Let me ask you a personal question. In our current environment, have you found yourself at times being ashamed of the Lord, maybe even being ashamed of the gospel? There's a word of hope for that today. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. We're so grateful you've joined us as we begin our newest series, Becoming an Effective Disciple-Maker. For the next several programs, Chip's going to teach through the book of 2 Timothy, highlighting four clear challenges the Apostle Paul passed on to his protege, Timothy, and why this wisdom matters to you and me today.
As always, if you miss any part of this series, you can catch up via the Chip Ingram app. Well, with that, here's Chip to kick off our study with his message, Be Bold, Don't Be Ashamed, from 2 Timothy chapter 1. You'll notice on the very front of your notes, it talks about the paralyzing power of fear.
And I think we've all experienced a lot of that. And I want to begin a little bit differently than normally. If you have a Bible, if you'd open to 2 Timothy, and what I would like you to recognize that as you open that, you're holding one of the most precious documents in the world in the last 2,000 years. This is the final letter of the most influential man that has ever walked on the earth.
The first, of course, was Jesus. But the Apostle Paul would be his final letter, a very personal one, to his son in the faith, Timothy, and we'll learn the theme of the book is, I'm going to die shortly. And God has deposited in me and in his church the truth, the faith, and the practice of living it out. And I have spearheaded it for the Gentiles. And I'm now passing it on to you, and you need to pass it on to others. And we're here because Paul was faithful and Timothy was faithful.
But this is the final thing he wanted to say, knowing he didn't have much time left. He wrote 13 of the 26 books. Jesus was the most influential, but our understanding of what happened on the cross was given by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul. Without Paul, we wouldn't know redemption and propitiation and the sealing of the Spirit, who we are in Christ.
Without the Apostle Paul, we wouldn't understand the great doctrines of the church, how all the whole testament and the journey of what God was doing, how it climaxed in Christ. The work of Jesus on the cross, the epistles, the letters, of the man who was beaten with rods two or three times in the sea a night and a day, left for dead once. And as you read this final letter, we'll even get to the very last chapters, by the grace of God and the testimony of this man, he's still reaching forward. He's faithful. He loves God. He has a perspective.
He's not afraid. And so I think it's a very, very precious document. And it gets more precious because I want to give you a historical background because when you see when he wrote it, why he wrote it, and what was going on, just in the back of your mind, be thinking of what you've been through, what's happening in the world, what's happening in our world. Think of disease and viruses and political division and the kind of things that are happening in our world, the chaos.
And I think what you'll realize is that it's in that environment that he's writing it. Paul has had one Roman imprisonment and then he went on to Spain. Claudius was the emperor and Claudius, this was not, when you did adoptions in the ancient world, you often adopted adults or late teenagers.
And especially if you didn't have children, you would adopt an heir or someone that you thought was bright and capable. And in this case, Claudius adopted Nero at the age of 13 to be his son. By age 17, he had died and Nero is made the emperor. He had a tutor for the Senate. He did pretty well. But very quickly, he was a very young kind of wild guy who actually in the conflict over power with his mother had his mother murdered.
He did things that no emperor had ever done. In 64 AD, this is two years before Paul's coming back, at least from the ancient documents, it's believed that he was a part of setting Rome on fire because he wanted to clear out this area for, he had this big building plan that he wanted. And he blamed the scapegoat was the Christians. So Paul comes back to a world where it's now illegal to be a Christian, where Christians are the most wanted, where they're hated, where they're being blamed, and he's got a young pastor in Ephesus named Timothy. If you think it's hard to be a Christian now, imagine being a pastor of a cosmopolitan city. Ephesus was known for two things, immorality and idolatry.
It was the LA, the Shanghai, the London, the Paris of its day, probably more like Las Vegas. And so you got a young pastor who's really, really struggling, who has a sort of personality-wise, tends to be a little bit timid. You have an older man who's now come, and in this second imprisonment, he's writing this letter, not chained to a guard where he rents a home, but he's in a damp dungeon, and it's dark. And he's already had one tribunal before the royal imperial court, and when he went, no one showed up but him. He'll tell us, I was all alone.
