A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
Comments for Study 2
2 Timothy 2:1-13
Memory Verse: 3
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I. Entrust the Gospel to Reliable Men (1-2)
>1. How can God's servants be strong and powerful?
* 2 Timothy 2:1 "You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
* "You then, my son" -Addressing with love and affection. A father's correction and gentle rebuke.
* "be strong in the grace that is Christ Jesus" -This is not strength that comes from human power and influence. This is all about what God does through grace in him. Strength for Christians comes from God.
* Paul could make this statement about strength even though he was in a prison, thus showing what kind of strength he had.
>What is the grace that is in Christ Jesus? (1:9; and 1 Tim. 1:15-16; Rom. 5:8; Matt. 11:28)
* 2 Timothy 1:9 "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,"
* 1 Timothy 1:15-16 "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."
* Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
* Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
* Jesus is the Creator God humbling himself to save those he loves from sin and death.
* "grace" -Grace is unmerited divine assistance.
* Paul was saying this to Timothy who was acting cowardly under great persecutions from the government, opposition from Jew who rejected Jesus, deserters in the church, and widespread sexual immorality in society.
>What does it mean by becoming strong in the grace that is in Jesus?
* Trust in the grace of God.
* Be ready for trials and persecutions by maintaining a close relationship with Jesus.
* Remember God's personal grace to ourselves and act upon it.
* Showing God's grace to others.
>What does Paul refer to when he says, "the things you heard me say in the presence of many witnesses."?
* 2 Timothy 2:2a "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses..."
* "And" -this is the second charge (direction) that Paul is giving to Timothy.
* "the things you heard me say" -Paul teachings and messages. For us this exactly is Paul's letters and his teaching, and in a more general sense the entire Bible.
* "in the presence of many witnesses" -Paul excluded personal conversations between the two men as well as conversations with someone else about their personal life problems that Timothy may have heart or overheard.
* The Word of God is life because Jesus speaks and the Spirit inspires, conveying what is in the Father's heart. Today the Word of God is "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus," and "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus." (1,3) Jesus is my source of strength.
Being human is to have times of strength and happiness, and to have times of weakness and sadness. Being human is being courageous and fearful. When weak, sad, and fearful Jesus enables me to endure hardship and have hope for the future in this world.
Three analogies are presented to help understand endurance; a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer. All three must endure hard labor if they are to win the battle, win the prize, and receive a crop.
A soldier respects his commanding officer. He wants his commanding officer to be happy with him. He accepts the drills given by his commanding officer even when the drills push him to his physical, mental, and hearts limit. He cares for nothing except to please his commanding officer. So I am to be with my commander Jesus. A commander is a source of encouragement, an example, a model to follow, and a source of strength.
An athlete does not break the rules. The rules of life are the Words and will of God. The principle of the cross of Christ is the example.
>2. What does it mean to entrust the gospel and God's word to reliable men?
* 2 Timothy 2:2b "...entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
* "entrust" -Teach others one-to-one and in small groups and give messages on them. Give them a commission with trust in God and expectation of a harvest.
* "Men" -This is the plural not the singular. God's gospel work, Jesus' world mission command, can not be done by one man or by one man run organizations. Jesus himself chose twelve men and appointed them as apostles. If Jesus chose twelve men how many should we chose?
* Raise up teachers and preachers and appoint them to such. We work together, given instruction and direction while relying totally on Jesus' leading through the Holy Spirit.
* The directive given has lead men throughout this age of preaching the good news of the kingdom of God to form school and universities. If we go back to Old Testament times we see that Elijah set up a school of prophets for the very same reasons. ()
>How can we do this?
* Paul is writing about the steps that we are to take after someone accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord.
* Jesus' told us, "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt. 28:18-20) There are three imperatives to his final direction. The third is "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." This is what Paul means by entrust to reliable men.
* The teaching of men Jesus' ways is not a human endeavor though it is for the betterment of humans. The imprinting on our hearts the world of God is an endeavor of the Holy Spirit for the growth of his people.
>3. Who are reliable men?
* "reliable men" -One who can be trusted, not changing, faithful and responsible. Men are the ones that God entrusts to teach the younger generations and our piers on what the word literally says and what it means to God's relationship to us and how it brings glory to God and honor to Christ. Reliable men are those who will be concerned with the welfare others souls and advance the kingdom of God. God does not entrust teaching to angles. He does not act on his own though all actions are known and orchestrated by God in advance and his will is to incorporates us in his gospel work. Reliable men are consistent and overall proven.
