(oun) is a conjunction that is important to note when
observing the text because
it often denotes that what it introduces is the result of or an
inference from what precedes and is translated as so, therefore,
consequently, accordingly, then.
(Click discussion of
term of conclusion -
always pause and ask what the author is concluding)
In this context therefore
refers to the divinely bestowed gift and resources Paul has just
mentioned and the result predicated on those truths. "Therefore"
indicates that this instruction is based on and follows out of the
preceding statement of incentive regarding the power, love and
discipline God has given us...
“In light of those immeasurable
blessings,” the apostle was saying, “you have no reason to be
Because of Timothy’s call, gift, and provision of power, love, and
discipline, he had every reason to stand against any opponents,
unashamed of the gospel, and unashamed of his imprisoned mentor.
DO NOT BE ASHAMED: me...epaiscunthes (2SAPS): (2Ti
1:12 1:16, 2:12 Ro 1:16, Mk 8:38 Lk 9:26 1Pe 4:16, 1Jn 2:28, Rev 12:11)
This is Paul's first instruction in this letter ("kindle
afresh the gift" in verse 6 not an instruction but an exhortation -
Paul was encouraging Timothy to stir up something he already possessed). Notice Paul's excellent example of
exhorting (encouraging - impelling one toward the future) in the first 7
verses of this letter before he gives Timothy a specific instruction.
Do you encourage others
before you begin to give them instructions?
(1870) (epaischunomai from epi = upon
or used to intensify the meaning of the following word + aischunomai
from aischos = disfigurement & then disgrace) means to
experience a painful feeling or sense of loss of status because of some
particular event or activity. It describes one's consciousness of guilt
or of exposure or the fear of embarrassment that one's expectations may
prove false. Epaischunomai is associated with being afraid, feeling shame which
prevents one from doing something, a reluctance to say or do something
because of fear of humiliation, experiencing a lack of courage to
stand up for something or feeling shame because of what has been
is used 11 times in the NT in the NASB - Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Rom 1:16;
6:21; 2 Tim 1:8, 12, 16; Heb 2:11; 11:16. In Septuagint 3x - Ps 118:6,
Job 34:19, Is 1:29
Webster adds that
to be ashamed is to experience the painful emotion caused by
consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety, to experience the
condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute, or to experience
something that brings censure or reproach. Another source states that
Almost exclusively moral in significance; confusion or
abashment through consciousness of guilt or of its exposure. Often
including also a sense of terror or fear because of the disgrace
connected with the performance of some action. Capacity for shame
indicates that moral sense (conscience) is not extinct." (ISBE,
Webster's adds ashamed is
Confused by a
consciousness of guilt or of inferiority; by the mortification of pride;
by failure or disappointment...(and that "shame" is) "A
painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt, or of having done
something which injures reputation; or by of that which nature nature or
modesty prompts us to conceal. Shame is particularly excited by the
disclosure of actions which, in the view of men, are mean and degrading.
Hence it it is often or always manifested by a downcast look or by
blushes, called confusion of face.
The aorist tense and
subjunctive mood when used with a negative particle ("me"
= not) conveys the idea of a prohibition designed to prevent an action
from arising. It could be phrased "Don't begin to be ashamed."
In other words Paul was not telling Timothy to stop being ashamed as if
he already was ashamed.
Marvin Vincent writes
The feeling expressed by (epaischunomai)
has reference to incurring dishonor or shame in the eyes of men. It is
“the grief a man conceives from his own imperfections considered with
relation to the world taking notice of them; grief upon the sense of
disesteem” (“South, ” cit. by Trench). Hence it does not spring out of a
reverence for right in itself, but from fear of the knowledge and
opinion of men. (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament.
Vol. 1, Page 3-342)
shame is the companion of fear; if fear is overcome,
disgraceful shame flees away.
Kenneth Wuest agrees writing
“Be not ashamed,” does not mean that Timothy was ashamed. Had that been
the case, Paul would have used the present imperative, which with the
negative, forbids the continuance of an action already going on. Here he
uses the aorist subjunctive with the negative which forbids the doing of
an act not yet begun. (Wuest, K. S: Wuest's Word Studies from
the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
So Paul is saying do not be ashamed
of the gospel of Christ. Do not yield to the temptation to become
ashamed. He must not.