And you can understand why. I mean, to associate with him right now, they were fearful for their life, and he says, all in Asia, and when he says Asia here, it's not the geography we think of, it's the church and the movement in Asia, it's that area of the country. And so this is an older man who doesn't have the perspective we have looking back at, hey Paul, you know, don't sweat it, in 2,000 years you're gonna be a hero. All he knew was there was a calling from the living resurrected Christ, and he'd been beaten up a lot, he'd been left for dead a lot, and he's in a damp place, and he's given his life for other people, and when he's in his direst hour, nobody shows up for him. And he cares about this young man, and he realizes that the promises of God are true regardless of your emotions, the promises of God are true regardless of your circumstances, and I have a calling from God, he appeared to me, and I've been faithful to that calling, and now I'm gonna take that mantle, that Old Testament thought, that mantle, and I'm gonna put it on Timothy.
And our idea would be more like, I'm gonna pass the baton. And that's the background. It's heavy. It's weighty. These are really, really precious words.
The purpose is his most personal letter, and it's from the heart, and it's this encouragement to him, it's short, and it's filled with admonitions and challenges and instructions to be a faithful disciple. You are hearing this now because 17 months ago, I was doing this in my backyard, just about like this, and it wasn't a new dance. I had back surgery about four years earlier, and I had herniated discs above and below where they fused my back, and I laid on my side during the pandemic, they couldn't get me in, finally did surgery, and it was the most horrendously painful thing I've ever been through, and all I could do was, he said, you know, my first, I could walk to the kitchen and back, and then I graduated to making little circles in the backyard. And it's in the midst of the pandemic, and I'm praying, and I have a lot of time to pray. God seems to really speak deeply to me when he gets my attention, and for reasons that only he and my wife know, it seems to be when I'm going a little too strong, a little too hard, and she says, you know, it's interesting, Chip, maybe by now after, you know, we've got 44 years coming up together, you know, maybe you should stop yourself instead of having the Lord always stop you. I mean, she wasn't blaming him.
She was blaming me. And I did a little review of my life, and I had an epiphany. I've been passionate because of my background, and some of you know, to help Christians live like Christians.
I think the most powerful evangelistic thing that has changed the course of the world is when you meet a vibrant, living, godly person, not perfect, but I mean, they're honest, they're real, they're authentic, they're passionate. When they mess up, they do something like this. I messed up. I'm sorry.
I was wrong. When they find that they have bias, and they're thinking wrong about things, they repent, and they're real, and they're attractive. And I didn't experience that in church, and I met some people who did, and God introduced me to his word, and a great group of people many years ago, and that's been my passion. But as I shuffled around, I heard God say, Chip, yes, but you've not emphasized the second half.
Well, what second half? It's not enough to make disciples. Disciples have to make disciples.
It's about disciple makers. 66 or 70% of our kids leaving the church is not because of the culture. Their parents in the church didn't disciple them.
We need to own that. Stop blaming. Now, is media and education, are there a lot of forces that have really been negative toward the faith of our children? Yes, but they were in Daniel's day, and they did pretty good as teenagers without their parents around. They walk with God. We've got to understand that we haven't discipled. We figured out how to get people to come to church, but what the pandemic revealed is we didn't figure out how to really disciple them to walk with God, because under pressure, masks and virus and blue state or red state was made way more important than Jesus. During this pandemic, families were split apart, and churches were split apart over ridiculous things. You open the church.
You won't open the church. You wore a mask, but you didn't wear a mask. You got the vaccine? I didn't get the vaccine.
I watch Fox, you watch CNN. And Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Father, this is my body, and people's needs had never been greater, and they'd never more open, and this is what my body is doing, attacking each other. And so, I heard the Lord say, you need to teach through 2 Timothy about making disciples, and you need to focus your energy and your time and these pastors and whoever you're going to help, not just to grow and to mature and to be a Christian who lives like a Christian, but to be a disciple maker. And so, that's why we're studying this book. And so, let me give you the framework of the entire book, because that's what this book is about.
There's four essentials in this book to becoming an effective disciple maker. Chapter one is to be bold, don't be ashamed. In each chapter, he's going to say something very clear, very strong.
He'll be a challenge. He'll even talk about it as a sacred deposit. Now, think of something that you would put in a deposit box or something that's so precious.
