2 Timothy 2:8-13
If one is to guard the gospel they are going to have to be strengthened by the grace found only in Jesus.
They are going to have to entrust the gospel to the faithful in the church.
They are going to have to share in suffering with Jesus.
They are going to have to be like a good soldier who is single-minded in their devotion.
They are going to have to be like an athlete who puts in the hard work to win.
They are going to put in the hard work of mundane and repetitive labor in order to receive the fruits of their labor.
Now, Paul reminds Timothy and Ephesus that if they are to guard the gospel then they are going to have to remember some things.
REMEMBER the Gospel v. 8
God is into remembering because we fallen creatures have a tendency to forget.
- The Passover – Exodus 12:26, 27
“And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service? ’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses. ’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.”
- The Law – Deuteronomy 6:7ff, 20-23
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise…When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you? ’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.”
- Crossing the Jordan – Joshua 4:5-7
“And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you? ’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
So far 2 Timothy has been filled with exhortations to “remember”.
- Remember the faith of their forefathers 1:3
- Remember their mutual deep friendship and fellowship 1:4
- Remember his deep spiritual heritage 1:5
- Remember his gifting 1:6, 7
- Remember the pattern of sound words 1:13
Now Paul insists that Timothy and the church at Ephesus guard the gospel by remembering! What do they remember?
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David…”
For the rest of the book Paul will refer to Jesus as “Christ Jesus”. Here he calls him “Jesus Christ” on purpose and that is to correspond to two major components he wants Timothy to remember about Jesus: Resurrection and King. Paul uses this device to help them remember what he’s asking them to remember!
“Jesus” corresponds to “risen from the dead”.
“Christ” corresponds to “offspring of David”.
- Remember: Jesus has been raised! (perfect tense – Jesus has been raised and still is raised)
Jesus the God/Man was killed in our place to pay for our inherited sin from the fall, he was buried and he has been raised and is alive now!
- Remember: Jesus is Christ THE King
Jesus fulfilled the Davidic Covenant, the promise made to King David in 2 Samuel 7:12ff as the promise that is reiterated throughout the Old Testament…Significantly it was after the resurrection, on the road to Emmaus, that Jesus explained, “‘Did not the Christ (the King from David’s line) have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself’” (Luke 24:26-27). Memory of Jesus’ Messiahship invites the believer to see Jesus as the culmination of God’s plan of salvation and to bow before him as king.
Jesus is the King who rules over all things and especially his people!
- These two components made up the core of Paul’s preaching from which
Paul’s entire worldview on redemption was based. (See Romans 1:1-4; 1 Cor. 15:1-4)
Certainly, the gospel is multifaceted (Creation/Fall/Redemption/Restoration), but the core of the work of redemption is Jesus resurrection and his kingship over his kingdom.
- We are prone to forget the kingdom and go with what appeals to the eye wrong desires and self-promotion.
- We are not to forget or give in on the facts of the gospel.
- We are to remember Jesus lives!
- We are to remember Jesus is THE King that rules well and make things
right and we can enter that kingdom and that rulership when we obey him.
Remember the Gospel’s Power v. 9
“…But the word of God is not bound!”
Not bound: The transformation of the Roman Empire in spite of the Church’s severe persecution
Not bound: The transformation of the Barbarians and Germanic tribes in their domination of the old Roman Empire
Not bound: The transformation of the Vikings in their domination of Ireland
Not bound: The mass export of the gospel through Scripture being loosed during the reformation and put in the hands of the people
Not bound: The Moravian’s work in the new world to reach the tribes of the Americas (including my people)
- Bearers of the gospel may be shut down but the message will never be.
- The gospel of the kingdom is subversive like yeast in dough.
- As the Father, Son and Spirit sent Joseph to Egypt to rescue his people in years to come and make his name known in Egypt, so our God sends his word even through the bound and unbound alike and spreads the aroma of Christ to his appointed places.
4. Take heart!
Remember to Love The Church v. 10
“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
The elect here is a reference to the elect of God, which is his church that has been given to the Son by the Father and whom Jesus secures through his life, death and resurrection in order to receive them and keep them and rule them well forever.
“Paul states that the reason for his endurance is for the sake of the elect, he sees his own sufferings against the background of those who would come to faith in Christ as a result of the preaching of the gospel. Perhaps his reference to the salvation that is in Christ Jesus is intended to distinguish it from the kind of salvation offered by the false teachers. The words in Christ Jesus not only define the salvation as Christian, but also show it to be the possession of all those who are in Christ. Note that elsewhere Paul links salvation with glory (cf. 2 Thes. 2:13–14).”
- Christian perseverance is a gift of the gospel and has gospel effect in that it becomes a visual illustration of the message of the cross to those who didn’t get to witness it first hand and it sees the elect rescued from darkness to light.
“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect…”
1a. Paul has already stated that he views his imprisonment as Jesus’ work.
1b. Paul endures then by Jesus for his church.
1c. Jesus is how Paul got into suffering and the salvation of his church is the purpose of his suffering.
1d. By saving his church through putting his people in tough spots
glorifies Jesus because they imitate Jesus and make Jesus’ work known in those tough spots.
You have to love the church to persevere through difficulty. Jesus loves his church and he suffered to rescue it and he calls us to the same as his ambassadors.
1e. Don’t despise the day of suffering because there are good and divine effects Jesus’ can bring about through it. (See Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28)
- Rescue of the church comes only in Christ and not through any other means.
“…,that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus…”
2a. Jesus uses the suffering of his church to draw the elect to himself so that they may find entrance into his kingdom through himself.
- Jesus bestows the glory of image bearers in part now through the supernatural work of the kingdom that is a promise of full bestowal of that glory at the resurrection.
“…with eternal glory.”
3a. Eternal life is a present reality not a future hope (resurrection is the future hope; See John 17:1-3)
- Remember the church. Don’t neglect her and don’t hate on her.
4a. The church is Jesus’ chosen bride and a kingdom of priests
4b. Invest your time in the church. Return on that investment is
Remember a Trustworthy Statement v. 11-13
Paul’s final counsel to remember is either part of an early hymn or early poem that have 4 lines, 3 encouragements and 1 warning.
The Lord has used poetry, narrative and song to instruct his people from Genesis. Adam breaks out in poetic song when Eve is created; David writes songs; Solomon pens wise counsel.
The Spirit-filled church produces fantastic means to cause us to remember the truths of the kingdom. Paul gives us one here.
- Encouragement 1: Remember your transformation: Died (Aorist) / Live (F)
“If we have died (A) with him, we will also live (F) with him;…”
The first encouragement uses Romans 6 imagery of baptism picturing death, burial and resurrection to new and transformed life.
- Encouragement 2: Remember to persevere: Endure (Present) / Reign (F)
“…if we endure (P), we will also reign (F) with him;…”
- Warning: Remember, do not deny the Lord (F) / Deny (F);
“…if we deny (F) him, he also will deny (F) us;…”
See Matthew 10:32-33:
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
- Encouragement 3: Remember Jesus is faithful because we are his: Faithless
(P) / Faithful (P)
“…if we are faithless (P), he remains (P) faithful…”
The difference between 3 and 4 is that the warning is for those who would walk away from Jesus to save themselves and being cool with having rescued themselves (he who looses his life finds it) versus wrestling to hold up and failing and seeking repentance.
Remember to worship King Jesus
Psalm 147:1 “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”
 Kent Hughes, 1&2 Timothy and Titus, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2000) p. 202.
 D. A. Carson et al., eds., New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 1307.