Paul has called Timothy to a difficult task (2 Timothy 1:8, 5, 12; 3:6-17; 4:1-4, 10-11) and he builds Timothy’s courage, hope and confidence by rehearsing the enduring hope of the life found in Christ.
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 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 God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.” 2 Timothy 1:1-12
1. The Promise of Flourishing Through the Grace, Mercy and Peace Found in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (v.1)
2. An Embrace of Friendship (v.4b)
3. A Sincere Faith with a Historical Legacy (v.5)
4. Resources! (v.7)
5. Eternally Loved (v.9)
6. The Horror of Death has Been Abolished and Life in Immortality Are Ours Through the Gospel (v.10)
7. Guarded/Protected Until the End (v.12)
“What if the primary shaping insight informing ministry was not that Christians are people vulnerable to indwelling sin (or the world, or the devil), but that God will present them faultless one day? What if the already-but-not-yet good rather than the present evil, was functionally primary?” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol 34-3, p.13
"They are more and more enlivened and strengthened in all saving graces so that they practice true holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Ch 13-1)...Yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part overcomes (Ch 13-3)” 1689 Confession of Faith
What is sanctification?
Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness. Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 35
What is sanctification?
Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God; having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life. Westminster Larger Catechism, Question 75
How to walk with people and build confidence in the resources of the gospel:
1. Know evil and be aware of the brokenness of a fallen (less than perfect world). (We live in an almost-but-not-yet.)
2. The operative stance should be to rejoice and be gladdened in the continual, fresh supply of grace that forever flows from the goodness of Christ. (2 Timothy 1:2)
3. Worship/Looking to the Lord/Waiting upon the Lord must be foremost or central.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:25
4. Community with other believers is essential.
“The ultimate apologetic...is the believer acting in faith in an interactive life with God.”
“People need to see individuals living in daily interaction with the kingdom of the heavens: praying and saying… The biggest fools are those that do nothing because they are afraid they will be seen as fools. And of course, that just testifies to their faith. The disciples at least were willing to be seen as fools, weren’t they? (People should be willing to) try something. This is where God will meet them.” Dallas Willard, The Allure of Gentleness
1. Why was Timothy’s task/calling difficult?
2. How are we simultaneously sinners-sufferers-saints?
3. What elements of 2 Timothy 1:1-11 are most likely to build confidence and holy resolve in you?
4. What should be our baseline belief as we mentor/love/care for other believers?