Witness of the community
Published 3:37 pm Friday, November 21, 2008
Scripture: II Timothy 1:11-14; 2:1-3; 4:1-5
Aim: To help the pupil understand that each member of the New Community, the Church of Jesus Christ, is expected to be a faithful witness for Christ and salvation by grace through faith.
Golden Text: “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 1:13). “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also”(II Timothy 2:2).
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Paul gave instructions to Timothy (who by the way, was at least 35 years old and a seasoned preacher who had suffered great persecution for the Christian cause, being a companion of Paul for 15 to 20 years. He was not a “young preacher boy” to stay faithful in being a witness for Christ and the Christian cause. Paul wanted to encourage Timothy to continue faithful in the face of persecution, and to encourage him to train others to be faithful as well.
Here is one thing Paul said, “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles, for the which cause I also suffer these things: Nevertheless I am not ashamed: For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (II Timothy 1:11-12). He then encouraged Timothy with the words of the Golden Text above to remain faithful in his stand and witness for Christ.
I. Herein are some things which should encourage the Christian to be a faithful witness for Christ and the Christian cause (II Timothy 1:11-14). First, it is necessary to have the proper relationship to Christ as a repentant sinner who has believed on Christ and been born again of the Holy Spirit.
Second, the believer can expect that as he gives out the witness of the gospel of Christ he is going to suffer some sort of rejection and persecution, the same as Paul and Timothy.
Third, he should ever remember that the Lord is with the believer to help him to be faithful. He will keep him against all odds (1:12).
Fourth, the believer is to “Hold fast to the form of sound words”; that is, the Word of God, including the gospel (1:13).
Fifth, the believer should exhibit faith and love in Jesus Christ so that all may see it in action by the power of the Holy Spirit (1:13-14). The Christian message has been committed to the Christian; therefore, he should faithfully distribute it (1:14).
II. Paul instructed Timothy to stand firmly and to teach others the truth and the importance of being faithful witnesses to others (II Timothy 2:1-4). First, Timothy (and every Christian) must be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (vs. 1). That alone is the place for the believer to find strength and motivation to be a faithful witness.
Second, Timothy is encouraged to train others who can carry the message faithfully onward to the people (vs. 2).
Third, Timothy is (as every Christian) instructed to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (vs. 3). Do not give up, or give in just because the work of being a faithful witness is not easy.
Fourth, each witness is to keep himself from being “entangled … with the affairs of this life; that he may please him (Jesus Christ) who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (vs. 4). Do not get so tangled up in the affairs of this world and life that you cannot be a good and faithful witness for Christ and the Christian cause.
III. Paul instructed Timothy to continue faithfully (II Timothy 4:1-7). First, remember that each one gives an account to Jesus Christ (vs. 1).
Second, keep one faithfully giving out the word in the face of all obstacles (vs. 2-3).
Third, be very careful to carry out your personal responsibility before God (vs. 4-5).
Last, Paul reminds Timothy that he himself is an example, and now he has finished his personal life. Looking back, Paul ends with the conclusion that he has “fought a good fight, he has finished his course, he has kept the faith (vs. 6-7).
Such an example should inspire each believer to be a faithful witness for Christ!