Paul then encourages
(exhortation) Timothy with his example, explaining that of he had been
appointed as a preacher and an apostle and a teacher of the gospel and
"For this reason I also suffer
these things, but I am not ashamed (epaischunomai); for I know Whom I have
believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have
entrusted to Him until that day." (see note
2 Timothy 1:12) (Compare
same thoughts in this chapter in
2 Timothy 1:12
1:16) It was not so much "what" Paul
knew (and he surely knew theology better than any other man) but it was
"Who" he knew. May we all grow in intimacy with our Lord, so that Jesus
alone becomes our ultimate source of comfort and strength. What
you know you hold, but Who you know holds you!
Paul goes on to give the example of
Onesiphorus in order to encourage Timothy writing...
The Lord grant mercy to the house of
Onesiphorus for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of
(epaischunomai) my chains;
but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me, and found me."
2 Timothy 1:16;
Paul knew there would be many challenges when Timothy
preached the word not fearing men but fearing God (Pr 29:25)
and that he
might be tempted to feel shame for taking a bold stand.
(Ps 40:9) Timothy had
surely heard this admonition before, for in Paul's first missionary
journey through Timothy's hometown he had declared...
Through many tribulations we must
enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:21,22)
Remember that at the time
this letter was written being a Christian not only brought almost
universal criticism but frequently persecution, imprisonment and even
Jesus after asking what would it profit one to gain the whole world and
forfeit his soul and what would one give in exchange for their soul,
then warned that...
is ashamed (epaischunomai
- Bible Knowledge Commentary adds "will not identify with Him or
believe on Him")
of Me and My words (which of course would include the Gospel) in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of
Man will also be ashamed
of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
of this passage is radically split between those who feel Jesus is
saying those who are ashamed are unbelievers and others who
say they are believers who will only suffer loss of rewards. I favor the
former interpretation (eg, see the preceding
context - especially "forfeit
soul" - to aid your
interpretation) Literally, of course, the glorified
Christ cannot experience the sense of shame, but the idea at the root is
the same. It will be as if he should feel himself disgraced before the
Father and the holy angels in owning any fellowship with those who have
been ashamed of him. Jesus gives this warning because He knows that a
major deterrent against total commitment to His testimony, the gospel,
is the fear of shame. It is completely irrational for a creature
to be ashamed of his Creator, for a sinner to be ashamed of his Savior.
Jamieson comments on Jesus'
warning writing that
The sense of shame is one of the strongest in our
nature, one of the social affections founded on our love of reputation,
which causes instinctive aversion to what is fitted to lower it, and was
given us as a preservative from all that is properly shameful...But when
Christ and “His words”—Christianity, especially in its more spiritual
and uncompromising features—are unpopular, the same instinctive desire
to stand well with others begets the temptation to be ashamed of Him,
which only the ‘expulsive power’ of a higher affection can effectually
counteract...He will render to that man his own treatment; He will
disown him before the most august of all assemblies, and put him to
“shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel
12:2). “Oh shame, to be put to shame before God, Christ,
and angels!” [Bengel]." (Jamieson, R., et al: A Commentary,
Critical and Explanatory)
William Barclay adds that
if by our lives
we disown him, even though with our lips we confess him, the day must
come when he cannot do other than disown us. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press
Spurgeon aptly put
You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your
glorying in yourself.
