Passage: 2 Timothy 2:8-24
Speaker: Mitch Kim
Series: Forming Love In A Culture Of Fear
Enduring Through Jesus Christ
Why are we surprised by suffering? Our Savior died on a cross, so suffering should not devastate us; our Savior not only died on a cross but defeated the power of death with his resurrection. As a result the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead provides hope no matter the challenges that we face. 2 Timothy 2:8–13 demonstrates the power of the resurrection; because of the resurrection, prison chains cannot bind God’s Word and suffering brings salvation because God is faithful!
Because of the resurrection prison chains cannot bind God’s Word (2 Tim 2:8–9). Paul calls Timothy to “remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2:8); the resurrection centers and changes everything, including his own dismal situation. He not only has risen from the dead but reigns as “the offspring of David,” a king, who is “preached in my gospel.” ˆThough Paul himself is bound with chains as a criminal, he declares, “but the Word of God is not bound” (2:9). The power of the gospel penetrates far beyond the present circumstances of suffering; nothing can chain or defeat the power of the gospel at work in and through us.
The resurrection not only guarantees that prison chains cannot bind God’s Word but also that suffering brings salvation (2 Tim 2:10). Paul endures everything for the sake of the elect; he knows that just as the suffering of the cross brought salvation to the world, so his suffering for the elect will bring salvation that is in Christ Jesus. Why is our suffering needed for other’s salvation? Has not Jesus already paid it all? Absolutely. Yet as we carry our cross and love others, we participate in the power of that work of Christ to release his healing into the lives of others.
We are confident that prison chains cannot bind God’s Word and suffering brings salvation because God is faithful (2 Tim 2:11–13). Verse 11 begins, “The saying is trustworthy.”God’s Word is trustworthy, and God is faithful to his Word. So we know that even if “we have died with him, we will also live with him” (2:11). We are confident that when “we endure, we will also reign with him” (2:12). Conversely, though, we also know that “if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2:12). He is faithful to fulfill the promises of his Word as we trust in him in obedience as well as the consequences of disobedience to his Word when we fail to obey. In all of this, even when we are faithless, “he remains faithful” (2:13) to his purposes.
So what? We should not be surprised by suffering, but suffering gives us hope of the glorious purposes of God. Because of the resurrection, prison chains cannot bind God’s Word and suffering brings salvation because God is faithful