If you'd open your Bibles to 2 Timothy chapter 2, I'm going to read verses 8 through 13, but we are going to be focusing in on verse 8. Hear God's word for us tonight. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal.
But the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for if we have died with him, we will also live with him. If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he also will deny us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for your word, and Lord God, this evening as we open it and we look at the text before us, I pray that your Holy Spirit raises up in us and teaches us your word. Father, I pray that you keep me from error with the text, and Lord God, just build us up in you through the use of your word, and it's in Christ Jesus we pray.
Amen. You may be seated. As a side before I start, from our gospel reading tonight, how many of you were in the Concord area on Thursday? About four o'clock, a thunderstorm kicked up. Was anybody witness to the thunderstorm?
It was sitting right on top of Concord. It let loose for about 40 minutes. It turned as dark as night outside the window at work, and we were in the conference room, and we started to joke because the wind picked up, and we all are old enough to remember the movie Twister. And we all said, wonder when the cow's going to come by. But when the rain and the hail started, we were all mesmerized looking out the window at that rain jutting sideways. And the trees were bending, there were limbs breaking off, there was thunder and lightning, and I turned and looked at the group I was with for a meeting.
And I said, look at that out there and how strong and powerful it is. I said, and it says in the story where Jesus was asleep on the ship, that they woke him fearful, and he spoke to that storm and said, cease, be still. Tonight, as we read what Paul is teaching Timothy and teaching us, Jesus looked at a storm just like I saw that I had no power over, that going outside would have been a danger to my life. And I always pick on the disciples in my mind, why don't you have enough faith? But to realize that Jesus Christ was able to stand up and still that very whirlwind, that tempest with that power is just amazing to me. So I apologize for the aside, but it ties somewhat. When Eugene went to that passage in Luke, I read through right above where we were reading, and it just brought that back to me.
Tonight, looking at 2 Timothy 2, verses 8 through 13, I want us to take some time to meditate on three basics that come out of verse 8. But before we get there, as I was a kid growing up, an analogy or it was a truth back then, and we would call it somewhat of a wives' tale today. It was that if you put a frog in boiling water, as soon as the frog's foot would hit it, he would jump out. But if you put the frog in the same pot of boiling water in water that's tepid, and you slowly add the heat, that frog will stay in that water and allow itself to be boiled to death.
And so the reason I call it somewhat of a wives' tale, believe it or not, people studied that. And they used frogs, and they put them in the different things, and it's exactly right. If you can get them quick enough, they will hit the boiling water and jump right back out. Sometimes they're not able to do that because of the burning, and they boil right away. But for the tepid ones, what they found is if you didn't do it very, very slowly, the frog would sense at some point. But if you did it slow enough, about 30% of the frogs would allow themselves to get into a stupor at a certain temperature of water.
Then you could increase the heat and boil them, and they would never make the attempt. Why am I using that analogy? Well, day to day, you and I are bombarded by the world and the culture at trying to desensitize us to sin, to God, to change our focus, to move it away from God and Jesus Christ, and put it on temporal, earthly things. You know, this morning when Doug preached, he did the exact thing that Paul calls Timothy to, and he caused us to come and look at who Jesus Christ is. Tonight, that is what I want to do also because we face a world continually trying to desensitize us from the news media.
I used as an example previously, but I'll work through them again. When I was a kid, the news came on at 6 p.m. at night to 6.30. That was the local news. And then the nightly news came on from 6.30 to 7 o'clock, and unless you stayed up until 11 p.m., that was really your news for the day unless you had a newspaper. Now, we have a 24-hour news cycle. At any time, you can turn your TV on and you can be bombarded, not just now with the news story itself, but how you are supposed to think about that news story, part of the desensitization. You know, I did a quick search just for news that's out there. How many have on their minds rising gas prices? I do.
I just went to the pump this afternoon and it was painful. We have the constant talk right now of inflation and recession. We have the constant talk about lack of goods that are coming in and what will be the next thing we can't get. We have constant political rhetoric from both sides touching on abortion, climate change, sexual identity, racism, and they're all competing continuously to take our minds away from truth and importance in certain aspects. I don't want to belittle these things. They are important to a degree, but the amount that we are influenced today by that kind of talk starts to move us desensitized to heavenly things and focusing on temporal earthly things.
It doesn't even just apply to the media or the news cycle. I'm 53 years old. I used to be able to leave work and nobody could find me if I didn't want them to. I could go to my house, pick up my wife, and we could drive.
Not even my parents or her family could get in touch with us. There wasn't a cell phone. There wasn't any other way of them getting ahold of us. And if I had a dime, I could stop at a pay phone and make a call and let them know where we were, but you could get away. Wendy and I went to the beach last week and at least three times a day I checked my email at work.