In Hebrews we read the encouraging
both He (Jesus) who
sanctifies (makes men holy, initially in
and then daily in
sanctification) and those who
are (continually being) sanctified (sanctification) are all from one Father; for which reason He (Jesus) is not ashamed (epaischunomai - He blushes not to acknowledge all
His true followers as His brethren) to call them brethren (to
acknowledge Himself as of the same family)" (see note
Comment: This an amazing,
encouraging truth for as Barnes notes Jesus is not ashamed "As it
might be supposed that One so exalted and pure would be. It might have
been anticipated that the Son of God would refuse to give the name
“brethren” to those who were so humble, and sunken and degraded as those
whom He came to redeem. But He is willing to be ranked with them, and to
be regarded as one of their family." Augustine put it well: "God
makes of sons of men sons of God, because God hath made of the Son of
God the Son of man
The last NT use of epaischunomai is found in
Hebrews where we read that of those who "died in faith" that
as it is, they desire (orego = stretching out after, yearning after; present tense
= continually) a better
country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not (ouk =
absolutely not) ashamed to be
called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. (see note
As Barnes comments - "We
are not to suppose that God is ever “ashamed” of anything that he does.
The meaning here is, that they had acted in such a manner that it was
fit that he should show toward them the character of a Benefactor,
Protector, and Friend."
Paul knowing the potential cost of
living out and speaking forth the gospel of Jesus Christ boldly declared
to the saints at Rome...
"Thus, for my part, I am eager to
preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome for I am not ashamed (epaischunomai) of the gospel (though
espousing its cause subjects one to the contempt of the Jew and of the
Greek, to whom the gospel is a stumbling-block and foolishness), for
it is the power (inherent effective ability to accomplish the
intended purpose - see study of
dunamis) of God for salvation to
everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
And Paul says that the potential to
experience shame should "flee away" in light of the spirit of power,
love and sound mind God has granted us in (v7). Our natural reluctance
to face the onslaught of a Christ-rejecting world can be overcome by the
supernatural resource of God's resurrection power which gives life and
victory to our mortal bodies.
A W Tozer wrote that...
Little by little evangelical
Christians these days are being brainwashed. One evidence is that
increasing numbers of them are becoming ashamed to be found
unequivocally on the side of truth. They say they believe but their
beliefs have been so diluted as to be impossible of clear definition.
The Bible has a great deal to say
about suffering and most of it is encouraging.
(1709–1784) wrote that...
Shame arises from the fear
of men, conscience from the fear of God.
Suffering... is the badge of the true
Christian. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
There is a certain kind of maturity
that can be attained only through the discipline of suffering. - D. A.
Do not kick against suffering, for in
so doing you may be fighting against God. - Spurgeon
Life without struggle and difficulty
is thin and tasteless. How can a noble life be constructed if there be
no difficulty to overcome, no suffering to bear? -Spurgeon
He who can touch the secret springs
of the heart, apart from circumstances and conditions, has often made a
man glad when he has been racked with pain, or when he has been in the
depths of poverty, or when he has been suffering at the demoniacal hands
of inquisitors. - Spurgeon
I believe that one of the sweetest
joys under heaven comes out of the severest suffering when patience is
brought into play. - Spurgeon
There is a great want about all
Christians who have not suffered. Some flowers must be broken or bruised
before they emit any fragrance. - Robert Murray M’Cheyne
When missionary Dan Crawford's body
was found, a well worn New Testament was found in the coat pocket of
that great missionary to Africa. Inside he had penned the words of a man
unashamed of the testimony of His Lord
I cannot do it alone!
The waves dash fast and high;
The fog comes chilling around,
And the light goes out in the sky.
But I know that we two shall win in the end—
Jesus and I.
Coward and wayward and weak,
I change with the changing sky,
Today so strong and brave,
Tomorrow too weak to fly.
But He never gives up,
So we two shall win in the end:
(Note: Some have attributed this poem to Corrie Ten Boom)
As you ponder "In
what ways am I ashamed of Jesus, His Cross and His Gospel?"
click the links to the hymns and spiritual songs below be overwhelmed by
the love of God Who was not ashamed to send His only Son to die on a
cruel, shameful Cross in our stead...
Our God Reigns
It was our sin and guilt that bruised
and wounded Him.
It was our sin that brought Him down.
When we like sheep had gone astray our Shepherd came
And on His shoulders bore our
Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness...
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am—
From sin and fear, from guilt and
Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name
Grant us Thy peace upon our homeward way;
With Thee began, with Thee shall end the day.
Guard thou the lips from sin, the hearts from
That in this house have
called upon Thy Name.
