul said it this way, in 1 Corinthians 15:10 he said, “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.”  The grace of God. It’s that wonderful idea of God’s unmerited favor toward you and toward me.  If you’re here today kicking the tires of Christianity, or God, or Church, or the Bible, you have to trip over this idea of grace found in the person of Jesus; because in grace you have something you can’t find anywhere else.  It is this thing that God comes at us with—His love—with this plan of Salvation. Undeserved. No single person in this room or in this world deserves it and Paul knew that. He says this “by the grace of God, I am what I am.”  Notice he says “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.”  I think from this verse and others we can almost conclude that grace, another way of understanding grace, is the power and desire to do God’s will. It really is that strong and there’s no greater way to encourage someone that you’re trying to pour your life into than Paul did for Timothy and say, “be strong in God’s grace.”

Ask people about what LifePoint is all about and you may hear different answers but somewhere for those who have been here, for those who know what we stand for, somewhere in that description you will hear people say ‘well, they’re about grace—they’re about the grace of God.’  And I have to say, I think we’re in great company.  He continues verse 2, “and the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Here we have Paul’s marching orders. He’s saying listen, I’m pouring my life into you, Timothy, and now I’m expecting you to find people to pour your life into as well. This is how this exciting news of Jesus and this life changing power gets communicated. Now, I think most of us can point to at least 1 or 2 or 3 people who have had this kind of impact on our lives. People that have seen in us some kind of faithfulness and have poured into us because they had something that’s changed their lives and they in turn wanted to communicate that to us. Can you think of those people in your life? Who are they? What were the circumstances? I can think of several people in my life. Going to a Christian college there was a guy on faculty there who came to me and said, essentially, “I see potential in you and I’d like to invest in you” and he taught lots of classes. And he said, “I’d like for you to teach one of my classes” and I said “wow, really? You know what you’re saying?” Sure enough, through that he helped me, he mentored me, he processed—what do you think you did right? What do you think you did wrong? What do you think could be improved?—he poured his life into me.  Later, after Trish and I were married, I was working at church in Florida and I had a friend who at the time worked for Martin Marietta (the name’s changed, I think they were sold or something) but he was a brilliant guy, a lover of Jesus and had great knowledge of the Bible. We would spend lots of evenings together just pouring over scripture and he poured his life into me. I’ll never forget that. Bill Holland was his name. Later on, in Graduate School in Dallas, Zane Hodges became a mentor of mine—incredible Greek scholar, he was chairman of the Department of New Testament at Dallas seminary, taught Greek for 30 years. What an incredible brilliant guy. Zane helped shape my theological grid in such a powerful way that has changed my life and literally has become the message of my life.

Every one of us has people, whether we can recount that or not, people who have influenced us. But not only do we think about it in terms of who has poured into us, but who are we pouring into? We are to share the gospel with all, but we are to invest in only a few. This is God’s plan. Because God knows we can’t fully invest in all. We can share the gospel with those that we come in contact with. Do you realize that Jesus was selective? Jesus tapped only a couple of guys on the shoulder and said, ‘I’d like for you to come and follow me’ and we should be too. As the saying goes, we should look for F.A.T. Christians—Faithful, Available, and Teachable. Makes a lot of sense. These are the kinds of people. So, it’s not just, you know, invest in everyone. This is very selective. We are to pass this message along—while we are to evangelize everyone—we are to pass this teaching along, this life-changing power of discipleship with a select few, who can then, in turn, teach others. So, here’s an actionable idea coming out of this that I’d like for you to chew on. It goes like this: teach what you’ve been taught. Teach what you’ve been taught.  You see, life-changing content is never meant only for personal consumption. Some of us have been around this stuff our whole lives and we’re like giant water balloons—what’d you learn? I learned all this… what’d you read? Well, I read all this…  glug glug glug glug… we’re just kind of blobbing around, right? That’s not why we learn this stuff; that’s not why we’re taught. Just to accumulate knowledge. No! It’s to be passed along to other people. And you may be sitting there thinking ‘I don’t get it, I’m not a gifted teacher and, you know, I don’t know what that means.’  You can pass along anything you learn. That’s what God is asking us to do. You may not consider yourself a teacher, but you can pass along the things that you’ve learned, and you can pass those things along to other people. Now, listen.  I want to talk to those of you that are mature in Christ or maturing in Christ. Can I ask you—who is the recipient in your life? Who is getting that stuff that you have been taught, that you’ve become skillful at living? Who are you pouring that out on? Who are those people?  And for those of you that are particularly older in life, you’ve been tracking with Jesus for a long time—do you realize that there is a desperate generation eager for mentors? Do you realize there are people right here in our church and those of us that are mature and have been Christians for a long, long time—we can come alongside some of these people and just say—we don’t have to say ‘let me show you how to do it’ as much as we can say ‘let me tell you how not to do it.’  Okay? We can share the mistakes that we’ve made. What would it be like if we took this idea—if we really were people who passed along the things that have been passed along to us? I think it would be transformational!

