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2 Timothy

Endure All Things

2 Timothy 2:8-13
8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
NKJV

Theme: Faithful Christians suffer persecution, but God’s Word continues working

Verse:

2 Timothy 2:10
Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Teaching Notes:

John 15:18 (NKJV)
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

John 15:25 (NKJV)
25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

John 16:33 (NKJV)
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 1:24-25 (NKJV)
24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Remember Paul is suffering in prison. Have you suffered for being a Christian? What do unbelievers think of you?

How do you think of the Gospel? Paul has talked of the “testimony” of Jesus (1:8), as well as given us a mini-Gospel message in 1:9-10.  He has spoken of himself as an apostle, a preacher, and a teacher of the Gospel. Now he calls it “my Gospel.”  Can you call the Bible as “my Gospel?” Can you call Jesus “my God?” If you can, why?

Paul certainly earned the right to refer to the Gospel message of “my Gospel.” In these verses Paul sets the stage for a short discussion of suffering. This concept is the key theme of this section and forms the basis of this week’s lesson.

Paul can call the Gospel message his because God gave it to the Apostle and because he suffered for the sake of the Gospel his entire Christian life. Galatians 1:12 supports the first point and we will return to the second point shortly.

Galatians 1:12 (NKJV)
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

This is the Gospel Timothy is to “remember.”  If the Gospel is not kept in mind, it cannot be guarded and preserved.  Paul’s early commands to Timothy to “hold fast the pattern” (1:13) requires Timothy (and us) to always keep the Gospel message fresh on our minds.

Paul commences this discussion by setting forth “my Gospel:” “Jesus Christ, of the seed of David was raised from the dead.” Here is the Gospel, Jesus incarnated (the PERSON) and resurrected (the WORK). Too often we focus on only the end of Jesus’ earthly life, the Cross and Resurrection.  But, without the Incarnation there could be no Cross. Paul here notes that Jesus fulfills prophecy (“seed of David”) and sums up both ends of Jesus earthly life.

2 Samuel 7:12-17 (NKJV)
12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ” 17 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

God promised David an eternal kingdom. These verses show how prophecy floats between the close and the distant at the same. Portions of these verses look to Solomon. David’s son built the temple (v13) and was chastised (v14). At the same time, the promise to David points to Jesus (v12, 13, 14, 15). Several places within the New Testament the apostles point to this promise as being fulfilled in Jesus as the Messiah and ultimate seed of David (Matt 1:1; John 7:42; Acts 2:25-36; 13:22; Romans 1:3).

By summing up the Work of Jesus in this form, Paul is able to use Jesus as the supreme example of the teacher, soldier, athlete and farmer we discussed last week. This ties this week’s lesson closely to last weeks. It is an important teaching tool to remember that all of the epistles represent a unified body of teachings, both within themselves and within the context of first the New Testament and, then, all of Scirpture.

Paul pursues the Gospel “for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation” (v10). To the Corinthians Paul wrote that he became all things to all people and his entire purpose was to save as many as possible. While we must remember that our job is to plant the seeds and it is God’s “job” to actually save souls, we must look upon our evangelizing as soul winner, as helping others obtain salvation.

1 Corinthians 9:22 (NKJV)
22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

1 Corinthians 10:31-33 (NKJV)
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

1 Corinthians 3:6 (NKJV)
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

Paul suffered or endured “all things” for the sake of Jesus, for the salvation message. In fact, the writings of many of the early church fathers view endurance as Paul’s greatest trait. Verse 10 ends with the acknowledgment that salvation is found solely in Jesus and that it will end with eternal glory. To the Romans Paul rejoiced over the hope of eternal glory.

Romans 5:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

We should all rejoice in this hope, but we must not loose sight of the potential suffering Christians must endure. We may not suffer as Paul, but many do. And, I firmly believe that all Christians will suffer one way or another. Consider Paul’s descriptions of his suffering:

Acts 9:23-25 (NKJV)
23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

Acts 17:1-10 (NKJV)
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. 5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” 8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. 9 So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. 10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (NKJV)
23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

Philippians 1:14-16 (NKJV)
14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains;

2 Corinthians 4:6-10 (NKJV)
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Paul gave his all for Jesus and for the “elect.”  The elect are those chosen for the benefits of salvation who accept Jesus by faith. The elect represent all believers of all agaes. Here in these verses of 2 Timothy Paul points only to his imprisonment. He compares his position to that of an ordinary criminal “as an evildoer, even to the point of chains” (v9). To be in prison is difficult, but more so for those who are there wrongly charged. Paul was guilty only of being a good Christian. This was probably not really a crime in Rome at this point but Nero persecuted the Christians, probably on charges of treason against the state because of their failure to “worship Caesar.” 

We saw earlier that Paul urged Timothy not to be ashamed of the “testimony of Jesus” (1:8) nor of Paul himself in prison. Here he explains to Timothy that prison is his immediate suffering for the Gospel. But, while making clear mention of his suffering, Paul focuses more upon the reasons for his suffer than he does the pain of situation. Paul wants to admonish and encourage Timothy to continue to keep the faith.

"It is a faithful saying" (v11) -- Many scholars feel that Pauls leading phrase is a sign that he has borrowed from then existing liturgical sayings or Christian hymns. This may be true, but Paul has demonstrated he is a accomplished writer and what he conveys may be faithful statements guided by the Holy Spirit of Paul’s own creation. It is also difficult to determine where the "faithful saying" actually ends. Most view most of v11 through v13 as the saying or hymn based upon a poetic flow of two lines per stanza (in our terms). This is found in the method the NKJV has translated the verses:

11 This is a faithful saying:

     For if we died with Him, [Rom. 6:5, 8;1 Thess. 5:10]

We shall also live with Him.

12     If we endure, [Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:29;Rom. 5:17; 8:17]

We shall also reign with Him.

     If we deny Him, [Matt. 10:33;Luke 12:9; 1 Tim. 5:8]

He also will deny us.

13     If we are faithless,

He remains faithful;

     He cannot deny Himself. [Num. 23:19;Titus 1:2]

The verses in brackets are the cross-references from the Logos NKJV electronic reference Bible. 

You can see the flow and point of Paul’s argument. If we have died or turn our lives fully over to Christ, we will enjoy the blessings of living a life with Jesus.

If we suffer for the sake of the Gospel, we will receive rewards from Him. We will reign with Him in eternity.

If, however, we deny Jesus, He will deny us before His Father. We must live and abide with Jesus in order to enjoy the fruits of eternal life.

John 15:5 (NKJV)
5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

This promise is based upon the character of Jesus – the character of God eternal. God is always consistent with Himself! Even when we are faithless He remains faithful. This is based upon the character of God in that He is unchanging and cannot deny His own character.

Numbers 23:19 (NKJV)
19 God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

This is a faithful saying.

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Miscellaneous: The Bible ascribed 5 things to God that He cannot do.

 

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