Finishing Well | 2 Timothy 4
Inspect, Expect, and Respect | 2 Timothy 3
The Lost Art of Argument | 2 Timothy 2:23-26
Being Useful for the Kingdom | 2 Timothy 2:20-22
Dealing with False Teachers | 2 Timothy 2:14-19
Remembering Christ | 2 Timothy 2:7-13
Enduring Hardship | 2 Timothy 2:3-7
Defining Discipleship | 2 Timothy 2:1-2
The Last Word: 2 Timothy 1:8-18
The Last Word: Courage in the Cold
2 Timothy 1:1-7
When we feel timid or ashamed, what truth should we turn to? In our series The Last Word, Todd Wagner teaches through 2 Timothy 1:8-18 showing us the three things we need to remember in the face of timidity, shame, and suffering.
Good morning, friends! We are continuing our gathering, and if you haven't been around Watermark very long I will remind you this is a gathering of the kingdom of priests. We are a community of pastors, every single one of us. We are called, at least, to become men or women who, in our faithfulness, are able to teach, able to encourage, able to disciple, and able to reproduce. It's a sign of maturity that you can reproduce. It's a sign of faithfulness that you do what you've been asked to do.
We gather weekly as the church so that we might remind each other about the greatness of our God and remember how we want to respond to him. We welcome the whole world in. We know there are many of you who are here or who are listening online who have no idea really what it means to be a Christ follower, so listen up, because we are paying attention to our King, our Lord, our Savior who has made every provision for us.
We are not trying out. We're not building resumes. We're not trying to be do-gooders so God can love us. We don't believe God loves us because we're good; we believe God is good, and so he loves us and makes provision for our sin. This is the trustworthy statement of which I'm fully convinced: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, as he told Paul in 1 Timothy, chapter 1, verse 15, of which he said, "I am the foremost of all."
This is not a group of people you've walked into who believe they're better than you. We believe we have found the way, the truth, and the life in the person of Jesus Christ. This is not some secret society. This truth has been heralded from mountaintops for 2,000 years, and it had been predicted for thousands of years before that that this kind of hope was coming, so we gather that we might be reminded of the kindness of our God and remember how to respond to him.
If you're here today and don't know Christ, I pray today you learn more of him and you want to know him and trust in him as we have, and if you know him, let's lock in so we can rightly respond. Amen? Let me pray.
Father, we are your church. We don't go to church; we are your church, and here we are gathering. We have invited friends. We're so glad they're listening, and we're so glad they're here. I pray you would use your Word and the truths we're about to share to make us, Father, more into your image so we can love them in a way and live our lives with such holy goodness, power, kindness, rightness, dignity, and love that they demand an explanation.
I pray our explanation would be only one thing, and that is you have come to show us who you are and we have believed. We are yielding to you and following your way, and the goodness they see a shadow of in us is fully manifest in you. I pray, Lord, you'd open the eyes of their heart that they could join us in this family of grace and in this community of faithfulness. Make us that. For your glory and for the good of the world and for joy in our own hearts we pray these things. Amen.
Well, we are right now corporately choosing to look at 2 Timothy. If you are not currently sure how to read your Bible we have something called Join the Journey, and we are just wrapping up the book of Numbers. We're about to move further into the Old Testament on a daily reading plan. Just go to jointhejourney.com. Sign up, slap your email on there, and every day you get a short little 300-word devotional explaining the text. It lets you read the Scripture and gives questions of application. There are people waiting for you to click a button and type your question and personally engage with you.
But corporately today we are making our way through 2 Timothy. We're looking at this little book. Second Timothy, as we've reminded ourselves, is the last words of a guy named Paul who wrote nine letters to seven different churches, and then he wrote a book called Philemon, and he wrote three, what we call, Pastoral Epistles. None of that matters if you don't know Jesus. Just know this: these are the last words of one of the very first faithful followers of Jesus, and he is writing to his disciple, to a guy who learned who Jesus was through him.
He is telling this young man how to be a godly leader in Ephesus. About 250,000 people lived in Ephesus. It was the fourth largest city in the known world at that time. Rome was bigger, Antioch was bigger, and Alexandria, which was named after my wife way back then, was bigger, and then Ephesus. It was a happening, crackin' city.
Timothy, as I told you last week, was a young man who wasn't really sure of himself. He was a bit timid. Paul is encouraging this young man what to do with his timidity. Basically, what was saying was, "I don't care much about your timidity; I just want you to care about the gospel." We today are going to study two verse, and I'm going to tell you why we're going to study these two verses.