Before Thy Throne, O God, We Kneel
Before Thy throne, O God, we kneel;
Give us a conscience quick to feel,
A ready mind to understand
The meaning of Thy chastening hand;
Whate’er the pain and
Bring us, O Father, nearer
The Old Rugged Cross
To the old rugged cross I will ever
and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some
day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the
solemn watchword hear;
If while ye sleep He suffers, away with
Where’er ye meet with
evil, within you or without,
Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.
28, 1997, pastor Eugenio Nij of San Raymundo, Guatemala, was arrested
and imprisoned on charges of assault and attempted murder. The charges
were completely false--no evidence was produced. Yet Eugenio remained in
prison despite petitions signed by hundreds of townspeople. In jail
Eugenio continued to minister. He told Pulse magazine: “I’ve preached
thirty or forty times in the fifty days I’ve been here. . . . I’ve also
been able to comfort fellow prisoners, some of whom have confessed their
crimes to me while others are innocent. There have been twenty to thirty
conversions. . . . As a minister, I find this a special experience from
God.” (Today in the Word)
Suffering for the Gospel - Early in the morning on January 23, 1999,
a group of about sixty Hindu fundamentalists shattered the windows of
Graham Staines’s jeep. Graham, longtime director of a leprosy mission in
India, and his sons, Philip and Timothy, were participating in a Bible
conference in the village Monoharpur. After breaking the windows, the
fanatics poured gasoline over the vehicle and set it on fire. Graham and
his sons died, though not instantly, as many heard screams coming from
the blaze. Days later, Graham’s wife, Gladys, made a public statement
forgiving the murderers of her husband and sons. She also expressed hope
that the guilty individuals would be touched by the love of Christ.
India was stunned by her spirit of forgiveness, as well as her
commitment to stay on and direct the mission. Gladys has this advice for
future missionaries: “Make very sure of your call from God and, once
you’re sure of it, be very prepared for whatever, even if it costs your
life.” The strength, love, and commitment of the Staines family teach us
much about a godly response to suffering, the focus of today’s devotion.
We suffer in the knowledge of reward and victory. Jesus promised:
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10-12; 2 Thess. 1:4-5; Heb.
10:32-39; Rev. 2:10). (Today in the Word)
OF THE TESTIMONY OF OUR LORD:
to marturion tou kuriou hemon: (Ps 19:7; Jn 15:27;
19:35; 1Ti 2:6; 1Jn 4:14; 1Jn 5:11,12; Rev 1:2; Rev 12:11; 19:10)
(3142) (marturion source of English "martyr") means the declaration which confirms or makes
19x in 19v - Matt 8:4; 10:18; 24:14; Mark 1:44; 6:11; 13:9; Luke 5:14;
9:5; 21:13; Acts 4:33; 7:44; 1 Cor 1:6; 2 Cor 1:12; 2 Thess 1:10; 1 Tim
2:6; 2 Tim 1:8; Heb 3:5; Jas 5:3; Rev 15:5. NAS =
Marturion refers to the firsthand authentication of a fact
provides information about a person or an event concerning which the
speaker has direct knowledge. Christ made known the truth about sin, righteousness
the judgment to come and men gnashed their teeth at Him (and they will at us
In the context of this epistle,
this phrase, "the
"testimony of our Lord" is a reference to the gospel
and is used this way in the following NT passages
And this gospel of the kingdom
shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony (marturion)
to all the nations, and then the end shall come. (Matthew
When will this testimony be preached
in the whole world? Remembering that Scripture is always the best
commentary on Scripture (Click for discussion of this principle), in the
Revelation (at the midpoint of
Daniel's Seventieth Week, often
called the "Tribulation") John records his "testimony"...
"And I saw another angel flying in
midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the
earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people and he said
with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of
His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth
and sea and springs of waters." (see notes
Luke records the
beginning of the spread of the gospel from the first church in Jerusalem writing that...
"with great power
(dunamis = intrinsic power which Jesus had stated must be present
for witnessing in Acts 1:8 where power = dunamis) the apostles were giving (imperfect tense
= over and over) witness to the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus (the very thing the Sanhedrin had
forbidden them to do - the apostles were not ashamed of the
testimony our Lord), and abundant grace was upon them all."
his punishment for preaching the gospel testifying...
