Not Ashamed – A Gospel Worthy of Suffering - 2 Timothy 1:8-14, Pt. 1

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There is nothing of greater value than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a truth that faithful Christians believe, but it’s also a truth that can be hard to live out consistently. We are prone to fear and may at times be timid in the way we live out and express our faith in Christ.

As Paul writes to Timothy, his son in the faith and his partner in the ministry, he is writing to encourage him to Gospel faithfulness. Knowing that Timothy may be fearful or lack boldness, Paul exhorts him to not be ashamed and to be willing even to suffer for the sake of the Gospel.

In 2 Timothy 1:8-14 the Paul is calling Timothy to be steadfast and faithful with the Gospel. While much of this passage is exhortation, in verses 9 and 10 Paul spends some time simply rehearsing the realities of salvation and the grace of God that has made salvation possible in Christ.

As we spend time considering what Paul says about our salvation it should remind us of the beauty and value of the Gospel. It should also encourage and compel us to live faithfully and courageously for the sake of the Gospel. It should serve as a reminder of why the Gospel is worthy of our sacrifice and even our lives.

 The Charge: Minister with boldness (1:8)

  • Do not be ashamed (v. 8a) – It seems that Paul knows that Timothy is living in fear or with a lack of boldness. His exhortation is for Timothy to not be ashamed – either of the testimony of Christ (the Gospel) or of Paul who has been imprisoned for the sake of Christ. 
  • Share in suffering (v. 8b) – During this time anyone who was bold with Gospel was at risk of suffering harm. Paul encourages Timothy to be willing and ready to suffer – just as he already has. Along with this plea, Paul tells Timothy that he will be sustained in his suffering by the power of God.

The Motivation: A Gospel worthy of suffering (1:9-10)

  • In verses 9 and 10 Paul isn’t telling Timothy things that he doesn’t already know, but rather he is reminding him of the beauty and the glory of the Gospel, most likely as reminder that the Gospel is worth whatever it costs in terms of suffering.

God’s Act of Salvation (v. 9)

  • Saved by God (v. 9a) – This simple, biblical phrase reminds us that we were dead in sin and deserved the wrath of God, but God in Christ has rescued and delivered us. In Him we are saved (Rom. 5:8-10; 1 Tim. 1:15).
  • Sanctified by God (v. 9a) – Not only are we saved from sin and death, we are saved to holiness and righteousness that God grants and grows in us.

The Basis of our Salvation (A Gift of Grace) (v. 9b)

  • Not of works (v. 9b) – God saves us, and His salvation is not based on anything we are or anything we do (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-5). 
  • It’s all of God’s purpose and grace (v. 9b) – We are saved on this basis alone, that God made a plan to show grace to sinners. We are saved based on His gracious favor and according to His Divine plan.

The Plan of Salvation (A Plan of Grace) (vv. 9c-10a)

  • Grace from before time – God’s Eternal Plan of Grace (v. 9c) – God’s plan to save sinners is a plan that He made, in Christ, before creation (Ephesians 1:3-6).
  • Grace has appeared – Christ’s Coming and Work (v. 10a) – God’s grace that was granted before time was made known in the life, death and resurrection of Christ, through which salvation was accomplished (Galatians 4:4-5; Titus 2:11-14).

The Results of Christ’s Work (v. 10b)

  • Christ abolished death (v. 10b) – Through His death and resurrection Christ defeated death for all who believe. Through Him we are given spiritual life and the hope of life beyond the grave (1 Cor. 15:51-57).
  • Christ brought life and immortality through the Gospel (v. 10b) – Not only are we freed from death, but we are given eternal life. If we have died with Christ, we can know that we will also live with Him (John 11:25-26). This is a hope that is ours when we repent and believe in the finished work of Christ.

Conclusion: A Gospel worthy of suffering

  • As we think about the incredible salvation that God has given us through His grace, apart from anything we could do, it should leave us humbled and full of gratitude. It should also increase our desire to live with boldness and not fear; to not be ashamed of the testimony of Christ and to even be willing to suffer for His sake. Paul not only understood the Gospel, but it changed him and he gave his life for it. Now it is our turn to live unashamed and courageous lives for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.