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Unashamed of the Gospel (Cowardice Under Fire): Steve Camp

II Timothy 1:6-18

6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.
12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
15 You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains;
17 but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me--
18 the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day--and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

1. Renew your gift (v.6)
- the heart of faithful service is using our gifts for God's service
- it is not finding the "right man" or "right woman" for the task, it is using our gifts for God's Kingdom
- "kindle afresh" or "fan the flames"- Paul is telling Timothy to continue using his gifts so as not to let them atrophy due to neglect or abuse
- "charisma"- I Peter 4:10-11 "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
- ministry is using our spiritual gifts in the power of the Holy Spirit in service to God and His creatures for the glory of Jesus Christ and the edification of His church

2. Rely on God's provision (v.7)
- because of God's grace, we have no shame or fear in the Lord's coming, and any spirit of timidity is not from the Lord

- the Spirit gives us power:

Ephesians 1:18-20
18 I pray that (the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places

- the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that allows us to live a life that is abundant and overcoming
- the love that the Spirit gives is agape love- it is neither sensual nor selfish but is self-sacrificial- it is not based on the loveableness of the one loved

John 15:12-13 "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one (Q)lay down his life for his friends."

I John 3:1a- "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God"

I Peter 1:22- "Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart"

Ephesians 2:4-5 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)"

Ephesians 4:32- "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

- this is how high the bar is set for forgiveness- instead, we usually set the bar to where we have "arrived" and where we are not vurnerable- example of Christian schools having conduct codes against immodesty, drinking, and drugs, but not against pride, selfishness, and bitterness
- all of this takes godly discipline- it places our priorities in the right order- it allows us to focus on every part of our lives so that we do not become proud or selfish

3. Right view of suffering (v.8)
- holiness demands a cross while happiness is merely convenient
- "It is impossible to read II Timothy with dry eyes"- John Stott
- even though no one stood with Paul in this persecution, the Lord stood with him, and that is what mattered

- we are promised suffering- Paul asks Timothy to join him- are we willing to give up all our rights and priveliges for the Gospel?

II Timothy 2:3- "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus."

- "The saints have no hell but what they suffer here on earth; sinners will have no heaven but what they have here in this poor, troublesome world"- Spurgeon

- the greatest trials a Christian has are more precious than all the world's riches

I Peter 4:12-16
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory (E)you may rejoice with exultation.
14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;
16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

Isaiah 53:3-5
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

Hebrews 12:1-3
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Psalm 73:25-28
25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

4. Remember your calling (v.9-10)

Titus 1:1-3
1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,
2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,
3 but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior

- "We are a love gift from the Father to the Son"- John MacArthur

- our salvation is not based on deeds done in the body because it was granted to us in Christ from eternity past

I Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

John 10:27-29
27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

5. Recognize your duty (v.10-12a)

- Paul was commanded to be an apostle- we are commanded to use the gifts God has given us

I Timothy 1:1- "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope"

6. Rest in His sovereignty (v.12b)
- are we content in how God is ordering our lives?
- it is the confidence that God is not only omniscient but omnipotent

Psalm 121:1-4
1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

- it wasn't Paul's divinely revealed theology that guarded his salvation, it was the One who revealed it to him

7. Retain the standard (v.13-14)
- the standard is sound doctrine
- we often forget that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit- we may not have forgotten the sword, but have we forgotten the Swordsman?- we need to be doctrinally sound and precise, but we need to guard it through the Spirit's power
- Satan's biggest strategy to attack the church is not fighting directly against it but attempting to join it

8. Remain in godly relationships (v.15-18)
- we need to pursue righteousness with the same vigor we flee from sin
- we need our brothers and sisters to encourage and admonish us to continue this race

I Corinthians 15:33- "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals.'"

Marie, thanks for posting this. Given that I teach at a Christian school, some of that struck pretty close to home. I do indeed think that I'll be mentioning this to the principal.

SDG,
DBH

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