I responded probably to three emails per day while I was at work. We don't have the ability even to get away from that anymore because it is continually pulling at us, causing our minds to be filled with other things. And finally, we also see that even in the church, we can find it getting caught up in worldly issues to an unhealthy degree. The church is to make statements about sin. The church is supposed to stand on the bedrock of truth and declare it out. But as we get involved in politics, in COVID, in social issues, they can become the main focus of a church instead of Jesus Christ. So all these issues can weigh heavily upon us and they can consume our thoughts and cause us at the very least stress.
But many times it causes us to devote our time to trying to right the wrongs of society through worldly methods because that is what we're constantly being exposed to. So I would pose to you, how are we as Christians supposed to handle all this that is continually put forth towards us by the world? How are we to maintain a biblical worldview, even as the church, especially in the West, you see the church is bowing to culture around it. What must we do to glorify God in this quickly darkening world? Some believe it is by laws and politics that this can be accomplished, even within the church. Doug made it very clear this morning, there isn't a politician that can fix this.
There isn't a party that can fix this. There is only one thing that this nation, that this church should crave that the people of this nation find, and that is Jesus Christ. Some believe that it is by isolating from the world so as not to be stained by it. And if there are some of you I've talked to, you will know that I fall into that ditch. You can ask my wife, I have a sinful dream to buy land in Montana and live in a yurt and not have anybody be able to get a hold of me.
That we don't have an electric bill, that my nearest neighbor is probably a half hour away and the closest Walmart is two hours away. Why do I want to do that? Because I want to isolate from all this and get away from it and hide from it. And that is sinful because that's not what God calls us to. He calls us to community. He calls us to fellowship in the word and he calls us to be lights to the world.
If that little thought of mine came true, where would I be a light? How could I share Christ Jesus if I'm trying to stay as far away from people as I possibly can? What's neat about God's word is that the answer to these questions and issues are what this text and many other texts touch on as we read them. In Timothy, we know that the Apostle Paul is the writer of both of these letters to Timothy. And we know he is writing to instruct Timothy, the young evangelist, the young pastor, in how to live as a Christian and pastor in a dark world and how to be a light of the gospel, how to be a light of Christ within that darkness. Paul also is not just writing to Timothy.
He is writing to us. God is speaking to us here at Grace Church Harrisburg from these texts. Many of the issues that Paul addresses to Timothy, we must deal with. And they confront us in our day and time. He has talked to Timothy about the world's love of money, about the love of the world, about false teachings, about sin.
And really, ultimately, as we get desensitized, those are the things we're getting desensitized to. I just read an article this morning that, and I don't know anything about this to detail, but Bitcoin, everybody know what Bitcoin is? Bitcoin fell below $20,000 a coin for the first time since 2017. It was trading at somewhere around $68,000 a month ago. So if you own a Bitcoin, what was worth $68,000 a month ago is worth $19,900.
Why do I say we get desensitized to it? I knew in the back of my mind that a couple athletes had decided to ask for Bitcoin. And so I looked it up and there are right now 13 pro athletes who got part or all of their salary through Bitcoin. Those who signed in 2021, their contract is basically less than 40% of its value. Meaning if they signed for $100 million last year and they asked to be paid by Bitcoin because it was the thing that took over their mind about finance, they lost 40% of that in one month.
They are now paying for $60 million for whatever the length of that contract is. If Bitcoin never goes up, if it continues to fall, they will lose it all. And so we have to understand that these things, they seep in, they seem sublime, but now if you are one of those men, how much is your mind on what your future looks like compared to what you thought your future would look like based off your condition? And you look at worldly ways to try to make back. Paul instructs Timothy and us not only how to deal with these kind of issues, but how to fulfill our calling as Christians in the world which we live. This text used by Paul, he is using it to anchor Timothy and us onto the foundation upon which we must rest. And we must rest there in order not just to live in this world, but to live effectively and truthfully to live abundantly right now in a corrupted world. We are not to live meagerly in Christ Jesus.
By that I'm not talking financially. I am talking about a life that is fulfilled and robust in the presentation of Christ to the world around us. Being filled with the riches of God, not the riches of man, being filled with the riches of heaven, not of this world.
And having abundant life in God as we do it. I would like us to meditate on three points that Paul all makes in verse 8. And as you read through it, verse 8 could be taken rather easily. Remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead, the offspring of David as preached in my gospel. We could read that and move right on to 9 and in 9 and 10 we see Paul, what that verse 8 means to him because he's willing to suffer for those things even to the point of prison. So that he can preach that to the world around him and men can come to Christ Jesus.
But what we read is simple, it's very deep theologically, isn't it? The three points. Number one, we are to remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead. The second one we're going to look at briefly, we are to remember Jesus Christ, the offspring of David. And third, we are to remember Jesus Christ as preached or presented in the gospel.
