2 Timothy (Part 9)

v.12. 1. Paul suffered for the cause of the gospel. 2. Paul's sufferings did not make him ashamed of the gospel. He set a good example for Timothy in light of the exhortation of v.8. A. There is cause for shame owing to ignorance of the gospel when its information is readily available. ACT 2:37-38; 3:17 c/w 1CO 15:34. B. There is cause for shame owing to lack of study of the gospel for its defense. 1PE 3:15; 2TI 2:15; HEB 5:12. C. There is cause for shame when a lack of application of the gospel is manifest in poor discernment. 1CO 6:1-5; REV 3:17-18. D. There is cause for shame when a believer walks contrary to the gospel. GAL 2:11-14. E. There is cause for shame when a believer apostatizes from the gospel. HEB 10:29. F. But sufferings for the gospel's sake are not cause for shame. They are cause for rejoicing. 1PE 4:14-16; LUK 6:22-23. (1) The apostles rejoiced to be counted worthy to suffer for the gospel’s sake. ACT 5:41-42. (2) The faithful Hebrews joyfully suffered the loss of their goods for the gospel’s sake. HEB 10:33-34. (3) This kind of rejoicing about sufferings for the gospel’s sake speaks of great rewards. HEB 10:35; 1PE 4:13. (4) There is another kind of rejoicing about sufferings for the gospel’s sake that speaks of something else. JDG 16:25-30; REV 11:10-11. 3. For the cause of the gospel, Paul suffered “...these things.” A. These: “Demonstrative adjective. Indicating things or persons present or near (actually, or in thought, esp. as having just been mentioned): plural of THIS.” B. “These things” would first be relative to his Roman imprisonment. v.8. (1) He suffered “...trouble as an evil doer, even unto bonds...” (2TI 2:9). (2) He was chained. 2TI 1:16. (3) He was cold. 2TI 4:13, 21. (4) He was ready to be offered. 2TI 4:7. (5) He was abandoned. 2TI 1:15, 4:10, 16. C. “These things” that he was then suffering were the end of what he had already been suffering for the gospel’s sake. 2CO 11:23-33. D. Being thought strange for not celebrating Christmas seems pretty trivial by comparison. 4. The basis for Paul’s shameless sufferings for the gospel’s sake was: “...for I know whom I have believed...” A. Paul knew the God in Whom he believed, unlike the Athenian philosophers on Mars Hill. ACT 17:23. (1) It is a general tenet of false religion that its god is unknowable or inscrutable or incomprehensible. (2) Freemasonry’s god is the Unknowable, Concealed of all concealed En Soph. (3) “When we consider the incomprehensible nature of the Godhead....” (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, p.478) (4) One system is particularly adept at shrouding its god with shifting and contradictory declarations. REV 17:7. (5) The true God is knowable, being declared, revealed and manifest (clearly revealed to the eye, mind, or judgement; open to view or comprehension; obvious) in and by Jesus Christ. JOH 1:18; MAT 11:27; 1TI 3:16. (6) The ability to know God is life eternal. JOH 17:3 c/w 1JO 5:20. (7) Paul shows that it is proper to glory in the fact one knows the true God. c/w JER 9:24. B. Mind that Paul did not say that he knew OF WHOM he believed, but that he knew WHOM he believed. This speaks of an intimate acquaintance with God. (1) Do you have a personal relationship with God as with a friend? JAM 2:23. a. If we would know Christ as a friend, we would believe in Him as Abraham. HEB 11:17-19; JOH 8:56. b. If we would know Christ as a friend, we must obey His commandments. JOH 15:14-15. (2) Are your prayers an empty form or a conscious speaking to God? PSA 5:1-3. (3) Do you read the Bible as though God is speaking to YOU? HEB 12:5. (4) Can you say that the Lord has heard you and that the Lord has been with you? PSA 116:1; 2TI 4:16-17. (5) Do you walk WITH God? MIC 6:8; GEN 5:22, 24; 6:9. C. Paul desired to know Christ at all cost. PHIL 3:8. (1) In comparison with Him, we must count all else but dung. (2) If you are not personally acquainted with Christ or if you are not growing in the knowledge of Him, you are counting something dear that you should count as dung. 5. Because Paul knew and trusted God, he was persuaded (prevailed upon; convinced; having an assured opinion) that God was faithful and powerful to keep what he had committed unto Him. A. Paul's God promises that faithful living has an end of eternal life. JOH 5:24, 28-29; ROM 2:6-7. B. Paul's God promises that present sufferings for His sake speak of future glory that far outweighs them. ROM 8:17-18. C. Paul's God promises that the death of the body is the entrance to true life. 2CO 5:1, 8 c/w PHIL 1:21-23. D. Paul's God promises that faithful duty and sacrifice in this life is remembered for the next. LUK 14:13-14; MAT 25:21. E. Paul's God proved His power to keep by the resurrection of His Son. LUK 23:46 c/w ACT 2:23-36. F. Paul's persuasion of God's power to keep what he had committed unto Him was owing to God's unretractable love. ROM 8:38-39. G. Like Abraham, Paul was fully persuaded of God's power and promises. c/w ROM 4:21. H. Like the patriarchs, Paul was persuaded that God's promises are grounded in heaven, not earth. HEB 11:13. I. When one is fully persuaded of some thing or cause, it is much easier to suffer for that cause! 6. What Paul committed unto the Lord to keep is explained in 1PE 4:19. A. Paul committed the keeping of his soul to the Lord in well doing even though he suffered in so doing. 1PE 2:20-23. B. "Keep" in this passage denotes guarding, defending, preserving and saving. GEN 28:15; 1CH 4:10; PSA 19:13; 140:4; 2TH 3:3; JUDE 1:24. C. Remember, God has abundantly proved that He has the best interest of His children at heart. ROM 8:31-39. D. The child of God can safely commit himself to the Lord since he is assured of good in the outcome. PHIL 1:6; PSA 37:3-11. E. In his sufferings Paul focused with assurance upon the power of God to keep him. 7. "That day" is the day of the appearing of Jesus Christ. 2TI 4:1, 8. A. We should not expect perfect justice until that day. B. We should not expect full compensation for duty until that day. C. We should therefore entrust our affairs, concerns, sacrifices and duties to God in prayer until that day and have peace now. PHIL 4:6-7.
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