I, John, your brother and fellow
partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance (hupomone = remaining under = patiently enduring affliction without giving up) which are in
Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God
(the gospel) and
the testimony of Jesus. (the gospel)" (see
John later describes the scene in heaven which illustrates the cost
some had to pay for taking a stand and not being ashamed of the testimony of our Lord...
"I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their
testimony of Jesus (the gospel) and because of the word of God
(the gospel)" (see note
OR OF ME HIS
from deo = to bind) is an adjective, primarily denoting
binding, bound, then, as a noun, the person bound, a captive or
prisoner, one who was a deprived of liberty and kept in prison or some
other form of custody as a punishment for a crime, while awaiting trial,
or for some other reason.
Click description of ancient
16x in 16v - Matt 27:15f; Mark 15:6; Acts 16:25, 27; 23:18; 25:14, 27;
28:17; Eph 3:1; 4:1; 2 Tim 1:8; Philemon 1:1, 9; Heb 10:34; 13:3
Paul may be in a Roman
dungeon but he is foremost the prisoner of the Lord Jesus who had sovereign
control of his life. As Dwight Edwards writes,
chains were not clamped on
by an oppressive Roman government, but by the hand of a loving, faithful
Father Who was working it all to Paul's ultimate good and His glory. And
so Paul was able to avoid bitterness toward the Roman authorities, for
he did not see them as acting on their own. He had developed 50-20
vision which Joseph describes in Ge 50:20,
"but as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for
good. (Call to
JOIN WITH ME IN SUFFERING: alla sugkakopatheson (2SAAM):
Join with me
in suffering (4777)
(sugkakopatheo from sun = with + kakos = evil +
pathos = passion) literally means to suffer
hardship, evil or affliction along with someone. It means to suffer
something bad or base, to suffer ill treatment along with some else. It means to
undergo the same type of suffering as others do, to join with them in suffering,
to assume one’s share of suffering or to suffer together.
Paul like a wartime general uses
the aorist imperative which is a command calling for immediate
and urgent action. "Timothy, do this now, without hesitation" is
As a side note
this letter has the most commands of any pastoral epistle - 2 Timothy
has 31 second person singular imperatives compared with 30 in the
longer 1 Timothy and 12 in Titus.
Note the little
(Click in depth discussion) which means "with".
Sun pictures an intimate union. When Timothy suffered
for the gospel, Paul's heart (while he was alive) was knit with
Timothy's and suffered along with him (1Cor 12:26).
Then as well as today, when anyone is persecuted for the sake of His
Name, Jesus is there as He explained to Saul on the Damascus Road in
"And it came about that as (Paul) journeyed, he was
approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around
him; 4 and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul,
Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" 5 And he said,
"Who art Thou, Lord?" And He said," I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,
6 but rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told you what you
must do." (Acts 9:3-6).
Because Jesus is in covenant with
those who have placed their faith in Him, He is obligated to be their
avenger, which is the truth that Paul discovered on the Damascus Road.
What an encouragement to Timothy and to us is this truth that Jesus is there when
persecution comes and even when everyone else deserts us (cf notes (cf
2Ti 4:16; 17- notes
Hebrews 13:5, 6-note) Jesus has always "been
there" for His suffering saints.
Daniel records Nebuchadnezzar's
amazing vision after Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (who refused to bow
and worship the image of Nebuchadnezzar) were thrown into the midst of
the furnace of blazing fire.
"Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was
astounded and stood up in haste; he responded and said to his high
officials, "Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the
fire?" They answered and said to the king, "Certainly, O king." He
answered and said, "Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the
midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like
a son of the gods (NKJV translates this "like the Son of God")!"
Although not everyone agrees that
the "fourth" man in the fire was the Preincarnate Messiah, I think the
evidence supports this premise. For example, the Septuagint (Greek
translation of the Hebrew OT) reads "the fourth is like the Son of
God". While one cannot be dogmatic, many excellent conservative
commentators agree that this person was most likely the preincarnate
Lord Jesus or the
Angel of the LORD.
