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II Tim. 2 outline 2

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6-28-06

Dear Dr. Beale,

            I am writing concerning the third 3-page sermon that is due today.  I was not able to complete it for a number of reasons.  I was asked by my pastor to preach in the Sunday night service on two occasions.  I preached on II Tim. 1 on May 28.  The second occasion was last Sunday.  I believe that God led me to preach II Tim. 2 (to give some continuity to the church and because I believe the message was more applicable to their current situation than II Tim. 3 would have been).   Therefore, I spent 30 hours last week preparing/refining the II Tim. 2 message (in addition to the 15 hours that I spent on it before it was due 6-14-05).  I did not believe that I should use any of that time for a message that I was not going to preach that Sunday.  I am including the sermon.  I just wanted to show you that the reason I don’t have my II Tim. 3 sermon ready is not because I was goofing off. 

I had full intentions on getting it done Monday and Tuesday, but we were surprised by an unexpected visit from my father-in-law from Massachusetts (he is unsaved).  I had to make a judgment call about whether to spend time with him and my wife or to write the sermon.  I believe (for the sake of being a good testimony to him and for peace with my wife) that I made the right decision. 

Thank you for understanding my “predicament.”  I am planning on turning in my II Tim. 3 sermon next Wednesday.   I will include a similar note of explanation with it at that time.

In His love and by His grace,

Jonathan Bolin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Suffer

II Tim. 2:1-13

[Introductory Scripture] II Tim. 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Church-

A.D. 64. 

Neronian persecution=full swing.

Nero determined to destroy the church.

Heretics appeared to increase.

A total Asian apostasy.

“Christianity…trembled, humanly speaking, on the verge of annihilation.” –John Stott

Paul-

2nd imprisonment in Rome

not a comfortable imprisonment like before (house arrest).

In chains he was waiting the final trial, not expecting an acquittal. 

His death was drawing near. 

 

Timothy-

Timothy, on the other hand, was thrust into the position of responsible Christian leadership.

He may have been the one everyone was looking to take the brunt of Paul’s leadership. 

thrust him into the public light

what happened to Paul could happen to him (especially with Paul asking him to come to Rome).

What would Paul tell this young man struggling with timidity and fear

Two basic themes in 2 Timothy-they are interrelated

            -what to do with himself-endure suffering, don’t be ashamed, rely on God’s strength

            -what to do with the Word-retain, entrust, guard

With the first of these it seems as though Paul is saying there are only two options for Christians

            -Live godly and suffer (II Tim. 3:12)

            -Be ashamed and not suffer

These two are in logical opposition to each other 

Last time we spoke about the reasons why we should not be ashamed

-Because of the nature of God’s Spirit (:7)-

not of fear

of power

of love

of discipline

-Because of the nature of God’s work (:9)-

Salvation

called to be holy

his eternal purpose

-Because of the nature of God’s Son (:10, 12)

He abolished death

brought light and immortality

is able to keep us

There is absolutely no reason for us to be ashamed. 

On the contrary we have every reason to not be ashamed.

Paul has made an argument in the first chapter that suffering is the outworking of not being ashamed (1:8)

We suffer because we live a godly life. It is a given.


Knowing WHY we should not be ashamed is all good and well (it is powerful and can change our life), but HOW do we do that?  When sufferings come how do we endure them?

[Announce and read text] II Tim. 2:1-13

 

[Prayer for illumination] Father, we thank you that you count us worthy to suffer for you.

As we did last time, we ask  I ask that this man’s feeble words, stumbling tongue, and unimportant ideas and thoughts be forgotten tonight. 

May your Word, and only it go out in strength. 

When we leave tonight may we be better prepared to endure. 

May your Word be preached accurately as you intended it to be.

May your strength be perfected in my weakness.  May your grace abound.

 

[FCC] We all know that our natural reaction to suffering is to run from it and avoid it.  But, God tells us to suffer.

[Theme]  Because we will suffer for Christ (if we are living godly) we must be made strong in His grace, entrust the Gospel to others, and take part (endure) in the suffering (being encouraged with the result).

I.                   Because we will suffer for Christ we must be made strong (:1)

Paul uses “therefore” and “you” to contrast what Timothy should do with what the preceding examples in chapter one did. 

Not like the Asians or Phygelus and Hermogenes

1. We can note that in the Greek the verb for being strong is in the passive voice.  Something is being done to the subject of the sentence.

E.g. I hit the ball=I am hit by the ball.

Paul is essentially telling Timothy to “be made strong.” 

