Sunday, January 21, 2018

Paul's Epistles – II Timothy – Part 2: Appeal for Loyalty

Paul's Epistles – II Timothy – Part 2:
Appeal for Loyalty
Pastor Bruce A. Shields

This second letter from Paul to Timothy will be the next “epistle” we examine.

After writing his first Epistle to Timothy, Paul left Corinth, and set sail with Titus for Crete, where he left him to set the Church in order (Titus 1:5).

The key-word in II Timothy is “Ashamed.”

“I must not be ashamed of my Lord, His Gospel, or His suffering saints (II Timothy 1); How can I become a workman that “needs not be ashamed” (II Timothy 2 & 3.), and then the Lord will not be ashamed to own and stand by me (II Timothy 4).

Introduction to II Timothy
Appeal for Loyalty

II Timothy 6:3-18  (66 AD, approximately one year after the first Epistle to Timothy)
I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am 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.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He 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 Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 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. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;

Loyalty to the Lord and Truth in the view of persecution and apostasy

a. I serve God with a clear conscience
                                                                 i. Clear, not because of his actions being righteous (i.e. attacking Christ followers, being a Zealot, tracking/hunting down Christians and placing them in prisons, including women and children)

                                                              ii. but because he loved God with all his heart, mind, body and soul though lacking Truth

                                                           iii. A clear conscience because he always tried to serve God with the best of his understanding

                                                            iv. A clear conscience because he always tried to improve his understanding

                                                               v. A clear conscience because he always served God with the best of his ability

                                                            vi. A clear conscience because he served God with the best commitment he could make

b. Paul thinks about Timothy’s sincere faith
                                                                 i. Paul saw sincere faith in Timothy’s grandmother Lois, and mother Eunice, as well as seeing it in Timothy

c. Paul is convinced Timothy has it
                                                                 i. Sincere Faith is much valued by the godly, and even more so by God Himself

a. Which you have by the laying on of my hands
                                                                 i. Acts 19:1-6 shows us you can believe and not have the Holy Spirit

                                                              ii. Acts 8:17; Acts 19:6; 2 Timothy 1:6 mention God’s Spirit being received by the laying on of hands.

b. The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit)
                                                                 i. Most believers have received, however He can sit dormant in inactive Christians

                                                              ii. Do not quench the Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:19)
1. You have to “have” the Holy Spirit to quench it

2. You could quench the Holy Spirit by not starting your day for Him

3. Being distracted through your day instead of meditating and thinking on Him and His Word

4. Ignoring the prompting of the Holy Spirit

5. Following the “broad road” instead of the narrow path

6. Ignoring the small and quiet voice the Holy Spirit speaks in

7. Not “feeding” the Spirit with devotion, prayer, reading

                                                           iii. Paul tells Timothy “ into flame the gift of God”

                                                            iv. Turn the embers of the Holy Spirit into a fire inside of you!

                                                               v. The Gift (Holy Spirit) “does not make us timid
1. It makes us bold
2. brave
3. courageous
4. valiant
5. heroic
6. fearless
7. noble
8. gallant
9. chivalrous

                                                            vi. It “gives us power”
                                                         vii. It gives us “love” (I Corinthians 13)
                                                      viii. It gives us “Self-discipline”
                                                            ix. Without the “Gift” we can accomplish nothing

c. So do not be ashamed
                                                                 i. of the testimony about our Lord

                                                              ii. or of me being in prison in Rome for preaching the Gospel of Christ Jesus

Join with me in suffering (caused by living boldly for Christ) for the Gospel by the power of God.

He has showed us, and called us to a Holy Life, NOT because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and Grace!

a. To this gospel I was appointed a herald, an Apostle and teacher, to which I am suffering as I am
                                                                 i. However, this is no cause for shame, because I know it is because I believe

                                                              ii. So all you have heard from me, keep as a pattern of sound teaching

b. Everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me
                                                                 i. Paul received a vision, a calling by the Spirit of God to go to Macedonia not Asia in Acts 16:9

                                                              ii. Paul had been forbidden to preach the Gospel in Asia in Acts 16:6

                                                           iii. Paul immediately went to the Asian province after leaving Titus in Crete, where he was arrested and taken to Rome, later to be executed.

                                                            iv. Paul ignored the Holy Spirit’s warning once before, in Acts 21:7 he was told by a prophet of God to not go to Jerusalem else he would be imprisoned there, but he went anyway saying, I’m ready for prison, and even death for Christ.

1. But prison was not God’s Will for Paul, what good was he from a cell?
2. We MUST listen when the Spirit speaks to us, when we don’t listen to the Spirit, we MUST listen to Godly men and women when the Spirit speaks through them to us!

c. Though Onesiphorus has remained loyal

CONCLUSION – PAUL pleads with timothy

Paul tells Timothy;
·        You have a sincere Faith
·        Fan the embers of the Holy Spirit into a fire within you
o   The Gift (Holy Spirit) “does not make us timid
§  It makes us bold
§  brave
§  courageous
§  valiant
§  heroic
§  fearless
§  noble
§  gallant
§  chivalrous
o   It “gives us power”
§  It gives us “love” (I Corinthians 13)
§  It gives us “Self-discipline”
·        So do not be ashamed
·        And though Paul did not realize it, he has instructed us to be loyal to the Holy Spirit, and follow God’s Will over our own to accomplish what He has set out for us to do!

 Next week we will begin looking at Paul’s appeal to Timothy again

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