It's because they are the summary of everything we've studied to this point, and they are the beginning and the seed of everything we will study from here on out. So 2 Timothy, chapter 2, verses 1 and 2. By the way, if you're curious, I am insatiably curious. I love to learn. When the Bible was written it was not written with chapters and verses. In about 1551 a guy named Robert Stephanus, who was a French printer… In order to make his Greek New Testament a little bit better seller, and then later the Latin Vulgate, he took his system and expanded the whole Bible.
It was about the sixteenth century when we finally put chapters and verses to our Bible. We do that so we can turn there. It's just a whole lot easier than just saying, "Unroll the scroll to this section." Now we have a codex, a book, that's put together in this way. So we can turn to a specific spot in this letter by saying we're going to look at 2 Timothy, chapter 2, verses 1 and 2. Thank you, Robert Stephanus. Here we go. Let's read 2 Timothy 2, verses 1 and 2.
He says, "You therefore…" As I said last week, whenever you see therefore, you want to ask yourself, "What's it there for?" I'll tell you in a second. "You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful people who will be able to teach others also." That's it. That's all we're going to look at, and I'm going to tell you why. Here we go.
This is just a visual picture of what I was saying. Second Timothy 2:1-18 is summarized in
2 Timothy 2:1, and 2 Timothy 2:2 is spelled out in 2 Timothy 2:3 all the way through the end of the book, which I think is chapter 4, verse 16-ish. All right? So here's the deal. The rest of the time we are studying this book you're going to learn what disciples need to do, be, and pass on, and that's really important. That's why we're here.
When folks become members of the body of Christ we baptize them and give them a chance to make an outward testimony of an inward faith. Baptism is not what saves you; faith in Christ is what saves you, and when you put your faith in Christ's death and burial (being submerged under water) and resurrection to newness of life you stand before others and identify with his death, burial, and resurrection through baptism.
As we like to say, tongue in cheek… There's a reason when God saves you we don't just baptize you and hold you under, send you on to glory. God wants to leave you here for a purpose. That is really all that chapter 1 was about. "Timothy, I know you're timid. But wait a second, Timidity. This ain't about you."'
So you found again and again and again in chapter 1 Paul telling his son he loves him and is for him. Any father, pastor, and friend wants somebody to move into the fullness, goodness, purpose, and dignity of life that they were shaped for, and that's why I said I don't want you to come listen to me; I want you to experience what God created you to experience, which is him in all of his kindness and his grace. You don't have to please him and appease him. In fact, you can't. Jesus Christ didn't come into the world to find the best of men and women. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
We are all sinners. "…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…" There's not a single person who can submit a resume and have God go, "Well done! That's good enough." No. We trust in the one who knew no sin, who became sin on our behalf, and that is what we are strong in. Now let me just follow through here with you with a few things we need to see in this.
So when it says, "You therefore…" "In light of the fact that I wasn't ashamed of the gospel, Jesus wasn't ashamed to serve the Father and bring the gospel to you and die on a cross. I don't want you to be ashamed, Timothy. Onesiphorus wasn't ashamed. He searched for me until he found me." (That was chapter 1, verses 15-18.)
This is interesting to me. Names are interesting. Todd… If you are a fan of Disney, you know in the movie The Fox and the Hound they call the fox Todd. Now, just so you know, I hate my name. I'm not a big fan of the name Todd. Right? It's just such a nerd name. It's just one of those names. I've never liked my name. I'm just working it out right here before you in this particular moment.
But it was encouraging to me when I saw the name Todd, the reason Disney named the fox Todd in The Fox and the Hound is because foxes are craft and wise. The name Todd means wise, and foxes are called Todds or wise. So that's why Disney did that.
Onesiphorus means prosperous man or one, if you will, who brings riches. A man who prospers. This is why I am so privileged to teach you today. I want you to be like Paul. I want you to be faithful and follow after Jesus, who has the name that's above all names. I want you to learn his ways so you can receive your full reward. You're not going to be saved because of what you do, but you are going to be judged by what you do.
Nonbelievers who don't have a Savior will be judged on their works, and our works are never good enough. You who don't want to rely on a Savior, God says, "Fine. Come on. Bring me your resume. Oh, that won't do, because the standard is perfection. Next." He will grant you what you want, which is nothing to do with him.
The Bible calls that the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, where there is nothing that will ever remind you of the kindness and goodness of God again, but if you've trusted in a Savior and you received the gift of salvation you are then a son or a daughter who is a servant, and we will have the opportunity to give an account. That's what it says. Second Corinthians 5:10: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."
We will be judged as servants. You need to know that, and it's why I'm saying to you, "You, therefore, who are alive February (almost March) 2021. This is your moment. This is your day." I don't call you my son. I would say, "Brothers and sisters. Come on, man. In light of the fact that God has called us, saved us, and given us the privilege of knowing him we have a duty, and let's be strong."