While I’m on a roll here, are you ready for a heretical idea? Say “yes!” Okay. Alright! Is it possible that we have too many Christian resources? Here’s what I mean by that: we just go from Bible study to Bible study to Bible study, to sermon series to sermon series to sermon series, to the hottest new book the hottest new book the hottest new book, without sitting in it long enough. Without meditating on it. Without letting that stuff get inside of us; and because we are consumers by nature and because there is a plethora of material and content, it’s almost overwhelming. We just go from thing to thing to thing.  I had what I thought was a brilliant idea a couple of years ago and I shared with several people that didn’t think it was. Okay? What if we stopped producing new sermons and went back over the 30+  years in the history of our church and sat in all those sermons we’ve given over all those years? We’re not gonna do it. But the point is this—unless you and I really become people who meditate on this, there’s not a lot of new material. Right? I mean, my conviction is there are only a handful of things that really matter. Five or six things in the whole of Christian life that really matter. What if we drilled down into those things over and over again? It’s an idea.

So, Paul continues his marching orders to Timothy in verse 3. He says, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” So, one of the pictures of a Christian is that of a soldier. I don’t know if that encourages you, inspires you, or offends you—I don’t know. I’m not making it up, it’s right here in God’s word. In fact, it’s a metaphor that Paul uses multiple times when he addresses people. “You’re a good fellow soldier,” he says. “You’re a good fellow soldier.” And the reason this word is so dynamic in meaning, is because as a picture of the Christian life, we are reminded that we are soldiers because we’re in a battle—and the battle is real; and the battle is for hearts and minds and souls of human beings; the battle is about good and evil; the battle is about a real enemy; and the battle is about real victory. These are the kinds of things that he’s communicating to us. So, therefore, we must endure hardship as a good soldier.  When you think about soldiering, it’s not always easy. Not only are we in a battle, but it’s often hard. Sometimes I think we get the idea that, you know, when we become Christians, Jesus is our little buddy and life goes “well for us.” Where did we ever, ever get the idea that when we are in the will of God life will be easy? Where does that come from? Not the Bible! We find the opposite message in the Bible. Yet many of us are so deterred by hardship that we end up jettisoning our lives out of the very thing that God uses to grow us up.  Endure hardship as a good soldier, he goes on to say, and then he continues with a brief description of what a good soldier is like. Verse 4: “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” You see, it’s easy to get distracted from the battle and cease to please the one who enlisted us as a soldier. It’s easy in the battle, and as a soldier we’re ready in this battle, and yet to be able to turn around and be distracted I think—I’m gonna go spend time over here, I think—I’m gonna be, like as he says, distracted by the affairs, entangled by the affairs, of this life. And it’s easy to get distracted from the battle. I think it’s a safe assumption that every single one of us in this room today has been entangled by the affairs of this life, at one point or another.  Can’t we? Of course. We’ve been diverted from passionately pursuing Jesus, from pleasing Jesus, as a goal. And Paul reminds us of this. It’s easy, of course, to be sidetracked and to not please Him. I love that Paul highlights the goal of pleasing God in 2 Corinthians 5—this is one of those verses that ought to be highlighted or circled or memorized or however you do it in your Bible—verse 9 goes like this: “Wherefore we make it our aim to please God.” Some translations have “our goal.” There is no greater goal in life. I mean, wake up every day going ‘God, how can I please you today?’ and by this we’re not saying ‘God, how can I get you to love me?’  Too late—he loves you! Okay? We’re saying, ‘how can I please you by the way that we live?’ and this is the idea that Paul brings in 2nd Timothy as well. Do you notice the context? Why is Paul saying that we should live in such a way to please God? He introduces a topic that he continues to tease out in 2nd Timothy. Here’s what he says (v.9), “Therefore we make it our aim to please God.” Why? Well, because (v. 10) “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.”

