The Introduction

Last week, we examine our lives in Christ and by Christ and how it looks much different than living in this world.

Paul calls us soldiers, athletes, and farmers–not in the way that you might think. (2 Timothy 2:3-7) We are to suffer like Christ, receive righteousness by Christ and let the indwelling of the Spirit produce fruit in us like Christ.

Out of that, we preach and live our lives out for the sake of the gospel. (2 Timothy 2:8-13)

Okay, now what? More importantly, how can we do this? There are a lot of things to be–like Christ–but how do we specifically do that.

Last week, I called an audible to split the mediation into two parts instead of having one long one. If vv.3-7 is calling to Christ, and if vv.8-13 is for what cause, then today’s passage is the how to do so.

And I think the simplicity of how to do live our lives will be shockingly so.

Let us get into the text.

The Text

2 Timothy 2:15–19 (CSB)
15 Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.

16 Avoid irreverent and empty speech, since those who engage in it will produce even more godlessness,

17 and their teaching will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are among them.

18 They have departed from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and are ruining the faith of some.

19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, bearing this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his, and let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.

The Meditation

Let me sum up today’s mediation: we are to be under the word of God. Let me put it more directly: God has spoken through his word and we are to listen and obey. The authority is God. He has spoken. And by his great grace and mercy, he has given his word in the form of the written word–the Bible.

The Gospel

15 Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.

How to live: proclaim the gospel and never be ashamed

Not just for the pastors. The pushback, “Not everyone is a pastor or teacher.” Yet, every Christian is commissioned to proclaim the gospel and raise up disciples.

If you are raising up disciples, you must proclaim the good news. If you are constantly proclaiming the good news, you will find yourself raising up disciples. And if God be so good and gracious, you might see some of them be baptized because they will tell you:

John 4"42 (CSB) “We no longer believe because of what you said, since we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world.”

16 Avoid irreverent and empty speech, since those who engage in it will produce even more godlessness, 17 and their teaching will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are among them.

How to live: stop listening to the world and start listening to God

We would all do well to listen to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and stop listening to people who agree with us.

You might say, “Yes but they are Christians.” Okay, Christian, what are you talking about? Are you talking about the goodness of our Savior? That we get to discard all of our sin upon the foot of the Christ as we are covered in the blood of Christ and having our sins washed away? Or are you too busy talking about stolen elections and getting our “freedoms” taken away.

So what if the US takes away our freedoms? Are you so threatened that you are going to cease believing in Christ?

Listen, here is an historical fun fact for all of us to tune in and here. Every single second that a people group is persecuted for their faith in Christ, more people come to Christ. When Christians have it easy–almost, the advantage–many people turn away.

Oh, I wonder if American Christianity as a whole is on the steep incline? I wonder.

And I wonder what the Sovereign Holy Spirit of God is going to do? And perhaps I will have a slightly better blessing than Abraham that I will see the Spirit move in my lifetime while I am still on this earth?

You think your freedoms are bringing you closer to God. We are children of God. We are already perfectly free–that is our glory given to us by God. No ruler and no land and certainly no law is going to give us more freedom. We are already maxed out. We can do as we please because we love God and we seek to please the King of kings.

18 They have departed from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and are ruining the faith of some.

How to live: stop listening to other Christians who are preaching false gospels and prophecies

Election 2020. How did that work out for us? How many false prophets were so sure in their flesh that the US Election were going their way instead of the only God and Savior who alone sets up kings and puts them down?

Some were preaching that the resurrection had already taken place. Swap that out for more fake news: prepare for the rapture because the tribulation is coming.

How about this: We are to eagerly prepare ourselves and make ourselves ready because Christ is set to return–not to spare us from tribulation nor persecution–but to judge the living and the dead.

I am not here to preach a certain end times theology. I am certain that my eschatology is different yours. However you think this whole thing shakes out, keep in mind one generality that I have heard that is definitely becoming true:

“Whatever you think will happen in the end will determine how you fulfill the Great Commission now.”

The Great Commission is done by the saints, you and me, for the work of the ministry. You can believe in the rapture and you can believe that we can be spared from the Great Tribulation. But ask God, “Am I discipling others? In other words, am I pointing others to your Son? Am I repenting or am I just playing around with my sin and not repenting? Am I telling others to do the same?”

Don’t tell me. Ask God.

19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, bearing this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his, and let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.

How to live: what Christ has done our firm foundation

Listen to me, whatever the future may hold, believe and trust that God has you in double snatch grip of the Father and the Son–sealed in the almighty power of the Holy Spirit.

You are facing tribulations. You are being weakening. It is not the people of the world–they are prisoners of war. It is not your political opponents. It is not woke people. It is not racists. It is not facists. It is not the insurrectionist. None of those people are your enemy. They cannot destroy you.

Matthew 10:26-28 (CSB) “Therefore, don’t be afraid of them, since there is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered and nothing hidden that won’t be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops. 28 Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

We live in such a time when even self-proclaimed Christians live their lives with no fear of God whatsoever.

I preach one thing, “Repent for the kingdom of God is now.”

The Prayer

Savior of the world
 
If we do not believe, help us believe.

If we do not love you, give us your love to love you.

If we are dead, bring us to life!

Amen.

Media

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