2 Timothy 1:8-9 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, Who 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,
Paul tells Timothy that you were EMPOWERED by a Holy Calling!
- “Don’t be ashamed of me or Jesus.” With all of the pressure facing young Timothy and his church, this was bigger than you might think.
- “Join with me in suffering for the Gospel.”He reminds Timothy that his call to Christ includes suffering. (good theology in spite of what you hear on TV) Everyone knew that they would suffer when giving their lives to Christ. It was completely against their culture.
- “It is God who will EMPOWER you to stand for HIS purposes.”
Remember that these verses were written when NERO was Emperor of Rome. Paul’s liberation from his first imprisonment took place in a.d. 63, the year before the great fire at Rome, which Nero made the pretext for his persecution of the Christians. Every cruelty was heaped on the Christians; some were crucified, some were arrayed in the skins of wild beasts and hunted to death by dogs; some were wrapped in pitch-robes and set on fire by night to illuminate the circus of the gardens of Nero!
He reminds Timothy that in all of this persecution, destruction and injustice that flies around him … be strong! You have the Holy Spirit and are gifted and called to this. He is with you and has made you ready!
I think we could all use someone in our lives who will remind us that God has set us apart to honor Him even when things get tough!
CONSIDER: 2 Timothy 1:3-18
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
Appeal for Loyalty to Paul and the Gospel
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 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. 9 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, 10 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. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Examples of Disloyalty and Loyalty
15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.