If you were here last month, we spent considerable time on this topic. In a series called Running to Win and what we’re talking about by the judgment seat of Christ is that day when you, as a believer—if you’re sitting here as a believer today, will appear before Jesus Christ—not to determine whether or not you go to heaven or hell—that’s decided the moment you believe in Him—but to have your life evaluated. How did you do? How did you live? And to receive reward commensurate to the way that you lived. This is why he says, “we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  Now this letter of 2nd Timothy is filled with ideas about approval and disapproval—both potential for the believer in Jesus—we can be approved by God or we can be disapproved by God.

So, Paul gives us 3 examples of what enduring for God looks like. We’ve already seen one: the soldier. Now he moves to another example: the athlete. Verse 5: “And if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” There it is! He’s saying, being a Christian, or Christ-follower is like a soldier, and it’s like an athlete, there are some similarities, he’s saying. Now we’ve spent about, you know, the entire month again in this series where we teased out the primary running passage in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 9, and we explored lots of  verses about that, so I’m not going to spend time doing that now, but I would point you back to it—but God points the believer to the judgment seat of Christ as a primary motivator for living for Jesus right now. Okay? Then here comes the 3rd metaphor or example: a farmer. Right? So, we have a Christ-follower is like a soldier, he’s like an athlete, and he’s like a farmer.  Now, I’ve only grown a few things in my life.  I’m not a farmer. I’m one of these guys that thinks food comes from the grocery store. Okay? But there is hard work involved in farming. I know that. Okay? So, you till the soil, you fertilize, you water, you do all that. Then you trust God to do whatever and then you collect all the harvest. But it all takes place over time. There’s a fruit bearing analogy here with this. And so, in each of these pictures of the Christian—the soldier, the athlete, the farmer—each of those anticipates victory, and anticipates reward. Right? This is the point that Paul is making to Timothy. He’s pointing him toward that day where Timothy will give an account.

Again, if you’re following along verse 7 says, “consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.” Whenever you see a verse like that you need to camp out on what’s being said there.  The way Jesus said it was, “he who has ears to hear let him hear.” Paul’s saying, consider these things and God’s going to give you insight or wisdom about it. So, it means we spend a little more time thinking about what he’s saying here. So then, it’s like Paul is saying ‘Hey, it’s not just about me, and it’s not just about you, Timothy, it’s about remembering that it all points to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ Look at verse 8: “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” I love that Paul has so personally embraced the gospel of Jesus that he calls it his gospel. It’s like woven into his spiritual DNA. “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead”—now, we’re just around the corner here is Easter coming up OK so already around here were making preparations for Easter—that great celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. By the way, if you’re curious about that whole event—and for those of you that have been around for a long time—just a simple reminder: if Jesus is not raised from the dead we gotta bolt the doors and close the shop.  Okay? It all hinges on the reality of the resurrection. Our faith is based on something that happened. And this is a continual reminder: in this enduring, Paul says to Timothy, don’t forget we’re talking about a risen savior, a savior who is risen from the dead.