Now, watch. Remember who this book is written to. I love my Bible because it's just a book that's filled with realism. What's going on here is we have a guy who is timid, and a lot of us might think, "I'm kinda timid." Remember how last week I said… By the way, Timothy is a pastor. I'm going to remind you I call this a pastor's conference.
Now, because I've known the Lord a little longer, because of what God has done in my life and the way he's gifted my brothers and sisters, I have and office and a teaching gift that is useful to you, and I want my gift to help… The reason God gave me a gift is not so you could be impressed with my gift. The reason God gives us gifts is to serve one another. Do you understand that?
You have been given a gift, and God gave you that gift to serve and to help other people. People would say they have the gift of leadership or teaching or exhortation. I want you to excel still more. I want you to be strong. I want you to be like Onesiphorus who searches and finds others that they can build into, encourage, and equip."
You might be like, "Todd, I'm just not that strong. I'm just not that kind of guy," and I'm just saying, "Yes, you are," because it really isn't about you. It's about what God has given you, and what he has given you is not a spirit of timidity but of power and of love for others, not love for self, and self-discipline and self-surrender. It's motivated out of a love for Christ.
You're going to see in 2 Timothy, chapter 2, verse 3 what Paul is going to do next week. This is a little precursor to next week. What he's going to do is he's going to tell you, "Look. Do you want to know what a disciple is? He's a teacher." That's verse 2. "But he's a soldier, and he's going to tell you to suffer hardship with him as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." That's what we're all called to do.
You're going to see an athlete. You're going to see a farmer. (That's what we're studying next week.) But let me just tell you something. You were born to go to war, and the weapons of warfare are not of this world, but they're divinely powerful for the destruction of forces which blind the mind of the unbelieving.
The power you have been given is the power to have a transformed life that others look at and go, "I'll be. You ain't living the way you used to live. Your family loves in a way I don't… The way you guys get along. That church? It's not just made up of white people. It's not just made up of black people. It's not just made up of Jews or non-Jews. It's not just made up of slaves or free men, Barbarian or Scythian. The whole world fights, yet I see in that church all kinds of diversity in ethnicity. I see both genders. I see mutual subjection and love. How are you doing that?"
You have the power to have a changed life. You also have the power to tell them how your life was changed, and the gospel is what God uses to change people. You're like a Spartan. Spartans were Greeks who were go-to Greeks for battle. When they were fighting Xerxes and the rest of the Persians…
There are just lots of myth about Spartan mothers. Have you ever heard this? Spartan moms are not who you want to go to if you skin your knee. Spartan mothers had a phrase they would use. Because Dad was away at war, Spartan mothers raised their sons to be warriors, and I have a little Spartan mother in me.
They used to tell their boys at a young age, "Here's your shield. Go to war. Come back with it or on it, but don't you shame me. Don't you be a coward and come back running from war without it." That's what Paul is saying to Timothy. He had a mentor called Paul who had a little Spartan mama in him. He was just saying, "With it or on it, boy. This ain't about you. You are built for the fight. Be strong."
Now, here's what I want to tell you. You may as well tell a snail to be fast or a horse to fly as to tell Timothy to be strong, and you may feel a lot like Timothy. You know what? There's nothing more frustrating than someone getting in here and giving you a big pep talk, saying, "Be strong! Let's go. Are you ready?" You might go, "All right!" You get out of the locker room, because you're in this little room here with others. You get outside that door and go, "Oh man. They're big and fast. Where's everybody else?" You want to be strong, but you don't feel strong. It's so easy to go back into timidity. So let me encourage you.
The Bible is God's Word given to us so that we might live skilled lives. He has given us his Word in the context of human language, so you have to understand human language. This is where you should have listened when they were diagramming sentences. At what do you diagram sentences? Is that junior high or high school? I don't know, but we all did terribly at it and we didn't pay attention when our teachers were talking to us about perfect tenses, passive tenses, and how sentences are structured.
But here's what you need to know. That word for be strong is not an imperative command for you. It's not an active verb. It's not something you do. It's a perfect passive verb. What's the passive verb tense? A passive verb is something that happens to you. It shows up in Ephesians 6:10. It gives you a little clue. Same author writing to the same church as a whole. He's telling everybody, in case you want to opt out and go, "Well, I'm not the pastor." Here's the letter to everybody under Timothy. "Be strong!"
Now watch. He spells it out a little bit more here, though he says the same thing. " … be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might." It's not your strength, Timothy. It's not your strength, Watermark. Receive what God has given you and be faithful with it. Here he says be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Here's the active. Paul, himself, received this, so this is the verb in Philippians 4:13. Ever heard of that verse before? Paul is saying, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Paul's not saying, "I can be faithful in cold and in hot, in want and in plenty, because I'm a disciplined stud!" He doesn't say that.
