II Tim. 1 outline 2
Extension # 006
DO NOT BE ASHAMED
[Introductory Scripture] Rom. 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes”
[Illustration] My story about being ashamed.
There is a man in the Bible who was also ashamed. The year is around A.D. 64. The Neronian
persecution is now in full swing. Nero, the 5th Roman Emperor, has blamed the Christians for the burning of Rome. Christians were being dipped in pitch and set on fire for lighting around the city. They are being thrown into the arena to be torn apart by wild dogs. Paul is back from his 1st imprisonment in Rome.
Though there is no way of finding out, Timothy may have been with Paul at the time of the second arrest. Second Tim. 1:4 states that Paul remembered Timothy’s tears. If he was with Paul at the time, we can picture in our minds a dispatch of Roman soldiers marching up to Paul and taking him. We can also see Timothy standing there weeping, overwhelmed by felling of helplessness as the one who called him his true son (I Cor. 4:17), mentored him, led him to Christ, befriended him is carried away. Paul does not struggle with them. His face radiates with utmost confidence in his God. As he sees him being taken away, we know exactly what is going to happen to him (he won’t get out of this imprisonment).
What would Timothy be feeling at that time? Was he feeling fear, that he was next? Or was it uncontrollable sorrow for Paul’s sake? If Paul would write to Timothy upon arriving at prison, what would his words be? Would they be words of comfort? Of fear? Of disparity? God has given us a chance to look into what Paul said to Timothy after this experience.
[Announce and read text] II Timothy 1:7-12
[Prayer for illumination]
Paul was in his 2nd imprisonment in Rome. It was not a comfortable imprisonment like before (house arrest). It was probably a dismal, underground dungeon. Tradition says that it was the Mamertine Prison. When full of prisoners, the flood gates of the sewer from the city were opened to drown the inmates, making room for others. In chains, Paul was waiting the final trial, not expecting an acquittal. His death was drawing near. The shadow of the executioner was on him.
Timothy, on the other hand, was thrust into the position of responsible Christian leadership-far beyond his natural capacity. According to I Tim., Paul had sent him to Ephesus to combat heretics, order church’s worship, ordain elders, regulate the relief and ministry of the widows, and command and teach apostolic faith
Now, with Paul leaving the scene, the mantel of leadership was being passed on to Timothy. He was the one who Paul had invested time into. He was the closest to Paul. He may have been the one everyone was looking to take the brunt of Paul’s leadership. If so, this would have thrust him into the public light, and something very much like what happened to Paul could happen to him. “Humanly speaking, Timothy was hopelessly unfit to assume these weighty responsibilities of leadership in the church” He was young, prone to illness, and timid by temperament. As with Moses and Jeremiah greatness was thrust upon him.
Nero was determined to destroy the church. Heretics appeared to increase. Paul speaks of a total Asian apostasy. “Christianity…trembled, humanly speaking, on the verge of annihilation.”
“The situation of the church was bad-comparable to the Spanish Reformation in the middle of the 16th century-it had won numerous adherents, not least among the upper classes. Yet it was relatively a small thing amidst the great mass of Spaniards. Then the dominant power, armed with the tremendous Inquisition, took its suppression in hand—and it was suppressed. In the mystery of God’s permission, the dread adverse force ‘made war upon the saints, and overcame them’ (Rev. 13:7). The weak succumbed absolutely to the strong, and for many long generations the Gospel light in its purity was practically quenched in Spain.”
Is it any wonder that Paul had to remind Timothy to not be ashamed and to share in the sufferings of the Gospel? Let us read the key verse of this passage (:8) where Paul tells Timothy, “Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.”
(1.) He was not to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of Paul. (a.) Paul led by example (Rom. 1:16). (b.) It was Christ’s command (Mk. 8:38).
(2.) He was to share in the suffering for the gospel. “Suffering rather than shame was to characterize Timothy’s ministry.” Timothy was to bear evil treatment (the same word is used in II Tim. 2:3). Also see II Tim. 3:12. “Christians should not suffer for doing wrong, ultimately they should suffer from doing right.”
(3.) He was to accomplish it by God’s power, not his own.
[Fallen Creature Focus] When we are honest with ourselves we note that we, like Timothy, have a tendency of being ashamed of the gospel (being coward-like) because we are afraid to suffer.
[Theme] Though we will suffer, we can stand for the gospel through the power of God by means of the nature of the God’s Spirit, the nature of God’s work, and the nature of God’s Son.
I. We do not need to be ashamed of the Gospel because of the nature of God’s Spirit (:7). Some have taken the meaning of “spirit” as a special spirit given to ministers (a special anointing). I prefer the view that “spirit” refers to the Holy Spirit who reinforces our spirit.
A. His Spirit is not of fear.
We can infer that Timothy struggled with timidity and cowardice. If anybody he had the right to struggle with this it was Timothy. Paul is about to die, persecution is arising, the many concerns of the church are weighing on his mind. But, Paul says that this emotion does not characterize the saved person.
A lot of us still struggle with fear. It is common to all men and women (Deut. 31:6, 8). But, as one commentator stated, “cowardice has nothing to do with Christianity.” Another man said, “timidity deteriorates into fear. The Christian has not been given a Spirit of fear
B. His Spirit is of power.
In contrast to fear, God has given us a spirit of power. God’s Spirit is powerful. The Holy Spirit formed creation (Gen. 1:2, Psalm 33:6, Job 26:13, 33:4). He is omnipotent (Rom. 15:19), omniscient (Isa.. 40:13-14), and omnipotent (Psalm 139:7-10).