When we look at how Paul instructs Timothy, the first item I want to tackle as we look at this verse is that word remember. As we look at how we or the English language translate certain things, if I say to my wife, do you remember? Or I remember when we are looking at a memorial or a specific time period where something occurred. To give it the best context, if I were to say, and I hope someone can give me the answer, December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor Day. This day shall live in infamy. The scary part is I don't think it has lived in infamy. My wife and I, we were from an area where on 9-11, a plane crashed about six miles away from our house. Flight 93 went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
And this past year was the 21st year. And there were people who did not or was not completely aware in our country why we commemorated September 11. So if in 21 years that memory can be lost, I'm sure that since 1941 there are very few that would remember this is the day that shall live in infamy.
But when I bring that example up, it drives us to a particular point in time. The word in the Greek for this remember, according to the strong concordance, is a little bit deeper than just a single particular point in time. Though it does, we do want to remember Christ's resurrection. It is to be mindful or an ongoing remembrance. And so one commentator I read states that Paul is not saying remember the resurrection, which we should do. But the term here denotes more of a translation that would be remember your risen and ever present Lord. It is an act of remembrance of something that is still ongoing at this time.
It is resting in a truth that is eternal and ongoing. This instruction from Paul points us to our need to continually be mindful of the fact that God himself has overcome sin on our behalf. And this first point, the first thing that he says in 8, remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead. Why risen from the dead?
Because this is a declaration of the deity of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the greatest to me writing on the resurrection, Paul in verse 3 says this, For I deliver to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures. Verse 4, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scripture, and that he appeared to Cephas and to the twelve.
This resurrection, this message of Christ and his work is the first importance to Paul to deliver to the Corinthian church. Further down in that same chapter verses 12 through 19, he said, Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if it is true the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. And those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. Paul is making a defense to the Corinthian church, to those who are saying there is no resurrection from the dead, that if what you are saying, and he's telling Timothy this and us this, that we're to remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead, because our very salvation rests on the fact, not that he just died on the cross, but he had to raise again and only God himself could overcome death. Paul puts it this way in the opening to Romans when he says, Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures concerning his son, who was descended from David. Again, what we're going to see next from Paul to Timothy. But according to the flesh and was declared to be the son of God in power, according to the spirit of holiness, how? By his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. When Paul is instructing Timothy and us to remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead, we are to remember that that is his full deity on display and authenticated by that resurrection from the dead, that what he now tells us in scripture can be trusted.
Timothy, you can believe the promises of scripture because they are God's word and God himself has raised Christ from the dead. And he is very God that he was able to raise from the dead. There is a deep tie to God being God, the son of the father. But also, as we will see now in point two, the son of man. Point two, Paul tells us in Timothy, remember Jesus Christ, the offspring of David. We are now in this part to actively keep in mind the full humanity that Jesus was fully man when he walked this earth.
The writers of Hebrews of the Book of Hebrews explains the importance for the us in this in chapter two verses 14 through 18. Listen how he puts it, since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things that through death, he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore, he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people, for because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. In Hebrews, the writer gives us the reason that that fully man part is as important as the fully God part. Only becoming like us made him able to be our substitute, our substitutionary atonement, and propitiate God's wrath to turn away the wrath of God from us. Being fully man, he is able not just to stand in our place, but then to go and mediate between us and God, there is a mediator, that one, that man, Jesus Christ. And not only does he mediate for us, but he also, and this is amazing, is able to help us because he understands what we suffer through in temptation. When we sit and realize the full humanity of Christ, what that means in this story of redemption, we should stand in awe of what Jesus has accomplished for us. Paul explains it to the Philippians in chapter 2, So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love being in full accord, and of one mind. Do nothing from self-ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, risen from the dead, fully God, did not account equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant. Being born in the likeness of men and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Jesus Christ, fully fully fulfilled in his role in heaven, sets aside his glories and takes on physical human flesh and puts himself in this economy under the law that must be kept perfectly and does so and then is brought by his own creation, his own creature, judged, beaten, spit on, and hung on a cross and dies. When Paul is telling Timothy, when Paul is telling us, remember Jesus Christ, the son of David, it is that full humanity that we must keep in mind. So we see Paul saying the full deity, the full humanity, these things, if we are moving our minds to them, how much does the world start to disappear when we realize that the creator of the world is the one that we are to be thinking upon, worshipping, serving, obeying. Paul finishes by telling us in Timothy, this last one, that we are to remember Jesus Christ as he is presented in the gospel. What does it mean to us as he is presented in his gospel? If we went back and looked at Romans or Corinthians 15, Paul clearly spells it out that we are reliant upon Christ Jesus for our redemption. We are reliant for that hope that we will be with him because of what he has fulfilled. But what is it that we are to be mindful of when we look at the gospel? Truly, what does the gospel drive us first to be mindful of? We argue that the gospel message, as it's found in scripture, leads us to be mindful of where we are in our estate as sinful man compared to a holy and right God. Romans 3.23, Paul says what? All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. If you move further down, or if you move back from 3.23 verses 10 through 18 is where Paul tells the Roman church that there is none of them that seek God. No one wants God. Everyone goes their own way. He says none is righteous.