The strength lies in God. 

2. It is in the present tense-linear or continuing action

3. It is imperative mood-command-This is COOPERATION-the believer is not just passively doing it

Paul tells the Ephesians to “be made strong in the Lord” through putting on the armor of God (6:10 LOOK AT THE REST OF THE VERSE). 

He tells the Philippians, in that well know verse, that we “can do all thing through Christ” because why? HE strengthens us (ACTIVE) (4:13).  .

We must also note that strength comes from relying on His grace

II Cor. 12:9-grace is directly associated with strength

Grace is help-that is the answer to Timothy’s timidity

Paul is not telling Timothy to buck up, stop crying, and be strong.

Rather, he is telling Timothy to rely on Christ’s grace for his strength. 

Suffering takes strength.  The only strength that will last is God’s.  If we are to endure, we must follow God’s command to find our strength in Christ’s grace.  It may not be easy to endure, but the grace of God gives strength to endure.

It is Christ’s grace-“Without Christ’s power, the command is futile-like telling a snail to go fast or a horse to fly”- John Stott

“He had to retreat within those concentric circles, Grace and Christ, two circles which yet are after all but one; for Graces is not a thing, separate from Christ, any more than love and will are things separable from the man who loves and wills.  Grace is Christ in action and in presence.” –H.C.G. Moule

[Illustration]  “Because an army is victorious, it by no means follows that the victory was a cheap one. ‘One more such victory,’ said Pyrrhus after the battle of Asculum, ‘will ruin me.’ The physical agony of the martyr is not diminished in the least by the strength imparted to him by God to endure it.  The fire is as hot, and the pain as great, in his case as in that of an unbeliever.  Divine grace does not operate like chloroform, and deaden pain.  The bereavement of a believer by death of a beloved object is none the less sore and heavy, because of the grace which helps him to bear it.  The promise is, ‘Cast thy burden on the Lord and he shall sustain thee’—not the burden.”—William Shedd

[Application]  Are you going through suffering and don’t think you can endure?

                              -Whose strength are you going to?

                                          -your own?

                                          -Christ’s all sufficient grace?

Do you purposefully not seek Christ’s strength because you would rather live in your weak comfortable Christian life?  Or, do you seek to be strong in your own strength? 

II.                Because we will suffer for Christ we must entrust the Gospel to others (:2)

A.    The character of the Gospel

-from Paul -Paul’s Gospel was God’s (I Cor. 14:37)

-many witnesses

What he had heard from Paul (He had heard Paul preach to at least 14 different groups of people in Acts)

B.     The recipients of the Gospel

This ensures the endurance of the Gospel. 

Paul is telling to endure suffering.

Paul realizes that just as he is about to be put to death, so Timothy in the near future.

Timothy was being asked by Paul to leave Ephesus to go to Rome (4:9, 21)

Timothy needed to pass on what he received so the Gospel would stay alive.

That is why Paul could say later that He was chained but not the Gospel.

This verse is directly linked to the first one.

Being strong qualifies him to pass it on.

Teaching makes him stronger and the ones he teaches stronger.

This is the TRUE apostolic succession-unbroken doctrine.

“God’s power (and one’s need to appropriate it) and God’s gospel (and the need to faithfully pass it on) are the objective realities on which Paul bases his continual appeal to Timothy to suffer for the gospel.” –George Knight

 

Endurance comes through strong doctrine.  This strong doctrine can only be achieved by entrusting the Word of God to people who will faithfully use it and entrust it to the next generation.

 

[Application]

            You won’t be persecuted if you are not actively living a godly life.

            Each of us need to involved in evangelism and discipleship.

                        -it ensures the endurance of God’s gospel

                        -it is commanded of us

                        -we must do it if we care about the lost

           

Are you entrusting it to your children?

Are your seeking opportunities to help a less mature believer grow?

It is not the job of the pastor and those who get paid, as a Christian it is your job.

III.             Because we will suffer for Christ we must take our part in it (endure) (:3-13)

Be made strong

Entrust it to others

Take our part in the suffering (Endure)

The verb means to take part in the sufferings with not simply bearing sufferings.

You’re not alone

You are joining the brotherhood of sufferers before-the only way to join this brotherhood is suffering

There are always others suffering for the Gospel as Elijah found out (I Kings 19:18)

A.    Illustrated

1.      By following the soldier’s example (:3, 4)

Paul uses as his main example the soldier. 

