Does the gospel embarrass you? This Tuesday with Timothy exhorts us to throw off embarrassment and embrace suffering for the gospel. After his fourth missionary journey and during his second imprisonment, Paul writes to encourage Timothy to not be ashamed of the gospel. Last week Laura reminded us that Paul, like a spiritual father and dear friend, spoke truth and love to encourage Timothy at time when He needed it.
“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, 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. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.” II Tim. 1:8-11 (NIV)
Observation – what does the passage say?
- Paul writes to encourage Timothy not to be ashamed to testify of our Lord or of him.
- Paul exhorts Timothy to join in the sufferings for the gospel.
- Paul reminds Timothy that God saved and called them to live a holy life, not by works.
- Salvation is by grace alone based on God’s saving plan before time through Christ Jesus.
- Jesus destroys death and gives life and immortality through the gospel.
- Paul is appointed a herald, apostle, and a teacher of the gospel.
Can you find a few other observations? Please consider sharing them in the comment section below as we always learn so much from one another.
Interpretation – what does the passage mean?
Out of deep love for Paul’s dear friend, he encourages Timothy to not be afraid to speak up and stand up for the gospel for fear of persecution. He reminds Timothy that he felt no shame as a prisoner because the Lord had placed him there and he viewed himself as Christ’s prisoner (Eph. 3:1; 4:1; Phile. 1, 9). Rather than feeling ashamed, Paul exhorts Timothy to join him in suffering for the gospel, not by imprisonment but by proclaiming the gospel boldly. Recounting the gospel (saving sinners from the penalty of sin) Paul hopes to encourage Timothy to live a holy life by God’s grace not by works (Eph. 2: 8-9). Paul also desires that his dear friend will feel privileged and thankful just as he does to share the gospel.
Take a few minutes to follow the link to read an online commentary called Sonic Light by a Dallas Theological Seminary professor. Include a few sentences in your notes describing the meaning of the passage after reading the scripture and gleaning insights from the commentary. Consider sharing your insights describing the meaning of the passage in the comments section too. Your thoughts are a blessing to everyone. We will be using this commentary throughout our study, so it might be good to bookmark it or save the link.
Application – how does the meaning of the passage apply to me?
- Presently, I am recovering from a head injury, so this passage reminded me that suffering is a part of the Christian life. Through this physical pain, the Lord is giving me more compassion for people who suffer from an illness or physical pain particularly those not visible to the eyes.
- Secondly, I will thank Him that He works good from suffering and ask Him to help me rely on His strength to see me through this suffering.
- I will continue to pray for an acquaintance who experienced a head injury recently and I’m hopeful I can be an an encouragement to her.
After sharing how God’s Word is impacting my heart, let me ask you:
- How can you encourage a friend to not be embarrassed by the gospel?
- If you stand up for the gospel, you will suffer. How are you suffering for the gospel currently?
- How has God’s grace carried you through suffering?
- How can God use your suffering to encourage others who are also suffering?
As I mentioned above it would be a great encouragement to everyone to hear what God is teaching you from this passage in the comment section below. We are so excited that you are studying II Timothy with us this summer. Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you through this study. We love you!
– Mary Carmen