Church tradition says that most of
the apostles died as martyrs. Paul is concerned that in the face of
vicious, deadly opposition, Timothy might be afraid to boldly proclaim
the gospel. This is not an unreasonable consideration in light of the
fact that all who were in Asia turned away from Paul (in prison) and
Demas deserted him (see note 2 Timothy 4:10-note)
Did Timothy keep the faith and
finish his course? In the epistle to the Hebrews
we read that "Timothy has been
released" (see note Hebrews 13:23-note) which suggests that
Timothy had endured hardship and fulfilled his ministry,
unashamed of the gospel even to the point of suffering imprisonment.
This call to
with me has the ring of a teacher (Paul) calling on his disciple
(Timothy) to follow in his steps. In both the secular Greek and the
Jewish cultures disciples (Students of rabbis or philosophers, normally
committed to memorizing and living according to their master’s
teachings) were called to follow in their teachers’ steps. Ultimately
both Paul and Timothy were disciples of
incredible that Timothy and you and I have "been considered worthy
to suffer shame for His name" (Acts 5:41)
Paul is inviting Timothy (& all
genuine disciples of Christ) to join a not too popular club "The Pain of
Shame Club". And Paul uses the Aorist imperative
construction which is a command to do this now, without
hesitation, even conveying a sense of urgency.
Bear evil treatment along with me Timothy, for afflictions will come upon
those who preach and profess the Gospel, for even though the Gospel is a
Gospel of peace, men are corrupt and depraved (see note Romans 1:28-note)
and the Gospel brings a sword (Mt 10:34), division (Jn 7:43, 10:19 Mt
10:35 Lk 12:51), and trouble (Acts 16:20KJV). Tribulation arises on
account of the Gospel; and this suffering should be endured patiently,
and constantly, for he sake of the Gospel. Do we really understand
Paul's 'invitation" in 21st Century America? Our Lord Jesus made it
clear that we would have trouble. (Jn 16:33) Paul repeatedly affirmed that suffering for the gospel was the expected
lot of believers (see note 2 Timothy 3:12-note).
He had consistently proclaimed this truth throughout his ministry (Acts
14:21,22; 1Th 3:4; Philippians 1:29
Christians today must not be blind to this plain teaching of Scripture
and must avoid surprise when opposition to the gospel produces a
The exhortation is “Be a fellow-partaker with us (the Lord and Paul)
with respect to our sufferings for the gospel’s sake.” The sufferings
are those that are a natural accompaniment of the preaching of the
gospel. Paul alludes to the same thing in
Colossians 1:24 (see note).
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
John R. Scott gives
a modern example of one who suffered for the gospel observing that...
Few men of this
century have understood better the inevitability of
than Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He seems never to have wavered in his
Christian antagonism to the Nazi regime, although it meant for him
imprisonment, the threat of torture, danger to his own family, and
finally death. He was executed by direct order of Heinrich Himmler in
April 1945, in the Flossenburg concentration camp, only a few days
before it was liberated. It was the fulfillment of what he had always
believed and taught: "Suffering, then, is the badge of true
discipleship. The disciple is not above his master. Following Christ
means 'passio passiva' suffering because we have to suffer. That is why
Luther reckoned suffering among the marks of the true church, and one of
the memoranda drawn up in preparation for the Augsburg Confession
similarly defines the Church as the community of those "who are
persecuted and martyred for the gospel's sake"… Discipleship means
allegiance to the suffering Christ, and it is therefore not at all
surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer." (John R.
Scott, Christian Counter Culture)
Am I a Soldier of the Cross?
Am I a soldier
of the cross, a follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause, or blush to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease?
While others fought to win the prize, and sailed through bloody
Sure I must fight if I would reign, Increase my courage Lord.
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by thy Word.
---- Isaac Watts
FOR THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO
THE POWER OF GOD: to euaggelio kata dunamin theou:
"The old man eloquent" feels his soul
kindling as he describes the glories of the gospel, eternal in its
purpose, matchless in its achievements. He sits on the brink of the
grave, and sings of One who hath abolished death. Faith in the
resurrection could alone suggest such a triumphant exclamation. (The
from eú = good +
aggéllo = proclaim, tell) means literally "good news".