* Reliable men can make mistakes, grow tired, weary, fearful, depressed, and concerned. Yet the Lord his there help and guide. Ours is a working relationship with God.
>Why is it necessary for Timothy to choose reliable men rather than able, smart, or good-looking men?
* Reliable men will stick to the commitment to Jesus and the church.
* Reliable men will produce fruit as Jesus taught in his parables.
* They are concerned with God's will as of first importance. They are committed to the work of the kingdom of God.
* Paul mentioned men in chapter one who he considered reliable men. He was a slave, of low position in society.
* Hebrew's chapter 11 contains a list of reliable men too. Jesus chose relable men in his earthly ministry.
* God's reliable people are FAT. Faithful, Available, Teachable.
* When God chooses someone we must train them and then trust them.
* Jesus is faithful. He doesn't change. (Heb. 13:8)
* Training reliable men is a continuous process - Jesus chose Paul, Paul chose Timothy, Timothy was to chose others.
II. Endure Hardships Like a Good Soldier of Christ Jesus (3-7)
* Paul gives three examples of a Christian displaying endurance until it is over:
1) a good soldier wanting to please his commanding officer
2) an athlete who follows the rules of the game
3) a farmer who works hard
>4. In what way can a gospel servant be compared to a soldier?
* 2 Timothy 2:3 "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus."
* "Endure hardships" -They will come. We must acknowledge that and prepare.
* "with us" -All Christians undergo hardships.
* "like a good soldier of Christ Jesus" -Christians are involved in a spiritual battle. Paul wrote the Ephesians, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Eph. 6:10-13)
>What are the characteristics of a good soldier?
* 2 Timothy 2:4 "No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer."
* A soldier overcomes fear and engage in battle. A soldier endures hardship. He is loyal though all the world may be against him. A soldier is drafted. A soldier must win. A winning soldier has a good commander and chief.
* Our banner is the cross of christ. Psalms 60:4 says, "But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow."
* The main ones are trustworthy, loyal, and they endure hardships. Others include brave, fighting spirit, disciplined, obeys even if he doesn't understand, faithful love towards our commanding officer, resolute in Jesus Christ, and will fight to the end.
>How do the necessary qualities of a good gospel servant liken to those of a good soldier?
* They possess a fighting spirit for Jesus and the gospel.
* They endure hardships for the sake of Jesus and the gospel. This includes depression, fear, hateful words, rejection, poor food and sleep.
* A soldier goes through endurance training in order to toughen up ones resolve.
* Jesus life is a good example to follow. He always prayed, kept connected to his commanding officer.
>5. Why is it necessary for a good soldier of Christ to overcome the desire to be involved in civilian affairs?
* "civilian affairs" -personal and political things. (i.e. jobs, family, humanistic things, making money, comfort and pleasures)
* So we may have discernment to do God's will and not just nice things that don't lead to eternal life for others.
* Civilian affairs will control, divert, and overpower us. How many Christian endeavors has lost preaching the gospel; YMCA, Salvation Army Stores, etc.
* Civilian affairs are a part of life. They can't be completely avoided. Yet they can be regulated so that we don't get entangled with them.
* Jesus' temptations at the beginning of his ministry are the three root civilian affairs that causes men to fall.
>In what way is Jesus our commanding officer?
* "he wants to please his commanding officer" -A study of the book of Acts shows that Jesus was the one who acted in all the spread of the gospel. The church and church leaders did not conduct or plan anything. They followed the Lord's leading.
* Jesus is often described as King of kings and Lord of lords.
* A commander is a source of encouragement, an example, a model to follow, and a source of strength.
>How can the gospel servants please their commanding officer Jesus?
* We follow his commands;
1) Witness to the whole world
2) love each other
3) stop sinning
4) remain in his love
5) remain in his word
* "Love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, soul, and strength."
* "Love your neighbor as yourself."
>6. In what way can the life of faith be compared to the competition of a athlete?
* 2 Timothy 2:5 "Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules."
* "competes as an athlete" -We have been chosen to compete. The Roman world was influenced by the Greek games. In them in an example of the Christian who is running for a prize. In that day the prize was a crown.
* "receive a victor's crown" -Jesus often talked about receiving a reward for the good works we do in this life. Eternal life in the kingdom of God is not a reward, it is a gift given freely and lovingly.
>How can a spiritual athlete win the victor's crown?
* "competes" -What are we competing against? The world? No. Other Christians? No. The fallen angels? No. The Lord's angels? No. Our sinful nature? Yes.