The soldier is a clear picture of one who endures in order to accomplish the expected goal

The very nature of a soldiers job involves suffering

The soldier does not become so involved with daily activities that he forgets to accomplish what his job truly is. 

The word for “the affairs of this life” is not an evil word 

It would be easy for a soldier to be distracted by something that is more pleasurable and easier.

[Illustration]  A soldier knows there will be suffering-

            -Death count last week in Iraq was 15

            -Two soldiers mutilated

The good soldier is not distracted.

He endures suffering.

It is the good things that often take us away from doing what we are supposed to do.  It is often said, “Don’t let the good detract from the best”

[Application]

            The purpose of anything in our life should be to please God. 

If it doesn’t please Him or is getting in the way of pleasing Him then we should not do it. 

e.g. work is good, but the only reason for having a job is because it allows me to please God to the fullest.

If it detracts from serving Christ it is sin; the sole purpose of a job should be to allow us to serve Christ.

Our main job is to serve Christ-if the way we earn a living doesn’t allow for that we should do something else.

I work here because it enables me to glorify Him at the present moment the most.

What other reason is there for working?  Money? Prestige?

-it provides money to further God’s kingdom

-it provides a way to witness

-Don’t forget why God gave that job-to serve Him

You can entangle yourself with your job, in that it is an excuse for you not to suffer. –I’m to busy

We note what the true purpose of the soldier is: to please the one who enlisted him.  An American soldier must endure hardship to please his nation (his President).  Christ enlisted us by saving us. 

We must endure hardship “not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts” (I Thes. 2:4). 

He must give himself with whole-hearted devotion to his commanding officer

2.      By following the athlete’s example (:5)

A good athlete doesn’t take short cuts.

He suffers

-in preparation (athlete had to swear to Zeus that he had prepared for the games for a solid 10 months)

-in the game itself

                                                            Wholehearted devotion to the task

                                                            Full compliance with the rules

We assume by the context that Paul is speaking of the necessities in endurance.  The necessity in enduring is suffering.  No one can be crowned, or rewarded, for enduring unless he suffers.

I Cor. 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

The promise for those who endure is reward.

[Illustration] Eric Liddel

3.      By following the farmer’s example (:6)

The farmer must also suffer and labor in order to receive his reward.   

Suffering, toil, hardship, and labor are required in enduring.

The farmer who doesn’t toil, does not produce fruit for himself or others 

This endurance produces rewards from God.

The notion of Christian service being work is not popular today

            -Physical work

            -Spiritual work

I Tim. 4:8 “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe”

 

Beyond warfare is victory; beyond athletic effort a prize; and beyond agricultural labor a crop.-C. K. Barrett

 

[Application] 

It is impossible to endure if we don’t suffer. 

It is impossible to please God without enduring. 

It is impossible to obtain a reward without pleasing God. 

How are you suffering?  How are you enduring?  How are you pleasing God?

Interlude (:7)-a balance between us understanding and God giving understanding

                        -consider it carefully, don’t take what I’m saying flippantly

B.     Exemplified

1.      Practiced by Christ (:8)

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of enduring hardship.

Paul is stressing Christ’s humanity-

God became man to suffer for us

Remember how He, God, became man and endured pain, sorrow, hunger for us

Remember how He was mocked

Remember how He was beaten

Remember how He was crucified

Remember how He accepted His Father’s will

Remember how He didn’t open His mouth against His crucifiers

That is how you endure suffering

Remember it-

“The epitaph over Israel’s grave is ‘they soon forgot’”-John Stott

Heb. 12:3-“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”

Phil. 3:10-“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings”

Paul mentions Christ’s resurrection from the dead. 

This should encourage us to endure

Christ could not have been raised if He did not suffer and die first. 

Paul also mentions the gospel. 

The gospel is centered around the death of Christ (I Cor. 15).  

Christ endured the cross for us (Heb. 12:2).

We as Christians, so often, forget what Christ went through for us.  Christ Himself remarked on the forgetfulness of His followers (Mark 8:18).  We need to remember that we are to go with Christ outside the camp (Heb. 13:13).

[Illustration] “Lord Nelson defeated Napoleon’s navy at the Battle of Trafalgar, thwarting Napoleon’s planned invasion of England. Nelson began that battle with the famous signal, ‘England expects that every man will do his duty.’ He could demand such devotion because he gave it. In fact, that victory cost Nelson his own life. He cultivated faithfulness and mutual loyalty in his men.

            -Christ suffered for us

            -He is worthy of leading, because He led through suffering

2.      Practiced by Paul (:9, 10)

Paul now uses himself as an example of enduring hardships. 