(Click word study of
Wuest gives these added insights on
comes from the Saxon word "gode-spell" [gode meaning good & “spell” = a
story, a tale]. Euaggelion was in just as common use in
the first century as our words good news. “Have you any
good news (euaggelion) for me today?” must have been a common question.
Our word GOSPEL
today has a definite religious connotation. In the ordinary conversation
of the first century, it did not have such a meaning. However, it was
taken over into the Cult of the Caesar where it acquired a religious
significance. The Cult of the Caesar was the state religion of the Roman
empire, in which the emperor was worshipped as a god. When the
announcement of the emperor’s birthday was made, or the accession of a
new Caesar proclaimed, the account of either event was designated by the
word euaggelion. Thus, when the Bible writers were
announcing the good news of salvation, they used the word
euaggelion which word meant to the 1st century readers “good
Vine adds that
gospel, like the kingdom of God, does not make progress with “outward
show.” Its methods do not make an appeal to the natural mind. Its
ministry involves hardships, inevitable to all who faithfully proclaim
it, as was the case with Him who constitutes it subject. (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
- This is the Greek preposition kata which is not out of but according to His infinite
power. To illustrate the principle imagine that I am a billionaire and I give you ten dollars, I have given
you out of my riches. Now on the other hand, if I give you a million dollars, I have given
to you according to my riches. The first $10 gift was only a portion
(and a small one at that) but the second was a
proportion of my wealth. In the first gift, I would take it out of
my riches, and thus
would be like the wealthy Mr. Rockefeller who would give his caddy a dime
after carrying his clubs for 18 holes! God is not that way and He gives
"according to" His power, which is where the illustration breaks down
for God's riches and power are infinite and inexhaustible. Does this
truth boggle your mind even a little? It should beloved for His
resources are what we now have access to!
(dunamis) of God enables us to suffer hardship and affliction for the gospel. God
gives us in Christ Jesus and the Spirit Who indwells us. It is an
inherent ability which gives us the potential to carry out whatever God
calls us to do, including to suffer.
119x in 115v - Matt 7:22; 11:20f, 23; 13:54, 58; 14:2; 22:29; 24:29f;
25:15; 26:64; Mark 5:30; 6:2, 5, 14; 9:1, 39; 12:24; 13:25f; 14:62; Luke
1:17, 35; 4:14, 36; 5:17; 6:19; 8:46; 9:1; 10:13, 19; 19:37; 21:26f;
22:69; 24:49; Acts 1:8; 2:22; 3:12; 4:7, 33; 6:8; 8:10, 13; 10:38;
19:11; Rom 1:4, 16, 20; 8:38; 9:17; 15:13, 19; 1 Cor 1:18, 24; 2:4f;
4:19f; 5:4; 6:14; 12:10, 28f; 14:11; 15:24, 43, 56; 2 Cor 1:8; 4:7; 6:7;
8:3; 12:9, 12; 13:4; Gal 3:5; Eph 1:19, 21; 3:7, 16, 20; Phil 3:10; Col
1:11, 29; 1 Thess 1:5; 2 Thess 1:7, 11; 2:9; 2 Tim 1:7f; 3:5; Heb 1:3;
2:4; 6:5; 7:16; 11:11, 34; 1 Pet 1:5; 3:22; 2 Pet 1:3, 16; 2:11; Rev
1:16; 3:8; 4:11; 5:12; 7:12; 11:17; 12:10; 13:2; 15:8; 17:13; 18:3;
19:1. NAS = ability(4), meaning(1), mightily(1), mighty(1),
miracle(2), miracles(17), miraculous powers(3), power(83), powers(6),
Dunamis conveys the
idea of effective, productive energy, rather than that which is raw and
unbridled. God gives every believer the same supernatural power which
was manifest in Jesus’ life and which resurrected Him from the dead. We
have at our "disposal" this same resurrection power beloved! And notice
that it given to us "according to", which is explained below. In Acts we
see the disciples manifesting this power in boldly witnessing, not
fearing persecution or imprisonment. And what was their source of this
power? The Holy Spirit had come upon them as Jesus had prophesied in (Acts
1:8) where He declared
that they would receive
power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My
witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to
the remotest part of the earth.