He goes, this is this deposit that God gave to me, I'm giving it to you. Chapter one, be bold, don't you dare be ashamed. Chapter two, be strong, don't be distracted. There's so many things that will take you off course. Chapter three is be prepared, don't be surprised. The world's going to get difficult and worse and more evil than you imagine. Don't act like, oh, where's God?
What's happened? And then chapter four is be faithful, don't shrink back. And I guess what I want to say is I'm just passionate, I'm even, I have some questions in your notes, I don't want this to be an academic exercise. I don't want you to walk out of here and get in your car and go, wow, I know a lot more about Paul. I know a lot more about Timothy.
I can think my way through that book. No, I want you to leave here thinking with whatever years I have left, I need to be proactively making disciples. And I'm going to start first and foremost in my relational network called my family. And I'm going to ask, do I have a plan? Am I intentional?
Where am I at? By the way, if more is caught than taught, am I the kind of man, am I the kind of woman, am I the kind of dad, the kind of grandmother or grandfather that my kids and grandkids want to be like? Because we always have to be what we want those we disciple to become. And so I don't want to be academic. And I want you to realize that this was written in an environment where Christians were paralyzed by fear.
Does that sound familiar? What we're facing in our lives, if we're honest, is we're often paralyzed by fear. We're fearful to be bold and to be strong and to be outspoken about our faith, to be outspoken about our loyalty to Jesus. Sometimes in our own families, not bold to say this is right and this is wrong.
Because what you know is that even if you share it winsomely or kindly or lovingly, and if you share it even with exactly the right motives and the right intentions, there's a good chance you'll get canceled. There's a good chance that you'll be rejected, even from family and maybe some other church members. Here's a pretty good chance if you're loyal to Jesus and to his word, that's what Paul's going to tell us to do, that some people will call you and see you as a bigot or maybe even a hater because you would say, I'm a follower of Jesus. Now to be fair, can we try and be fair and look it through the lens of other people?
We have acted in some ways and we have done some things as the church that have given them way too much ammunition to say there are bigots, they are haters. There's some in our family that have stood for the truth in ways that were most unloving, most unkind, and most uncaring. So it's not about just are we committed to the truth, are we committed to the grace and truth? Jesus came and he was described in John what?
What? Grace and truth. The law came through Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time, but he, Jesus, has, the Greek word is exegeted him. That means explained him, made him real, understanding. When Bible teachers, we exegete the text, that means we study it and find out what did it mean to the first century and what did it mean, what do these words mean and what's the culture because we want to fully exegete to understand it so we can know how should we teach it to 21st century people. That's what Jesus did.
That's what he wants us to do. So we're going to have a challenge and this book will address those fears and here's the exciting part and it will provide the truth that will empower you and me to be set free, to be bold, to do it winsomely and kindly non-judgmentally, to shoot it straight with family and friends and neighbors in a way and with a heart and with a kindness that has both grace and truth. And so I'd like to ask you a question. On a scale of one to ten right now, how would you rank your boldness for Christ? I'm going to write this very small on my notes.
Please keep your eyes on your own paper. A one is I've been a wimp. I've been passive. There would be no evidence to convict me as being a believer. I just kind of shut my mouth, keep my head down. I don't like conflict. I don't like arguments.
When the conversation comes up, because it always leads to other things, I just be quiet. And a ten is man, I've been bold. I've shared it, right? Okay. And I'm going to assume whether you're a one or a ten that you've done it winsomely and lovingly and kindly and here's, no one can be a five.
It's human nature. I'm about a five. Liar, liar, pants on fire, in denial. But I just want to ask you, just honestly, how bold? You read through the book of Acts, the greatest evidence of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit is boldness. It's boldness. Paul was bold. People were bold.
They were grateful they got to suffer. We were just here about three weeks ago and we had 300 and some pastors and we had 22 of our leaders from 13 different countries. We had pastors from Iraq, pastors from throughout India, pastors, leaders of whole denominations, whole networks. We had communion.
I was down there and a Chinese fellow who came up to me who just translated our third or fourth book for China, knelt down and put his hands on my shoulders and prayed for me and thanked me for our partnership of what's happening in this country. They're bold and they understand it'll cost them their life and I don't mean they're going to get canceled like on Facebook or that maybe Thanksgiving's not going to be as unified as we'd hope, right? They're bold but they're meeting the deepest needs of people that are hurting right now and so they're also demonstrating incredible love and so I'm going to ask this final question then we're going to jump right into the text and get to the answer. What are your greatest fears currently with regard to your faith?
