Verse 1 says, “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” We are often reminded and challenged to be strong and patiently endure the trials and difficulties that come with living a Christian life, trying to be like Jesus in a world and environment where it is more often than not, the opposite of what we are attempting to do as we live for Jesus.
As Paul writes this final letter to his beloved Timothy, knowing that his own life will be ending soon, he is urgently reminding him to be strong in his faith and to stand firm in the truth of his teaching and in living like Jesus. He is reminding Timothy that he doesn’t have to be strong on his own, by himself. He can be strong in the grace of the Lord Jesus. He is helping him to remember that this is his birthright as a child of God.
Paul is speaking about the courage and strength that we all need and must have and that his courage is divine, NOT anything that we manufacture. Paul tells Timothy to be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ AND that he is to provide strength for those in his care. Paul states, “and the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, teach and entrust these to faithful men who will then be able to teach others also.”
I particularly love the verse where Paul states that, “I am suffering, chained up like a criminal for preaching Good News BUT the Word of God cannot be chained.” It is such good news that Paul is willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation to others. Is the news of Jesus Christ and His salvation such good news to you and me that we are willing to walk in the grace of Christ and do whatever it takes to share it with someone else? Is the gospel of Jesus Christ that valuable to us?
Paul continues on with this trustworthy statement. It is thought that perhaps this is an early
Christian hymn. Remember, they didn’t have a hymnbook in this new Christian walk.
In verses 11-13:
“If we die with him,
we will also live with Him.
If we endure hardship,
we will reign with Him.
If we deny him,
He will deny us.
If we are unfaithful,
He remains faithful.
For He cannot deny who He is.”
He is the Lord.
Let me finish up with verse 15. Most of you are familiar with this verse. It is one of the many that
We memorized as kids, probably in the KJV. From the NLT is says, "Work hard so that you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth."
Let’s work hard to know the truth and to live in grace and walk in the good news.