The Gospel

The Gospel

2 Timothy 1:8-12

 

Introduction/Background v 8

 

What is the gospel? The gospel is widely misunderstood today – even among evangelicals.

What is your relationship to the gospel? In 2 Timothy 1: 8 we encounter two actions...

Do not shame the gospel – contra to NASV “do not be ashamed” – an act is in mind here – don’t dishonor or bring shame on the gospel (or the memory of Christ and his apostles)

We do this by… disgraceful conduct and lifestyles (“we have renounced shameful ways” 2 Cor 4:2)

….failure to verbally identify w/ Christ (Peter who did this on the eve of the crucifixion <Lk 22:54-62> later admitted that bore the name of Jesus <1Pet 4:16>

…failure to share the gospel with those in need <it is the only power of God for salvation Rom 1:16>

But (alla) do suffer for the gospel – (imperative sug kakopaqe,w) means a close relationship with someone else so that the same fate befalls both

Why suffer? – not for the sake of suffer or for glamour – rather “in the interest” of the gospel (dative of advantage) – to promote gospel, not self

The reason believers can do this is by the power of God – not self-sufficient strength – so what is holding you back?

Now we come to the gist of the gospel as expressed in relationship to three persons…

 

God is author of the gospel 9

What he does…

He delivers men – the word is “save” (sw,|zw) meaning rescue or liberate – objects = “sinners” (1 Tim 1:15 “Christ came into the world to save sinners”) – we all need deliverance and we can do it ourselves! – if you are not a sinner you have no need of a Savior – Jesus actually came to do this!

He calls men – though God calls believers to service, this probably refers to the effective call of God to salvation – nearly synonymous with choosing/election – can’t refuse this call

 

On what basis he does this…

Not of human works – two thoughts = pattern idea (kata) and deeds or actions (erga)

But of God’s design - pattern idea again but  two thoughts rather than one…

Purpose basis (pro,qesij) which means to place or set before therefore a plan – listen/read to the scripture…NAU Ephesians 1:11 ¶ also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, NAU Romans 9:11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”

Grace basis – by nature of the case it can’t be earned – it is a gift – grace is always “in Christ” and it originates in eternity past – before time began God gave his gifts of grace – before we did anything we were in the mind of God!

So, at the end of the day we learn that salvation is God’s business.

Christ is the agent of the gospel 10 God authored salvation before time but Christ accomplished salvation in history. What did he do?

He annulled death 

Literally, he rendered death inactive or ineffective and thus powerless (katarge,w similar to “argon” a colorless orderless gas). So it is as if death doesn’t exist for Christians. This refers to spiritual death in that believers escape hell and thus never die; and it refers to physical death in that it is no longer to be feared.

He enlightens life 

In other words, he illumines the mysteries of both eternal life and immortality (perhaps our future resurrection)

The gospel is the channel through which these acts are accomplished! Are we getting the impression that the gospel is everything?

 

Men are the preachers of the gospel 11 Thought: we are not merely expected to refrain from dishonoring the gospel and to suffer for the gospel. The Lord appoints men to actually be bearers of the gospel message!

Paul suggests that God expected him to do three related things… proclaim the gospel, represent the gospel, and teach the gospel.

 

Conclusion v12

 

Why could Paul gladly suffer and shamelessly serve the gospel?

  1. He knows the person of God, the author of the gospel. He knows his sovereignty (9), his power (8), his love (10), his holiness (9). Therefore he trusts in him (“believed”)
  2. He knows the ability of God, the sustainer of the gospel. Because of his observation of and experience with God, he has become “convinced” that God can do what he says.
  3. Here is what God can do…He will guard Paul’s deposit with God. What is the deposit (a legal term for goods placed in trust with someone). What has Paul put on deposit with God? Probably himself! His very life. Thus his hope of salvation. God will keep Paul safe throughout life right up until the second coming (“that day”).

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2016. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source.