No, not one. No one understands. No one seeks for God. All have turned aside. Together they have become worthless.
No one does good, not even one. When we sit and start to realize the condition that we are in as men, women, children, from our Sunday school class this morning on repentance and joy to Doug's preaching this morning, we need to be continually pointed to the cross of Jesus Christ, the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, the work of Jesus Christ. We need to continually remember Jesus Christ and who he truly is because that is the condition we find ourselves in.
In Ephesians chapter 2, Paul teaches the church in Ephesus a very important lesson. He's saying in you, starting at verse 1 in chapter 2, And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. If there would stop there, if there would not be a verse 4, it would be devastating.
It would be as devastating as when he wrote to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 15, If there is no resurrection, we'd have no hope. But verse 4 goes, But God, being rich in mercy, because the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ Jesus. That's the gospel, folks. Our estate without Christ Jesus is one of condemnation. But God, being rich in mercy, made us to get alive together with Christ Jesus. By grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. This gospel, this Jesus Christ, is what allows Paul to go on to say in verses 9 through 13, that Jesus who is risen from the dead, that is fully God, that Jesus who is the offspring of David, who is fully man, that Jesus who is the propitiation of my sin, your sin, that is what I am willing to suffer for, bound with chains as a criminal. Doug talked this morning about the possible coming of persecution upon the church. Only if you find yourself in Christ Jesus walking daily to the remembrance of the most important message will you find a still backbone to be able to withstand persecution that may come. Paul is thrown into prison.
He is bound as a criminal, and he is able to say these words, but the word of God is not bound. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect. Jesus is so important. This message of remembering Christ Jesus and who he is is so important that they also may obtain salvation that is in Jesus Christ with eternal glory. You and I are bombarded continually.
You and I, we did a study here, I think it was Eugene, probably two or three years ago on the screw tape letters. And I don't want to try to give a great synopsis, but basically there is a head demon and under demons, and their whole role is to try to use earthly things to sidetrack either potential believers or believers from what is important. That is what our culture and our world is doing to us at this moment. We are called, we are put into a place at a time in history where we are to be good citizens of the country. We are to stand and talk to people about what is right according to the word of God, but we are not to get so wrapped up in those things as to lose the message of Jesus Christ to the very world that needs it and is dying without it. Grace Church, if there's one thing that I can share with you for this week to come while we're at General Assembly, while you're at your jobs, while you're turning on the news, remember Jesus Christ. Remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead fully God, remember Jesus Christ, the son of David, the promised one that is flesh like us who could stay in our place, and remember Jesus Christ has given to us in the gospel as the only hope that we have or this world has of being right with a holy right and just God who is ready to judge sin and will. As we leave tonight, our minds should continually focus back to that remembrance.
Yes, we should do everything we can as good citizens, as good witnesses within a culture, but we should not get dragged and desensitized into that culture and lose the very essence of our declaration. We are called to proclaim Christ. If you're here tonight and you don't know Christ, run to the cross.
It is your only hope. I read an article midweek about people who changed religions for the sake of a spouse or a loved one. There were 15 stories that touched on, I just did it to make their parents happy. I did it and I found fulfillment because I fit into the choir.
I did it and I didn't find any satisfaction in it, but I do it to keep peace in the family. Out of 15 stories, not one of them said because Jesus Christ was the central most important thing. There wasn't even a mention of Jesus in any one of the stories. That is what our world tries to do. It tries to get us to worry about our need, our want, our desire, and we are to focus on Christ and Christ alone. So tonight, as we close, let us remember Christ Jesus. Father, we thank you for your word. We thank you for the teaching of the apostle Paul that you have given him. Lord, we can stand on this teaching for the very fact of the verse we read. That Jesus Christ risen from the dead, the son of the living God, true God of true God has spoken. And we can rest and believe and know because it is your word. Lord, we praise you that you have given us such a message to give out. We're not to go out and about and try to convince people of great philosophical things, other than the fact of the things that they're already aware of.
It bothers them and affects their life completely and there is only one hope and that is Christ Jesus. Lord, I pray as we leave here tonight that Jesus is so sweet to us that our desire is to remember him moment by moment, but not just remember then, but whatever situation we find ourselves to proclaim him. To proclaim him, Lord, that at every knee it shall bow when his name Jesus is spoken. Father, what a greatness that we serve. We praise you and we thank you and it's in Christ's name we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-31 03:25:43 / 2023-03-31 03:38:13 / 13