Lets go to Acts 1:8.
[Illustration] Peter, with Christ, could do anything. He was able to say the miraculous in Mat.
16:17, do the miraculous when he walked on water; take on soldiers when they came to arrest Christ. When Christ was on the other side of the building at His arrest, Peter was ashamed of him. A servant girl scared him. Next time we see Peter acting boldly and doing great things for God is after the indwelling of the HS at Pentecost. He told the Jews, “You crucified Him.”
C. His Spirit is of love.
His timidity made him focus on himself instead of others. When we worry or fear we are focusing on ourselves instead of doing what God tells us to do. We are to love others (Rom. 5:5). In Gal. 5, the first of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit is love
D. His Spirit is of a sound mind.
The word used is swfronismoV, “to make wise.” Sofia which means wisdom. It can also mean “disciplined.” A disciplined mind will not focus on fear or worry, but on Christ. Is it not true that when we are tired or when we let our mind stray that we are most tempted to fear and to worry? We must allow the Holy Spirit to discipline our minds to completely rely on Him. We must be sensibly minded and balanced, having our lives under control (Titus 2:2).
God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. It is His gift that gives us power, love, and a sound mind. It has nothing to do with our own efforts, and everything to do with allowing Him to work through us.
[Application] When you have an opportunity to witness of Christ are you controlled by fear or by the Spirit? Are you allowing the Spirit that dwells in you have complete control over your life?
II. We do not need to be ashamed of the Gospel because of the nature of God’s work (:9).
A. Salvation does not rest on our works. If it did we would have something to fear. Salvation is much more than forgiveness
By salvation I mean: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Our hope is guaranteed. There is no doubt of our salvation falling through. It has been guaranteed since before we even existed (:9b). It rests on HIM
B. He calls us to be holy. Paul could be speaking of the call to ministry, or he could be talking about a call to separateness. I take the latter view (I Thes. 4:7; II Tim. 3:12).
C. He saves us and calls us according to His purpose and grace. We don’t have to fear, because it is HIS purpose. He knows what He is doing and suffering is part of His plan (Eph. 1:11; 3:11). Since He has called us according to his purpose to a life of suffering, we have no need to be ashamed. When God’s purpose of suffering comes our way, His grace will be more than abundant. It was not our works that saved us, and it is not our works that preserve us. It is His purpose and grace.
D. His purpose was from before the ages began. His purpose has been forever. He saved us, called us, and knew His purpose before the world was created.
[Illustration] The story is told of “A Christian who was in prison because of his faith. He was to be burned at the stake, and he was certain he would never be able to endure the suffering. One night, he experimented with pain by putting his little finger into the candle flame. It hurt, and he immediately withdrew it. ‘I will disgrace my Lord,’ he said to himself. ‘I cannot bear the pain.’ But when the hour came for him to die, he praised God and gave a noble witness for Jesus Christ. God gave him the power when he needed it, and not before.
[Application] When times get rough, we can shamelessly suffer, for we know that it is His purpose.
We know that He will give us the grace to get through it. If your boss is asking you to do something wrong, it is your responsibility to shamelessly suffer and do right (get fired). If you are being treated unfairly because of your beliefs, it is your responsibility to suffer shamelessly and continue doing right.
III. We do not need to be ashamed of the Gospel because of the nature of God’s Son (:10, 12).
A. God’s purpose has been revealed in the appearing of Christ. There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed, because Christ’s coming revealed God’s purpose for us. We are made aware of His grace through His coming (Heb. 1:1).
B. On the one hand…He abolished death (same word and thought as I Cor. 15:26). See also I Cor. 15:55. We must remember that “He abolished death, He did not eliminate it” We should shamelessly suffer because death has been conquered. There is absolutely no reason for fearing death.
[Illustration] Observer magazine in 1968 stated, “Far from being prepared for death, modern society has made the very word almost unmentionable…we have brought all our talents into use to avoid the prospect of dying—and when the time comes we may react with anything from excessive triviality to total despair.”
The Believer may rest in the fact that death has been conquered.
C. On the other hand… He brought light (Jn. 1:9; Eph. 1:18; 3:8, 9). “The gospel has thrown floods of light upon the offer of immortal life through Christ’s conquest of death.” Remember that Paul is saying this (about to die).
D. He is able to keep us. Paul’s example was that he was not ashamed, and that he suffered because God had given him the responsibility of the Gospel. It is in God’s hands. He keeps us (Rom. 8:38). I know whom” emphasizes a person not facts. He is strong (Lk. 1:49; 18:27). The word for “to keep” comes from the word meaning prison.
[Illustration] “In advanced age, (John) Newton became deaf and almost blind. In his last sermon he
forgot where he was, and a curate had to come up and tell him. He said, “My memory is almost gone; but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.”
[Application] How much does it hurt you when they tell lies about your God (i.e. The DaVinci Code)? Do you go and see it just as entertainment or to see one man’s view? Do you speak out? Does it hurt you as much as it would hurt if they told a lie about your dad? Do you weep?
[Conclusion] We are commanded to not be ashamed of the gospel. When we obey the Lord in this command you will suffer. But we can take consolation in that His grace is sufficient for us (II Cor. 12:9). Nobody suffers in heaven. It is down here only that we have this blessed opportunity-We should ever count it a privilege to bear shame for His name’s sake when we think of what He has done for us.