2 Timothy 2:1-7
A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus 2 1 You then, w my child, x be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and y what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses z entrust to faithful men 1 a who will be able to teach others also. 3 b Share in suffering as c a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier d gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 e An athlete is not f crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is g the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
2 Timothy 2:1-7
2 1 Σὺ οὖν, τέκνον μου, ἐνδυναμοῦ ἐν τῇ χάριτι τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, 2 καὶ ἃ ἤκουσας παρ’ ἐμοῦ διὰ πολλῶν μαρτύρων, ταῦτα παράθου πιστοῖς ἀνθρώποις, οἵτινες ἱκανοὶ ἔσονται καὶ ἑτέρους διδάξαι. 3 ^ συγκακοπάθησον ὡς καλὸς στρατιώτης // Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ \\ . 4 οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος ἐμπλέκεται ταῖς τοῦ βίου πραγματείαις, ἵνα τῷ στρατολογήσαντι ἀρέσῃ· 5 ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ἀθλῇ τις, οὐ στεφανοῦται ἐὰν μὴ νομίμως ἀθλήσῃ· 6 τὸν κοπιῶντα γεωργὸν δεῖ πρῶτον τῶν καρπῶν μεταλαμβάνειν. 7 νόει ^ ὃ λέγω· ^ δώσει γάρ σοι ὁ κύριος σύνεσιν ἐν πᾶσιν.
Be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Intro 'You therefore' - i.e., in light of positive and negative examples of being ashamed of the gospel. Context - recap last week. Today, what to be and do in contrast to 'being ashamed'. 1. Instead of being ashamed, be strengthened (v1) The command is a present passive imperative. How does this work? In the grace which is in Christ Jesus; it is this fact which makes all the difference and enables real strengthening/empowering. cf Also Colossians 1.11 for the same dynamic at work. Strengthened by God with all power, for endurance and patience with joy. 'Many witnesses' - Christianity never done in a corner but happened with many witnesses. And it is passed on by and among many witnesses; not a secret thing. 2.1 notice how the grace of God in Jesus can be planned and relied upon. Not presumed upon, but planned upon. 2. Entrust the gospel to faithful people (v2) Entrust to faithful men (anthropoi) - not necessarily limited to men here. Whilst eldership is clearly taught as male, gospel ministry is unavoidably carried out by men and women. 4 generations of gospel ministry in view. Dig deeper. Is a core part of how we do 2v2. Like scaffolding. How we invest in the future. 3. Share in suffering (v3-7) The 'good' soldier; the athlete who competes by the rules; the 'weary' farmer. If you do X, you can't do Y. These are all costly vocations mentioned. The 'civilian pursuits', e.g., living according to this world's values. A soldier has made a commitment to a different kind of life, not civilian life. v5 apparently in the ancient Olympics, you had to swear an oath that you had been in hard training for prior 10 months. This is the 'rule' - commitment to loss of fun and opportunity; a solemn commitment to the cause. All three have in common the long periods of doing the same thing, without much to show (struggling with being 'ashamed'), and even of utter boredom. They take long patience and waiting. Combined with seasons of extremely strenuous, overwhelming activity. There is no way that impatience can help. With true endurance feats, the only question that matters is, did you finish (cf 4.7-8)? What are we unwilling to endure? The suffering is about your own choice to hold yourself within the flame. Not as an angry victim, but as a responsible agent who chooses Jesus over this world. Knowing you could end the suffering anytime in one sense. False teaching always chews at the suffering element. Making out that it needn't be a part of the Christian life. 'You don't need to keep choosing this, you know...' But all three have staggeringly wonderful ultimate hope: victory and rest for the soldier; the crown or trophy for the athlete; crops and abundance for the farmer. Glory of God . He strengthens. He gives grace in Jesus. FCF. [When ashamed of the gospel], we won't share in suffering, we won't endure. H1. Desertion; we get entangled in civilian pursuits. H2. Laziness and passivity; we stop being the 'hard-working farmer', but find ways of going through the motions. Self-reliance. Person of Jesus. Jesus is, in himself, the grace of God. Grace made manifest through his appearing. He gives grace to all who come, and most certainly to suffering Christians. He himself knows hard endurance. Work of Jesus . He shared in suffering completely, to the end, ultimately alone; he drank the cup which should have been ours. He himself is the good soldier, calling us to follow where he has already been on our behalf. His resurrection guarantees our eternal rest and hope, making the battle of this life pale in comparison. Union with Jesus. An unstoppable supply of grace is ours him him, secured by his resurrection from the dead. From his throne his grace flows to us in real world in real time. Invitation . Come and be strengthened, come, count the cost, and share in suffering. Confrontation . Stop getting entangled in 'civilian pursuits' and becoming half-hearted in the Christian life. Consolation . In your weariness you are in good company. For most sincere Christians the life as pilgrims feels weary. Be refreshed as you turn to him. Wrap up : What to be and do in contrast to 'being ashamed': be strengthened by the Lord Jesus' grace; keep entrusting the gospel to faithful people who will steward it into the future; share in suffering as those who have counted the cost and committed to following Jesus.