Today every believer has been
baptized by (identified with) the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians
12:13) and thus he or she has access to the same power the
believers in the early church had. There is no difference in the power available to us
today beloved (although certain miraculous works appear to have been
restricted to this unique transition time in history as outlined in the
book of Acts - beloved please do not be
sidetracked - the greatest miracle of a dead sinner being resurrected to
newness of life is still a reality and this should be our desire and
focus). Do we really believe we have access to God's supernatural power? Why then do so few of us
experience this divine power? Could it be that we resist, quench and/or
grieve the Spirit of God Who gives us this power? Could it be that we
are not letting the Word of Christ dwell in us richly (more than a verse
or two in the morning), obeying (under grace not law) that Word
as directed (filled, controlled) by the Holy Spirit? Or perhaps we are like
the saints at Ephesus who must have been instructed about their source
of inherent spiritual power and yet Paul was still moved by the Spirit to pray for them to know
this power deep within their innermost being, praying that...
18 the eyes of your heart may be
enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what
are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us
who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of
20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead (how great is the power available to us? Here Paul equates it with
resurrection power and secondly states that it is a power greater than
that of any spiritual forces arrayed against us - far above all power -
we are seated with Him according to
Ephesians 2:6 [note]6), and seated Him at
His right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every
name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.
22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him
as head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all. (see
Hiebert comments that...
lest Timothy, naturally inclined to
be timid, might feel that this made a demand beyond his abilities, Paul
reminds him that the suffering is to be "according to the power of God."
The reference may be either to the power which God imparts (2Ti 1:7) or
the power which belongs to God and He has exhibited in our salvation (2Ti 1:9). From the context the latter reference seems preferable but
surely both thoughts are involved. That power which God has displayed in
working our own salvation He also imparts to us to be enabled to suffer
for the Gospel. The test of our power lies in our ability to suffer for
the Gospel. (2 Timothy by D. Edmond Hiebert)
F. B. Meyer wrote:
God’s soldiers must be brave and unflinching in
meeting the opposition of the world. When once we realize that the
stores which reside in God are at the disposal of our faith, we too
shall be invulnerable and irresistible."
Warren Wiersbe writes...
Years ago, I read about
a Christian who was in prison because of his faith. He was to be burned
at the stake, and he was certain he would never be able to endure the
suffering. One night, he experimented with pain by putting his little
finger into the candle flame. It hurt, and he immediately withdrew it.
“I will disgrace my Lord,” he said to himself. “I cannot bear the pain.”
But when the hour came for him to die, he praised God and gave a noble
witness for Jesus Christ. God gave him the power when he needed it, and
not before. (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
Hodges rightly notes
We can bear less than
we think if we trust our strength, more than we think if we trust His.
Knock, Knock! - A knock came
at the door of the home of a man who had a young family. When the father
answered the door, he was greeted by someone he had never met—a friendly
man from a nearby church who had stopped by to say hello.
His pleasant demeanor and kind words impressed the dad, and the two
agreed to meet again. When they did, the visitor introduced the man to
the gospel of Jesus Christ. Both he and his wife trusted Jesus as
That changed everything. The couple began attending church, and all six
of their children became believers in Christ. Eventually the dad became
a Sunday school teacher and a deacon.
One of this couple’s daughters grew up to attend the same Christian
college I attended. That student’s name was Sue, and from the first time
I saw this cute girl from Grand Rapids, I was smitten. The man who had
answered the door eventually became my father-in-law. That door-to-door
ambassador changed not just one man, but an entire family—and the
results continue to reverberate.
Paul encouraged us, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with
salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one" (Col. 4:6).
Whose life, whose future, will you impact? — Dave Branon
Lord, lay some soul upon my heart,
And love that soul through me;
And may I nobly do my part
To win that soul for Thee. —Tucker
The Good News of Christ is too good to keep to yourself.