But why would Paul mention that Jesus Christ was of the seed of David? He could’ve just said, ‘Jesus went to the cross took your sin, the whole world,  died in your place, was raised to life’ –he could’ve gone through that.  But he inserts this little phrase here very deliberately.  Let me show you where he’s going with this and I want to turn back to the Christmas story. Okay? Merry Christmas.  Here we go—back to Luke, chapter one in the angelic proclamation to Mary, here’s what we find: the Angel says to Mary, “behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Highest and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David. He will reign over the House of Jacob forever and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”  Now, notice the language that the angel is using here because Paul is setting up a very similar idea. He’s setting up a discussion of Christ’s kingdom, Christ’s throne, and Christ’s reigning.  He’s pointing to—by mentioning David—the fact that Jesus will establish a Kingdom, He will sit on a throne, and He will reign.  Now there’s another actionable idea here that I’d like to invite you to consider—endure hardship for Jesus and expect high standing with Jesus.  Talking to the Christian: endure hardship, he’s saying, for Jesus, and expect high standing with Jesus.  Now, throughout this letter, Paul is urging Timothy to live well no matter the circumstances—to endure, to hang in there with God’s help.  And to anticipate standing before Jesus to have his life evaluated—this is what awaits every single Christian.  So, we are to live now and live for the future. 

If you’re following along there, in the very next verse, verse nine, Paul says that he suffers trouble like an evildoer, says I’m in jail like somebody that broke the law, he’s saying. Okay? Even to the point of chains.  But the word of God is not chained. In other words, you can chain the Christian, but you can’t chain the Christian message.  Even in oppressive countries the gospel is still at work in people’s lives. Notice in verse ten Timothy continues: “Therefore, I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”  Now, I want to spend a little time here—be it in a separate sermon or a separate series but there are a couple of flags that get raised in this verse here.  I’ve highlighted two words for you here: the word elect, and the word salvation.  So, whatever elect means here, they have not yet obtained salvation.  Do you see that in the verse?  Whatever he means by elect, they have not yet obtained this salvation.  Now, I get it, gather any group of Christians together and raise these kinds of topics, and you might as well light a stick of dynamite and throw it right in the middle of the crowd.  Because these tend to be controversial kinds of topics.  So, let’s just start with the word salvation.  Okay? I’m suggesting that the word Salvation here is not justification. He’s not talking about becoming a Christian.  He’s not talking about getting saved.  Whenever we come across the word salvation in the New Testament, or in the Old Testament for that matter, we have to ask what kind of salvation are we talking about?  So, for example, one simple way of thinking about it is: when we are justified or when we “become Christians” we are saved—we’re saved from the penalty of sin—then in sanctification, in growing in Christ, we are saved from the power of sin. Since the power it has doesn’t have dominion over us.  And then when we die and we appear before God, we are glorified, or glorification is about being saved from the very presence of sin. Then also, the word salvation is used for example to mean physical deliverance. Paul in Philippians is saying, ‘Hey, I hope that I get saved.’  ‘I hope this turns out for my salvation.’  He’s not saying, ‘I hope one day I become a Christian.’  He’s already a Christian.  He’s hoping to be physically delivered out of prison.  Got it? Okay. So, in the context of what Paul is describing here—I’m suggesting that salvation is when a believer appears before Jesus to have his or her life evaluated, and you are saved in the sense of being rewarded. Okay?  So, in that glorification, in appearing before Jesus, something beautiful there. So, Paul is urging believers to endure so that they will be rewarded with reigning with Christ. Paul’s going to come back to this, and we’ll cover it in the last few verses. But what about that word elect? What in the world does that mean? So, whenever you see the word elect or chosen in the Bible you have to ask, ‘chosen for what?’  ‘Elect for what?’  So, one idea is that the moment you believe you become elect or chosen for something.  So, for example Peter says that we are elect according to the foreknowledge of God. So, some would say that that means that God sees that you will believe and gives you the label of elect. Okay? You’re chosen. Okay? So, again, a dicey topic. I would suggest that nowhere does the Bible say—you’re free to disagree, obviously—but I don’t believe the Bible anywhere tells us that before people are born God chooses some to go to heaven and chooses some to go to hell. I don’t think you can find that in the Bible. What I do believe is that God elects or chooses for ministry or for acts of service. So, for example, I won’t get into it—we’ll be here all day.

