Endurance for Christ

2 Timothy 2:1-26

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 forwhich 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. 11 Here is a trustworthy saying: 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. 14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctlyhandles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

The Apostle Paul continues his encouragement for Timothy. He loves Timothy. He has poured many hours into Timothy. He wants the best for this young man and sees hardship on the horizon for him. So in chapter 1 he encourages him to remember the eternal life gifted to him through Jesus Christ. He then speaks about endurance in chapter 2.

Timothy endures so that Jesus Christ is declared as risen and therefore is the defeater of sin and death. Jesus offers salvation. The preaching of Jesus’ Gospel offers salvation. The preaching of God’s Word brings salvation. In 2 Timothy 1:12 Paul says he endures because of the Gospel. He states the same reasons here again. Paul reminds the reader (first Timothy and then us) that though the person preaching the Gospel may be imprisoned, the message will not be imprisoned. Though the person preaching might suffer hardship, the message will never suffer defeat.

The reason is that Christ is the message!

The most basic message of Paul: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8, NIV1984).

Paul adds then the trustworthy saying of verse 11-13. Perhaps it was an early church song or poetry written by believers:

“If we died with him, we will also live with him. If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us.If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself” (NET).

The saying is in line with how the letter to Timothy began in chapter 1. Remember, 1:9 states that before the ages began the faithful God assured the continuation of life for humanity by way of His steadfast nature. God is the source of life. This is the story told in the gospels directing us to Jesus Christ… the way of eternal life. This means that our lives should be lived within the context of Jesus Christ if we want to continue to live. We will only continue to live if we have faith in Jesus and partake in the life He gives. We must live faithfully reflecting God’s glorious nature or we will fade away. This means we are to be vessels that rid ourselves of sin and fill ourselves with Christ (not us, but He does this in us).

We fill up with Him by building ourselves morally.

We fill up with Him by prizing submission over personal gain.

We fill up with Him by cherishing blessing over being blessed.

All of this is given to God’s chosen people.Questions to Ponder:What minor things of this life distract us from eternal life with God? (check out verses 16-26)

Look over chapter 2…

What are the characteristics or Godly traits we should move towards?

List them.

How can I endure hardship and remain strong in faith?

BMD

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