Do Not Be Ashamed
2 Timothy 1:8-18
Pastor Tony Chute
Overview: Timothy had every reason to be strong in the faith and active in ministry. Israel’s ancient heritage, Lois and Eunice’s maternal parentage, and the Apostle Paul’s personal tutelage provided a remarkable network of support for this young minister of the gospel. Yet, Timothy had become hesitant to serve as he faced the possibilities of failure, rejection, and uncertainty. Paul, therefore, encouraged Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God by addressing each of his fears with gospel truths. His fear of failure could be overcome by redefining the meaning of success; his fear of rejection could be overcome by reflecting on the nature of salvation; and his fear of uncertainty could be overcome by resting in God’s sovereignty. These sound words, combined with the work of the Holy Spirit, were sufficient to keep Timothy from being ashamed of the gospel.
- Despite the advantages we may have to serve the Lord, we often feel inadequate to the task. The flaws in our own lives and the failures of others in their lives contribute to our fear of failure, rejection, and uncertainty.
- Despite the obstacles we may face when serving the Lord, we always have inspiration to accomplish the task. The foundational truths of Scripture and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit will enable us to persevere.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
- What advantages or disadvantages do you have in serving the Lord? Is your family supportive of your faith? Do you work in an environment that is conducive to the faith? Have you been mentored by someone who faithfully lives the faith?
- Notice the repetition of the word “ashamed” in our text (verses 8, 12, 16). What events or realities might have led Timothy to be ashamed of the testimony of Jesus? What might have led Timothy to be ashamed of Paul? Are you tempted to be ashamed of the gospel or of those who live out the gospel?
- What is the basis for our salvation, according to verse 9? How does the grace of God in our salvation remove our tendency to try and impress God with our works? How does the grace of God relieve us from doubting His love for us?
- Discuss the work of Christ in abolishing death and bringing life and immortality to light through the gospel. How did Jesus abolish death? How did he bring life and immortality to light? In light of these accomplishments, what is left for us to fear?
- Paul notes that some people turned away from him while others persevered alongside him (verses 15-18). What are you doing in your life to ensure that you continue walking with the Lord? Are you following the sound words of Scripture (verse 13)? Are you relying on the work of the Holy Spirit (verse 14)?
For Further Reading: Timothy George, Amazing Grace: God’s Pursuit, Our Response. Second Edition. (Crossway, 2011).