* "competes according to the rules" -The
* The rules of the life are the will of God. The entire word of God records records the will of God. As we study the word of God the Holy Spirit reveals the will of God for our lives.
* The principle behind the rules is the cross (11).
* An athlete that wants to win trains.
>7. In what way can the life of faith be compared to a hard working farmer?
* 2 Timothy 2:6-7 "The hard working farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this."
* "hard working farmer" -Not a lazy farmer. Jesus often used sowing seeds to mean planing the gospel, the word of God, the work of the Holy Spirit.
* A hard working farmer is patient.
* The principle of investment is work hard and be patient.
* A farmer does everything in order. He does not plant the seed and then plow. He does not harvest and then fertilized. He does not water and then expects to get a plow through the field. Everything is done in order.
* Galatians 6:7-10 "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
* 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
* A hard working farmer is not idle. Between planting, fertilizing, weeding, water, and harvesting there is sharpening the sickle and other tools of the trade.
III. If we Die with Him (8-13)
>8. Why is it important for God's servants to remember Jesus and his suffering?
* 2 Timothy 2:8 "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,"
* "Remember Jesus Christ" -Jesus is the focal point of our life.
* Remembering Jesus was can be encouraged to do his gospel work. Remembering Jesus will make us a strong soldier, a good athlete, a hard working farmer.
>What are the key points in the gospel Paul preaches, the gospel for which he suffers?
* "This is my gospel" -Gospel means good news in Greek. The good news is Jesus the Messiah raised from the dead.
* "raised from the dead" -Every message of Paul recorded in Acts is the resurrection of Jesus. All of his letters more than mention it. Jesus' resurrection is the light in a world of death.
* "descendant from David" -God gave David promises that are fulfilled in Jesus, the Messiah.
>9. Why does he say that God's word is not chained?
* 2 Timothy 2:9 "for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained."
* The work of God continues. Other people besides Paul was preaching the gospel and raising disciples of Jesus, teaching them to obey his teachings. And others were being raised and called to replace them when they go home to the Father. It is recorded, "Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:39-40)
* God work of spreading his word is not contained to one person, one group, one body. The work of God is the work of God. It can't be stopped. It can't be chained. It can't be bottled up. It can't be silenced. It can't be defeated. It can't be diverted. It can't be buried. It can't be killed. It does spoil, rust or fade. Moths can't eat it up. Thieves can't steal it. Bombs can't blow it up. Silence can't swallow it up. Darkness never overtake light. Fires can't burn it away. Rivers flowing into its ocean can't fill it up. A hole in the ocean can't drain it out. A baby can't drink it dry. A bee can't suck all the sweet out of it. A pack of lions can't take it down. A mountain can't cover it up. The will of God will always prevail. His work will always be completed.
>What does it mean to him and to us?
* Preach under every condition with confidence of it return. Even if no one receives it comes back to us.
>Why is Paul willing to endure everything for the sake of the gospel?
* 2 Timothy 2:10 "Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory."
* "for the sake of the elect" -We do not suffer for ourselves. We suffer so that other's may received the gospel and grow in Christ. We do not suffer for suffer sake. We do not suffer just to receive a reward.
* As David Baroni sang, "I will bear the witness no matter what the cost. I must bear the witness with no thought of gain or loss. I must bear the witness to the dying and the lost."
>What is the gospel principle in the hymn Paul quotes in verses 11-13?
* 2 Timothy 2:11-13 "Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself."
* This is an assurance not an excuse.
* 1) death > life
2) endure > reign
3) faithless > help
* The hardships and suffering in this life does not compare to the greatness in the next life.
* "if we suffer we will reign" -The more we suffer the more we reign. The less we suffer the less we reign. The more we suffer the more we are like him. The less we suffer less we understand.
* The poem in 11-13 might have been a song. It is full of hope and promise. I died with Jesus who was crucified. I will live again in paradise forever and ever.
I have not lost faith and endured much. I will reign with him.
Jesus will never disown me. Even if I falter, worry, and doubt he will remain faithful to me. I am in Christ. Christ is in me. I am a part of him. He is a part of me. He will never leave me nor forsake me.
All these are guarantees. When hard times come it does not mean that Jesus gave up on me nor forsaken me. Paul was in chains in a dark damp prison. He professed these truths.
>How does this hymn best represents Paul's gospel faith and the secret by which he could endure all his sufferings?
* Paul had resurrection faith.
* Calvin wrote, "Faith alone saves. But the faith that saves is not alone."
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