Try to be as honest as you can. Is it being rejected? Is your fear being misunderstood? You're afraid that if you're bold you'll create more division in your family or your church? You're afraid, you know, I mean honestly, I fly a lot. I meet a lot of people. I mean it's weird. Why would I care what someone thinks who's sitting next to me? I find myself in conversations and it's really clear that I'm coming from here and the other person is radically coming from here and I have to really muster up, Lord, how can I wincely lovingly be bold? Here's some guy I don't even know and I don't want him to not like me.
Okay, I'm a wimp. I admit it, you know. I think owning those feelings helps me say okay but you love him, Lord, so would you give me some wisdom about how I can turn this conversation because man he is hammering some stuff that we're as far apart as we could be. What I realize is probably what he needs more than anything else is to meet a Christian that doesn't fire back and play ping pong with him and this and this and that. Maybe I'm going to keep listening and then I'm going to ask him about his family and I'm going to ask him about his fears and I'm going to ask him about his work and it may take an hour and this guy's going to open his life and heart because I've done this a bunch of bunch of bunch of times and after that there's some trust built and he'll ask me a couple questions and he will just look at me with this cockeyed look like, so you really think Jesus could change these things? Really do, really do. We could argue about all these different things but you're a dad that's struggling with a couple kids, you're flying too much, you drink too much, you get depressed a lot, you don't think your marriage is probably going to be together here in another three or four years at the current rate and we can, oh I guess we could argue about blue states and red states or masks or no masks or you know, are you pro-Biden, pro-Trump, anti-Biden, anti-Trump, you know I guess we could talk about all that stuff.
Trivial. Divisive. Hey, you know what, I think we all ought to have, do our own research, have our own opinions, just realize none of that stuff gets anybody into heaven or out of hell and they need to meet some people that maybe disagree with them on a lot of things or even inside the church or inside the family but really listen and really love but you've got to face your fears. And so what I would say is what the apostle Paul is going to do is he's, here's what I like and here's the big transition. He's going to talk to a young man who by nature of personality and history just tends to be afraid when nothing's wrong and he's going to pass the baton and right now things almost couldn't be worse. And so as you dig into your notes, let's see what the apostle Paul in this prison from his heart is going to say to his son in the faith. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to, notice his focus, the promise of life in Christ Jesus. I'm in this dungeon but the first words are about hope and it's a promise and he always keeps his promises.
To Timothy, think about when you want to align with someone and when you want to encourage him, how important it is to affirm, my beloved son, grace, mercy and peace from God the Father in Christ Jesus, not the Lord, our Lord. I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day. I'm here, you're there but I'm thinking about you all the time.
I'm praying for you all the time. I love you, I miss you. Longing to see you even as I recall tears so that I might be filled with joy. He's playing the videos in his mind about times with Timothy, the meal we had here, what happened in Lystra, you know the thing that happened over here, the early times in Ephesus, the miracles we got to see God do, watching you grow, watching you take some of these assignments like Titus. For I'm mindful of the sincere faith within you which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I'm sure that it is in you as well. These first five verses you'll notice in your notes the historical background you now know from whom it is Paul and why about AD 67 in a Roman prison and you know it's to Timothy in Ephesus to pass the baton.
And I just want you to listen for the importance of the mentor mentee relationship and the context, it's both the content and the context but it's deep, real, vulnerable, affirming relationship. I came to Christ right after high school before college and I was discipled by a discipleship parachurch group and he wasn't an on staff person, he was a bricklayer and I would say, I was not a very, you know people went to Bible studies and things like that and I sort of hit and miss and had a hard time getting up and going to church but Dave would come and meet down at my little kitchenette. You know I look back and I can't tell you how many meals I ate at Dave's house. I can't tell you how many times he knocked on the door and I pretended I was asleep. I can't tell you how many times other leaders in the ministry said Dave that Ingram will never amount to anything. He is a flake and they were right but he just wouldn't give up on me. See I think somehow discipleship turned into would you like to be in our group, what did you get for question number four?