Alright, take a look at what Marvin Vincent says in Word Studies in the New Testament.  Ekloge (Eklektos), which is a Greek word for election, is used of God’s election of men or agencies for special missions or attainments. Okay? We’re not talking about eternal life here. He goes on to say that “nowhere in the New testament is there any warrant for the revolting doctrine that God predestined a definite number of mankind to eternal life and the rest to eternal destruction.”  You getting an idea of where he stands on this? Right?  I would agree with him. I’ve included a book on my resource list here, online—so whenever we do sermons here, we have a resource list on our website, and I would point you back to it and to do further study on that. I think you would find it helpful.

In the last few verses of this section, we are introduced to this final section with these words in verse 11: “This is a faithful saying.” Okay? That’s what he says,  introducing verses 11 through 13.  We find Paul saying “This is a faithful saying.” So, he’s about to give us a faithful saying. Now, this could have been a saying that circulated in Ephesus where Timothy was pastor, it could have actually been a hymn, but it was a popular saying or a faithful saying or a series of words or poetry or however you want to say it that got passed along through the early church. Okay? So, I want to read this faithful saying for you and I’d like to invite you to process it a bit as I read it. Here we go,

 2 Timothy 2:11-13:

(A)  “For if we die with Him, we shall also live with Him.

(B)  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.

(B)  If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

(A)  If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny himself.”


Everybody clear on that? Or are you going ‘what in the world?’ Isn’t there apparent contradiction here or at least confusion?  Let me provide what I think should be a helpful way of understanding what Paul is saying, and it’s through a literary device known as a chiasm.  A chiasm basically is about parallel sentences in this “faithful saying.”  So, for example, if we look at the parallelism, we discover that the letter A—we’ll use that for one section, and the letter B—for another section.  The A’s are parallel to each other. In other words, they’re talking about the same thing and I would argue they’re talking about becoming a Christian. For example, the first line, an A, would be “For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.” That’s what happens when you become a Christian, you die with Him, your life is identified with Jesus and you’re given life, okay? You live with Him.  And when you become a Christian, letter A at the bottom, “if you’re faithless He remains faithful, He cannot deny Himself.” That’s called eternal security.  Once you’re a believer, you’re in!  Okay? Those 2 lines are parallel. Now, what’s convenient about this is not only are these letters used to describe this literary device, but I think they’re used to describe, at least in my mind, also what I would call “A” truth “B” truth. “A” truth, I would say, is truth related to becoming a Christian, truth related to our salvation. “B” truth, on the other hand, is truth related to living for God. Or being His disciple. And whenever you mix up “A” truth with “B” truth, you will always insist on works in addition to grace to get saved.  These are distinct. And it’s clear they’re distinct in this chiasm, because notice the parallel connection with “B” truth here. Again, think about it in terms of following Jesus. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.  We talked about this a lot last month, right?  The reward of co-reigning with Jesus.  How do you get to be a co-reignor with Jesus?  Not by just being a Christian, but by enduring— “B” truth, by enduring with Jesus Christ. Notice the other parallel: if we deny Him, as a disciple or a follower of Jesus, or a Christian—if we deny Him, He also will deny us.  Does that mean I can get kicked out of Heaven?  Well, no.  The last line makes that clear.  Deny us what? Deny us reward.  In other words, if we endure, we are going to reign with Him but if we deny Christ, He also will deny us the ability to co-reign with Him and the ability to receive reward.  When we look at this like this, it becomes eminently clear that Jesus is reminding us of the importance of the truths related to becoming a Christian and the truths related to enduring for Christ. What a beautiful, beautiful picture!

So, throughout this series we have been encouraging our church family to memorize scripture. We’ve made it easy on you because through the eight weeks of this series, we’re just going to present 4 verses. Okay? We’ll dwell in those verses for 2 weeks each. And so, the last couple of weeks we’ve been in 2 Timothy 1:7.  You might remember it: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Open your worship guide and you’ll discover today’s verse on the little card that looks like that, and we’re going to invite you for the next couple of weeks to sit in this a little bit.  It’s that last line of the faithful saying that Paul presents in this section of scripture. Okay? So, if you have it in your hand or you can take a look at the screen let’s go ahead and read it aloud together. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, He cannot deny himself,” 2 Timothy 2:13. One more time, “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, He cannot deny himself.”  What a wonderful promise of security found in our connection with Jesus Christ!

