Timothy 2:8-11 (NKJV)
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.
“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” Revelation 1:18
Application: Have you died with Him?
Intro: How often have you heard or said yourself I am ready? If I died today I am ready to go (take me home Lord!). It seems to be a statement that many make without really knowing what their saying. Are you really ready to meet your maker? Are you going to hear Him say come home, well done! We do need to be ready and we shouldn’t be afraid of dying or maybe even living.
Key verse in our text today is: “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.”
In the book of Timothy, as this letter was being written Paul was facing death. He wrote this letter while he was in prison. He was soon to be executed by Ruler at that time, Nero. Paul knew this soon death could discourage his brother in the faith Timothy as well as many others. (“Nevertheless!”) the statement is made: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
Nevertheless, Paul's concern was not for his own life but for the furtherance of the gospel. “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect.” What are you afraid of, is it living, dying or both. Is it possible you know what you need to do but have chosen to continue to do nothing?
- nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.
Remember, Jesus Christ encourages us:
1. His Encouragement: vs. 8
“Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel."
That statement in its self should be great encouragement! REMEMBER; Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Timothy needed to be reminded of that. Maybe just maybe there are some hear today that need to be reminded of that! He does live and we can rejoice in the understanding that we have something to live for, because He lives. “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” Revelation 1:18
Paul wanted Timothy to see Jesus’ humanity; he did die but He also rose, He was resurrected! Part of the encouragement that we can embrace or should, is we might be required to die like Jesus, but just as He rose from the dead, so Christ also promises eternal life to those who follow Him. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.” 1 Corinthians 15:22-23
I believe Christ is asking what are you afraid of? I can give you eternal life!
- Do only what is required of you and remain a slave. Do more than is required and become free.
Freedom encourages, remember that!
Remember, Jesus Christ suffered:
2. His Suffering: vs. 9
“For which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.”
Do you hear that? The word of God is not chained! Suffering for Christ Was in accordance with the Gospel Paul preached. Paul did not preach a gospel of health and prosperity. On the contrary, Jesus instructed His disciples that they would have trials in this world: “Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” John 15:20
Paul was not exempt from suffering; Jesus tells Ananias “I know of His past” he will now be used as a chosen vessel for Christ. In the book of Acts Chapter 9, Paul had just seen the light (Light of Jesus), he was on his way to Damascus to continue his destructive course of persecuting the Jews, when Jesus Christ Himself presented Himself. Shortly after Paul’s Damascus road conversion Ananias is told in a vision to go to Paul and be a part of his new decision and minister to him. “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." Acts 9:16 Some of you, right now are where Paul was, some of you have had your Damascus road conversion.
Some of you should let that vision God gave you to encourage you to go and help that brother or sister, and yes possibly suffer in doing so. “The word of God is not chained.” And the word of God tells us to go! What are you afraid of! Suffer for Christ, evil only rules if you allow it to.
- It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness. - James Barrie
Remember Jesus Christ will reward:
3. His Reward: vs. 10-11
“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.”
Our rewards in Heaven will be equal with our faithfulness on earth. I have Got to ask, do you like what you just heard? Equal. What kind of reward are you looking forward to receiving? What are you doing now to make this all happen?
“For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.” This does not refer to our involuntarily being put to death, but rather to our willingness to sacrifice for Christ: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
If we volunteer to suffer for Christ by bearing our Cross in this life we shall be rewarded in the next. Jesus taught this truth in the parable of the faithful and bad servant. Our entrance into heaven, however, will be based solely on our acceptance of Christ's sacrifice for us.
Luke 12:37-48 (NLT)
37 The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! 38 He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. 39 “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” 41 Peter asked, “Lord, is that illustration just for us or for everyone?” 42 And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 43 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 44 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 45 But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 46 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful. 47 “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. 48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high his royal banner, It must not suffer loss: From vict'ry unto vict'ry His army he shall lead, Till ev'ry foe is vanquished And Christ is Lord indeed.
When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. - William James
Epigram On Salvation:
- I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be; but, by the grace of God, I am not what I was.” - John Newton
What are you afraid? Living or dying? Remember He offers eternal life and He suffer for that, yes we too will suffer, but the reward, is out of this world.
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