It's been great you know then oh did you hear Macy's has a sale and hey what do you think about then you name your NFL team or your SEC team and the men go over here and the ladies go over here and I went to Bible study and by the way that's a really great beginning. But genuine discipleship flows out of heart relationships where you affirm and love and have experiences where you cry together. It's not about their spiritual performance. It's not about how much of the Bible they know. It's not about whether they showed up or not. It's not about whether you can you know you after they leave you talk about you know they're still doing this and he still drinks too much and you know I can tell he still has that porn issue.
I could tell he's kind of lying to us or all that junk. It's about you know it's not about you know it's about you know it's about loving them and getting them into God's word and introducing them to Jesus and putting your arm around them and walking with them to Jesus so they begin to get to know Jesus so he changes their life from the inside out and that transformation begins to spill into every area of their life over time with all their ups and downs like we all had. That's the context of discipleship and we've lost that. I learned that where I went to church if I showed up and I sat down and I listened and if I donated at least once a month in the children's ministry out of pure guilt give a little money I'm a follower of Jesus. So when the pandemic comes guess what I can do that at home except I don't have to get dressed and I'm in my jammies and not only that is I like our pastor but you know what have you ever heard of that guy in Texas or that guy in New York or that right we became consumers instead of disciples. Is it possible that we as pastors in many churches have figured out how to grow a church service but not make disciples because we have a lot of non-unChristlike people sitting in our churches when the pandemic it didn't cause anything it just revealed a lot.
Chip will be back in just a minute with his application. You've been listening to the first part of his message be bold don't be ashamed from his series becoming an effective disciple maker a study of second Timothy. With all of the hatred and misconceptions pointed at Christianity nowadays it's really difficult to be a genuine follower of Jesus. In this new study Chip's going to encourage us that now more than ever we can't just settle for saying we're a Christian we have to live like one too. Chip will help us put that into practice as he highlights four compelling challenges from the Apostle Paul's final letter to Timothy. Join us as we learn how to live more God honoring lives and better disciple others along the way. To get more plugged in with this series becoming an effective disciple maker visit livingontheedge.org that's livingontheedge.org. Well Chip's back with me in studio now and Chip I'm really excited for our listeners to experience this new series you're teaching in the book of second Timothy. Today you gave us some helpful context for Paul writing this letter and what was going on in the world at the time.
Would you take a minute and unpack what the series is all about and how it can impact our faith now? Absolutely the Apostle Paul is handing the baton if you will of faith to his young associate and he's going to give him four specific commands. The first one is be bold don't be ashamed. In chapter 2 it's be strong don't be distracted. In chapter 3 it's be prepared don't be surprised.
And then in chapter 4 it's be faithful don't shrink back. We're living Dave today and I think some of the most challenging times at least that I've been alive and I think this teaching is going to be extraordinarily helpful for us to get perspective and realize there's hope there's strength and there's power for us today in the same way it was for the Apostle Paul and Timothy in his day. I can't wait for our listeners to listen to the whole series.
Me too Chip. Well I hope you'll join us for each part of this study in second Timothy and to help you get the absolute most out of this series let me encourage you to get Chip's message notes. They include his outline the scripture he references and some fill-ins to help you remember what you hear.
To download them go to the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org app listeners tap fill in notes. Well now here again is Chip to share a few final thoughts. As we close today's program I want to ask you a very important question because if the Apostle Paul wanted to encourage this young pastor who was so faithful not to be ashamed I have to believe that you struggle with that the way that I do. I'd like you to pray one very simple prayer is the application to today. Lord will you show me where in my life I've been ashamed of you or the gospel whether it's at work whether it's with friends when something controversial comes up would you please show me where I've been ashamed of you and would you help me fan into flame my faith that Lord I would never ever be ashamed of you in any way. Would you pray that in your own words ask God to show you never before have we needed to be more bold and more winsome for Jesus and the gospel let's be that today. Great word Chip as we close if Living on the Edge is making a difference in your life and you'd like others to be blessed in the same way let me encourage you to become a financial partner and right now every gift we receive between now and December 31st will be matched dollar for dollar. To send a gift go to livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003 that's 888-333-6003 or go to livingontheedge.org. App listeners tap donate and let me thank you in advance for your support. We'll join us next time as Chip continues his new series becoming an effective disciple maker from the book of 2 Timothy. Until then this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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