The Introduction

Walking through the Paul’s second letter to Timothy has really been a walkthrough to how God really saves us–beyond the sinner’s prayer when we were little kids.

  • In everything, we should praise God - 2 Timothy 1:1-7
  • We are saved only by God - 1:8-12
  • We are to be instructed by God - 1:13-2:2
  • We have been made fully alive by God - 2:3-14
  • We can understand the absolute truth by God - 2:15-19
  • We are chosen by God - 2:20-26

All of those wonderful things don’t come fast nor cheap.

You don’t get God and his wonderful blessings and expect to look the exact same before you met him

Let me press this: if your life doesn’t look any different now then before you knew God, you might not be saved. Don’t take that up with me–take it up with Christ.

But when we have been saved by God and given a new life by God, we are expected to be shaped, conformed, changed, disciplined by God for God’s glory.

And if all of that sounds too harsh, I am sorry but it is true.

But let me put it in another way: when we have been saved by God and given a new life by God, we are expected to be healed, restore, made new, made whole, redeemed by God.

Let us see how that looks like.

The Text

2 Timothy 3:1–12 (CSB)
1 But know this: Hard times will come in the last days.

2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good,

4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people.

6 For among them are those who worm their way into households and deceive gullible women overwhelmed by sins and led astray by a variety of passions,

7 always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

8 Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth. They are men who are corrupt in mind and worthless in regard to the faith.

9 But they will not make further progress, for their foolishness will be clear to all, as was the foolishness of Jannes and Jambres.

10 But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance,

11 along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured—and yet the Lord rescued me from them all.

12 In fact, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

The Meditation

1 But know this: Hard times will come in the last days.

Refined by God: because you are saved by God, you will go counter to the world

If you are going against the grain, the wind, and the stream of the world, you will enter into hard times. That’s not because of the world but because God dwells in you.

Romans 5:1-5 (CSB) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 8:16-18 (CSB) The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.

Luke 24:26-27 (CSB) Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.

If our Messiah “suffered many things”, how can we do any less?

Listen to me: we don’t have to go looking for it. You don’t have to conjure up fights and die on unnecessary hills. When you are doing what the Lord has commissioned you to do, the push back will come in droves.

Let me speak for American Christians: what you might be experiencing right now are merely inconveniences compared to what’s in store for us.

If things get too inconvenient for you, will you still worship God? What happens when the heat gets turned up on your life? What if you get stripped of our freedoms and dignities? Are we fighting so hard for our freedoms because we know that if we didn’t have such freedom, we wouldn’t worship God?

Christians are already walked away from God that was way before the pandemic.

2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people.

Refined by God: because you have been commanded by God, you don’t get to act like the world

Romans 6:1-4 (CSB) What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life.

Our affections are not for this world. The old will pass away. The new heavens and the new earth are coming. Our affections are for nothing on this world but rather on God.

Romans 8:19-21 (CSB) For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.

We are not tied to this world. We are not of this world. We are here to preach the good news of the only God that sets the captives free. We were once in bondage in slavery–but because of Christ you can be set free from sin and into the freedom that belongs to the children of God.

6 For among them are those who worm their way into households and deceive gullible women overwhelmed by sins and led astray by a variety of passions, 7 always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Refined by God: because we have been made fully alive by God, you have come to true knowledge of God

Can I tell you something? You and I get to rest. Now, if you are a nerd like me and you want to learn all the things, then learn all the things! But when it comes to knowing God, just start from a resting place that what you know of God is either true or will be true. That work is not dependent on your IQ, EQ, Seminary degree, or your perfect Sunday School and Christian School attendance, no! That knowledge of God is completely super natural.

You and I have have the Holy Spirit. When someone tells us something that sounds good, we get to be like Bereans in Acts that celebrate what we have heard but go back home and test it all against Scripture.

We don’t have to be gullible. We have God dwelling in us. We get to test everything against his perfect word. We get to listen to him way more than we get to listen to everyone around us. Do that and I am certain you will not be led astray. Listen to mankind moreso than God and I promise you that you will be led astray.

You have the knowledge of the truth. Take it easy. Rest in that. Start from that and keep walking towards God.

The Gospel

8 Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth. They are men who are corrupt in mind and worthless in regard to the faith. 9 But they will not make further progress, for their foolishness will be clear to all, as was the foolishness of Jannes and Jambres.

Refined by God: because we have been made fully alive by God, you are no longer dead in your trespasses

Ephesians 2:3-5 (CSB) We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

We are not better than unbelievers. We are not. We are saved by grace–not by anything we have done or been born into but only because of the grace of God, who looked up us, saw us in our weakness, depravity, wickedness, and sinfulness, and saved us and loved us and restored us and will bring us home.

And if Romans 8:30 is true and the promises of God are yes and amen, then that work of bringing us home is a done deal because God says it. God doesn’t break promises.

10 But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, 11 along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured—and yet the Lord rescued me from them all.

Refined by God: because we can understand the absolute truth by God, we get to obey God despite our circumstances

Or in other words, we don’t get a free pass because life has kicked us in the teeth. That is not a defense before God.

Let me put it like this: life is going to kick you in the teeth but you have God and he alone is good. And he is your everything. Without him you will have nothing. Be rich. Have lots of lovers. Have all the success. Without God, on the day you die, that’s when it ends because you will be in dreadful place where you will wail and gnash your teeth under the wrath of Christ for all of eternity.

12 In fact, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Refined by God: We are chosen by God

God makes zero promises that your temporal life on earth will be easy or good. But what you do here and how you live within the faith you have been given will matter for all of eternity.

Believe in Christ. Give over your sins to Christ. Be washed cleaned in Christ. Have the dwelling of the Triune God because of Christ.

Come dwell with God all because of what Christ has done for us.

The Prayer

My Christ
 
Save us to yourself.

Amen.

The Media

Today’s episode at The Study

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