He was bound in prison. 

Chains were an indignity to a Roman citizen. 

The word he uses for evildoer, speaks of one who commits “gross misdeeds and serious crimes.” 

Paul also presents the irony that he is bound as a criminal when he has competed by the rules (:5). 

Look at me.

I played by the rules (the real rules-of God), but now I suffer as a criminal.

a.      Paul endured for the sake of the gospel (:9)

Paul was enduring hardship because of his stand on the gospel.  But, he was happy to report that the gospel was not bound

Though God’s servants may be suffering hardship, God’s gospel will never be limited. 

The gospel succeeds even under persecution.  That is the hope of the Christian.  That is why committing it to faithful men is part of enduring hardship. 

We know that one day we will not be able to fight for the gospel, so we rest in the fact that it is not dependent on us.

b.      Paul endured for the sake of the elect (:10)

Paul also suffered for his fellow believers.  We must suffer so that others may come to Christ.

 

[Illustration] A young Roman by the name of Adrian, a Praetorian Guard, under Emperor Galerius Maximian, had been a fanatic persecutor of the Christians. But the calmness and courage of those he put to the torture impressed him. Adrian, brave himself, admired bravery. In these Christians he saw heroism greater than any he had seen in battle.

It was the year 280 and Adrian was twenty-eight years old. His skill and daring had led to one promotion after another. Yet, he could not get over his admiration for these followers of Christ.

One day he asked one of the Christians being tortured:

“What gives you such strength and joy in the midst of your sufferings?”

“Our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we believe,” the martyr replied.

In a flash Adrian made an important decision. He stepped to the heathen judge and declared: “Put down my name among those to be tortured. I also shall become a Christian.”

For twenty-three years after his conversion Adrian suffered much, but he never flinched from his loyalty to Christ. In 303 he was killed at Nicomedia. For seventeen centuries since he was the patron-saint of soldiers. “Put down my name,” was said with true Christian courage.

c.       Paul was chained but the Word  was not  (:9)

They may stop the messenger, but they cannot stop the message.

Luther’s song, “The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.”

Paul’s point-be faithful to the Word because it alone will endure

We are expendable

Because he entrusted it to faithful men

Phil. 1- Paul was happy that his imprisonment was causing the Gospel to spread

3.      Practiced by every Christian (:11-13)

a.       If we died with Him, We shall also live with Him

This is who you are

Because we are united with Christ, we have died with Him.  This is the same idea as Rom. 6:8. “’Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,”

We have been liberated from the power of the flesh and sin over our lives.  We are truly dead to them.

b.      If we endure, We shall also reign with Him

                                                                        This is what you look like

 

This is Paul’s main reason for including this section of text.  He is stressing the “law of endurance.”  Rewards only come when one endures hardship for Christ.

Presupposes endurance

c.       If we deny Him, He also will deny us

                  This is what they look like

 

Paul proclaims a strong warning. 

This is complete and abject denial. 

If someone denies Christ, he is denying his opportunity to eternal life (Titus 1:16-they profess to know God, but in works they deny Him; Jude 4; II Pet. 2:1; I Jn. 2:23) (Mk. 10:33, Lk. 12:9).


There are some people in this church who are not saved- you are basing your salvation on a prayer you said years ago with no faith behind it.

The time will come

            -gradually

            -at a tragedy

When you will say, “it is not worth living this lie” 

This doesn’t work

Pleasing my parents, my friends is not worth it

Be warned, He will deny you

Are you trusting now?

d.      If we are faithless, He remains faithful (He cannot deny Himself)

                  Lest you fear,

 

Paul ends this section with a reassuring thought.  Paul could not finish the sentence in a logical fashion.  We can not always be faithful, because of our sinful nature.  We will not always endure hardship as we should.  But when we fail, Christ is faithful to forgive (I Jn. 1:9).  Christ is faithful because of His own nature.

God overrides our infidelity with his grace

Salvation is rooted in God’s character

God’s faithfulness in the New Testament is always in behalf of his people

[Application]

                        How are you suffering?

                              -Rejected when witnessing (pastors in Mormon country)

                              -Ridiculed for not being materialistic

                              -Giving up your rights for the sake of your testimony

                                                -but he wronged me

                              -Giving up your dreams so that you can serve God in the way he wants you to

                              -Smaller

                                    -giving up cable, car, plasma TV to give more money

                                    -giving up work time (money) to be a godly parent-who is raising his kids right

                                   

                        If suffering, are you enduring?

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

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