I hope this book is coming alive for you not only in our time together but in your time with God. We would point you back to additional resources and you go further than we’ve been able to go right here. Okay? I hope this is meaningful and helpful to you. Let me pray for us. “Father, we thank you for your invitation to come and join you in living real life. We thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus, we thank you for the example of Paul as he writes this final letter to young Timothy. We thank you for the things that are true for us, the things we can learn, the warnings, the encouragement, the reality that we can live a life too. We thank you that you desire for us to be strong in the grace that’s found in Jesus Christ. We pray that as our day nears where we will stand before you, that we might do so in a way where we can be co-reignors with you.  We can endure in a faithful way. We love you and we thank you in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Discussion Questions

Take a few minutes to catch up in our study of 2 Timothy. Read the entirety of chapter 1. What is the context of the book and the concern expressed by Paul?

Read 2 Timothy 2:1. Paul addresses Timothy as his “son” (literally, child). Whose spiritual “child” are you? Why is it necessary that a believer be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus?”

God passes along the gospel through human beings. Describe the method encouraged in 2 Timothy 2:2. Who are the faithful people in your life that are receiving truth from you?

Why are some Christians surprised to discover “hardship” in the Christian life? How is following Jesus like being a good soldier (2:3-4).

Read 2 Timothy 2:5-6. In addition to a soldier, a Christ-follower is also like an athlete and a farmer. How does each of these metaphors point to victory?

Paul points Timothy back to the resurrection of Jesus (2:7-9). How is the resurrection related to the good news of the gospel?

The theme of endurance is found again in verse 10. What are the different ways of understanding the word “salvation” in this verse?

Read the “faithful saying” found in 2 Timothy 2:11-13. How do you explain these verses that on the surface might seem confusing?

Further Reading

Finishing Well

How would you end your last words to someone? As Paul ends his second letter to Timothy, he works through a list that feels out of place at first. Honestly, it’s part of the letter that we tend to skip when we read it. But what if God has something significant to...

One Last Thing

Last words are important words. Books have been written and lists compiled about the last things that famous and influential people have said. This week in our study of 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul will write his last and most important words to Timothy, his protégé....

Training for Life

The moment we believe in Jesus for the salvation of our sins, we are ushered into eternal life. Through no effort of our own, Jesus gives us new life we receive by faith. This life has the opportunity for growth and development. So how do we develop this new life...

Life in Perilous Times

When Paul writes to Timothy, he describes the last days as perilous times. They are days filled with evil and evil doers. The last days began when Jesus left the earth. And until Christ returns, we are to live godly lives and become agents of change. At the same time,...

Live as One Approved by God

Approval is something we all long for, especially from the people who matter most to us. There is something deep inside of us that craves knowing that others are pleased with what we do and who we are. Approval gives us a sense of meaning and significance in the...

2 Timothy 2:13

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV)   Related SermonsSermonsStudiesGuidesArticlesStoriesFilmsDonateAboutLifePoint ChurchSubscribe to our newsletter.facebookinstagramvimeo

Suffering for the Gospel

As Paul writes his last words, he encourages Timothy to remember the gospel in kind of a strange way: he urges Timothy to join with him in suffering for the gospel. Is there a different way to see suffering? In this message, we’ll see how God empowers us to maintain...

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)   Related SermonsSermonsStudiesGuidesArticlesStoriesFilmsDonateAboutLifePoint ChurchSubscribe to our newsletter.facebookinstagramvimeo

The Strength to Live for God

Our lives are better when we believe in Jesus and when someone else believes in us. We need to know we’re not alone. We have a valuable contribution to make as we remember the gospel and share it with others. And we don’t have to be afraid. We can know we’re empowered...