20.9.09

“Becoming God’s Good Servants” 2 Timothy 2.1-7

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (2 Timothy 2.1-4 ESV)

Entrust the Message v. 1-2

· It was common practice of the time to emphasize the passing of sacred traditions

· Paul encouraged Timothy in a similar way to pass on what he had been taught

· Teaching “faithful men” who would then pass on the teaching as well

· Preserving the Gospel for future generations

Example of the Soldier v. 3-4

· Share in suffering: do not be surprised or slowed, suffering comes with following Jesus

· As a good soldier: Christian life compared to being a soldier

· Civilian pursuits: anything that would distract from following Christ fully

- a call to focusing on one purpose- serious dedication

- requires unswerving obedience (as a soldier)

~ Gettysburg, D-Day: soldiers rushed to their deaths at command

- requires devoted discipline (not like my work-out routine)

- John Piper: “The world is no longer our treasure. It’s not the source of our life or our satisfaction or our joy. Christ is.” (Don’t Waste Your Life p. 57)

Example of the Athlete v. 5

  • Olympic athletes required at least 10 months of serious preparation by oath
  • They had to follow the rules or be disqualified
  • They strived to win a simple prize of garland
  • We strive to win the prize of salvation through Christ

- I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3.14 ESV)

- Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12.1 ESV)

Example of the Farmer v. 6

  • There is an emphasis on hard work and a reward to come
  • The farmer puts forth the hard work and is rewarded in time with a harvest
  • We are to work hard to serve Christ

- though salvation is not based on works

- works are the fruit of salvation

  • The reward for a Christian comes in salvation as we are judged innocent based on Christ’s sacrifice

Endeavor to Gain Understanding v. 7

  • Paul encourages Timothy to consider what he has said
  • The Lord will give understanding
  • If we seek God, we will find Him

- Jeremiah 29.13, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (ESV)

- Isaiah 55.6, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near…” (ESV)

Closing: To become God’s good servants, we must be disciplined like a soldier (avoiding things that distract), dedicated like an athlete (devoting ourselves to the race) and determined like a farmer (who works hard for a future reward). Consider this, “for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

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