Welcome back. We are in round seven of 20 days in 2 Timothy. And let’s jump in to Chapter two beginning in verse eight. And it says this. Remember Jesus Christ. Risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal, but the word of God is not bound. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Now, Paul is talking to his old mentee Timothy, who he has launched out in the world to be a minister in the name of Jesus. And yet, he says to him here, remember Jesus Christ? Why say that to Timothy? Like they preach the gospel a lot throughout cities? Why tell him to remember Jesus. Is he scared that Timothy will forget? Oh yeah, Jesus. Well, if you’re from Texas, like me, you know, the battle cry of Texas independence. Remember Goliad, remember the Alamo. What were they saying to the soldiers at the Battle of San Jacinto when they told them to remember the Alamo? Were they telling them to pause and reflect for a minute? Oh yeah, that’s the mission that’s in San Antonio. No. They were calling them to remember that there were soldiers at the Alamo who fought bravely and gave their lives for a cause bigger than themselves. And you were meant to do it as a motivation for you to then live with courage and bravery to accomplish the same purpose.
And that’s what Paul is doing here. He’s telling Timothy, we have the greatest of all causes. So don’t shrink back when life’s hard. Lean in. And so he had told them before. Be like a soldier. Be like an athlete. Press hard. And he’d given them examples of people who had not done it well and people who’d done it well. And if you remember all our verbs so far, he’s telling him. Fan into flame the gift of God. Set aside timidity. Join in suffering, be strengthened, endure hardship, and now he gives them the ultimate example. Remember Jesus Christ. Our hero who did this. The Forerunner who blazed a trail. Keep your eye fixed on him so you can run with endurance and not lose heart.
One of my favorite moments in Band of Brothers about the 101st Airborne in World War II was when Lieutenant Spears saw that his men had been separated by the enemy, and so he got up, ran through enemy fire, reestablished comms with his lost troops and then ran back through enemy fire. And when they saw our leader was willing to risk his life to save ours, it emboldened his men to run out and to take the city of Foy along with him. And it’s the same with us.
We have a king who went before us. He’s not asking us to do anything he didn’t do first. And when we fix our eyes on Jesus, it comforts and encourages us to step into the game he’s called us into. And so here he says, remember Jesus Christ.
And then he gives you two things to remember. Risen from the dead. Why does that matter? Well, Paul told the Corinthians it was of first importance. If Jesus Christ didn’t rise from the dead, he said, then our preaching’s in vain. We don’t have to do this anymore. Jesus said his death accomplished something. That it took our sin and buried it. And when he rose, it gave us a promise of life with God beyond the grave. And so the resurrection is everything to us. If it didn’t really happen, then we don’t need to mess with this anymore. But if it really did happen, then what Jesus says is true. We are really made in God’s image. We’re really broken because of sin. But what he did really accomplished something decisive. That our shame can be buried and our life can be raised with him. So the resurrection’s everything. Remember that. That
Jesus faced the biggest enemy: death. And he overcame. That’s the center of our mission. So you can overcome hardship. Press through it because we’re following him.
And then he says, remember, he’s the descendant of David. There’s a lot to that. It points back to the Old Testament prophecies that a child of David would come that would establish God’s kingdom forever. It points to the physicality of Jesus that we’ll see later in Timothy’s day. Some people were just saying, well, this is kind of some spiritual encouragement. There’s not really a real physical resurrection. But he says, no, he was a real physical man, Jesus. Who really lived and really died, and it really accomplished something. So remember, he’s a child of David.
But you also remember David was the conquering king. Remember when Goliath was terrifying the people of Israel? They were powerless. But when David stepped out and beat Goliath? What happened next? The Israelite troops found the encouragement to chase the Philistines out of their land. And so here Paul’s telling Timothy, Your son of David Jesus beat death. The big enemy on the battlefield. That gives us courage to step out and push back on the philistines of our indifference and our fears and our doubts. We can drive our sin out. Why? Because we’ve seen our king beat the biggest enemy.
So remember Jesus Christ. It’s a pump up speech. That he was risen from the dead. The descendant of David has preached to my gospel for which I’m suffering. I’m willing to take the hit. He said bound with chains is a criminal. My preaching this message cost me enough that they think I’m an evil doer and they put me in chains. And that can be discouraging. But then, he says, but the word of God is not bound. They may bind me, Timothy, but the mission of God never stops. The word is not chained. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect that they also may obtain the salvation that’s in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. What are the motivations Paul gives Timothy to keep on mission in a difficult day?
Number one, keep your eye on Jesus. He won. And if he wins, we win. And then number two here is we can’t lose. Notice here, he says, I endure everything. What I’m going through is really hard Timothy. Let me not sugarcoat it, but I do it for the sake of the elect. What does that mean? It means that God, in his mercy, has called people to come to faith. And so what Paul knows is our work is not in vain. That as we preach the gospel, as we lead Bible studies, as we get involved in our church and serve, it will accomplish God’s purposes. God has ordained that people come to faith in him. And so when I work, I know it will accomplish purposes that God set out beforehand. So I gladly endure it. Why? Because I know we can’t lose. That I’m going to lead them and they will obtain salvation. And the word salvation there carries the full picture of what God does. Justified, made right, sanctified, made more like him and then glorified brought into God’s very presence.
Paul says, I know all this work I’m doing is not in vain, but there is going to be people by the grace of God that are made right, that are shaped in God’s image and then brought into his presence forever. And because I know that it motivates me.
I remember for me once, I played in a tournament for paintball, and while we were doing it the way the tournament bracket worked, me and a group of my friends, we were facing off our teams against each other. But our friends told us, hey, whatever happens in the bracket, we’re leaving to go hang out with our girlfriends. So even if we win this battle, you’re still going to advance in the bracket. And knowing we couldn’t lose, made us play with a bandit. We weren’t hiding at all. We were leaping around corners, firing shots from the hip. We had so much fun out there. Why? Because we knew we win. We can’t lose. And what Paul tells Timothy here is Timothy, take the hit. Endure. Suffer. Why? Because our king won. And we can’t lose. And you keep that in mind. It’ll encourage you in a difficult day.
So, friend, I don’t know if you’re taking hits for your association with Jesus. But let me tell you something, he’s worth it. His mission will not fail, and he has fought and procured a rescue for you and me, and for all the people by his grace. He’s called us to minister to. So we do it for him and we do it for them. We lean in to being a part of his great mission. And I want that for you. So, I don’t know what discouragement you might be facing. Hand them to him and then remember Jesus Christ. Fix your eyes on him and find as you do that you might just experience the comfort and the confidence to keep moving forward in a difficult day. Praying for you. See you next time.
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