He says, "I'm a Christian. I decreased. Christ increased. I take up my cross and follow him. He died for me. I live for him. The resurrection power of Christ dwells in me, and when I believe in him, as God said in Acts, chapter 1, verse 8, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you should yield to the Holy Spirit and quit looking to go, 'Do I like myself in the mirror? Am I a Choleric? Am I an Enneagram Eight.'" It doesn't matter. You are a Christ follower, and the question is…Are you going to follow him? Each of us is going to follow him according to the grace he has given us that is in Christ Jesus.
I just want to take a little second and be tender. This week I got together our residents. I love being with our residents and our fellows. They are good brothers and sisters. They are here for a year to be built into so they can be faithful where they are. I love just getting to know them a little bit, so I was going around and reminding myself of some facts of them, and the lovely Kaitlin Harris, who is the resident in our Shoreline team…
We call it residency because they aren't interns. These are people who we trust, and they are leading with us in ministry. This is a training and a teaching hospital. When we show up to minister to one another we don't show up alone. Just like when you're down there at Parkland. It's not the doctor who walks in the room; it's the doctor and the resident. People who have studied to show themselves approved who have been faithful, and now they're ready to get a little bit of lab in them. They're going to walk around with an older brother or sister who's going to teach them how to practice caring for people. Those are our residents and our fellows.
Kaitlin had an interesting fact about her, and it's this. She won't watch a movie unless she knows how it ends. There is no such thing as a spoiler alert for Kaitlin. Kaitlin's philosophy is that life has enough hard stuff in it. Why would I want to watch a movie that leaves me sad? Why would I want to watch a movie that doesn't end the way I want? I don't want to dwell on negative stories, so tell me the ending. I want to know it's happy, and then I'll sit through whatever happens in the first two hours because I know it's going to be okay.
Can I just give you a pro tip? You need to know the end of the movie. If you don't know the end of the movie you're not going to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. What you're going to do is you're going to find yourself wanting to fire the screenwriter and the director of your life. Some of you are right now going, "This is too much, for too long. There's my shield. I'm out." The problem is you're not paying attention.
This is so important. Let me just give you another little application here. When hard times come, people should lose faith in false doctrine, not in the true God. What I mean by false doctrine is this nonsense that has been taught for way too long that there is health, wealth, and prosperity for those who love Jesus, that as soon as you fall in love with Jesus your wife is going to get better looking, your kids are going to get better grades, and you're going to lose those nagging last 10 pounds. That's not what happens.
My wife, for the record, is getting better looking, but that's not the point. The point here is that God is going to call you to a life of faithfulness, and God's going to call you to a life that's going to be hard, but it's going to work out for you. You're going to be like Onesiphorus, a prosperous man or woman. Why? Because you're going to search for and find what God wants you to do, you're going to be faithful in it, you're not going to be ashamed of who your Savior is, and you're going to show yourself approved as a workman who rightly takes what has been entrusted to you and faithfully lives it out everywhere you go.
There's going to be a day when you stand before the Lord to give recompense and you are saved by grace through faith that he's going to say, "Not only are you saved through grace by faith, but then you took the grace I gave you that enables you to continue the ministry, and you were faithful with it. Well done! Here's your reward."
You are not going to get a reward if you had faithful attendance at church on Sunday. You're going to get a reward if you faithfully tend to your business. Every week what I'm doing is I'm putting a shield back in you, and I'm saying, "Come back with it next Sunday or on it. We'll meet you in the middle of the week and hold up traffic for about 15 minutes. We'll remember you and put you in the dirt, and we'll say, 'Well done!'"
I'm going to tell you, what happens here… This is what's so important here. The false doctrine is that Jesus is going to make your life better. Have you ever had folks say this? "Ever since I trusted Christ, things have gotten hard? They haven't gotten better." But it should get better, because the piece that gets better is this. Proverbs 22:4. It's not health, wealth, and prosperity but the reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, like Onesiphorus, who received his reward on that day, and honor. "There are a lot of folks in Asia who abandoned me, but not Onesiphorus. That brother did his job, and he had a life." Do you see it?
You don't want to be an individual who gets pushed away from the true gospel because somebody sold you a false bill of goods that God wants you to be healthy and wealthy. He wants you to be wise, and wise men pour out their lives as a drink offering. Wise men imitate Christ and share in the fellowship of his sufferings. Wise men and women take up their shield and they come back to the gathering of the saints with it or on it, never without it, because we are not cowards.
Do you know what I'm doing? I'm just teaching chapter 1 all over again, and he summarizes it in chapter 2, verse 1. This is really important. As I said, that idea of being strong. Let me just go back and touch on this, because this is important. As I said, if you don't know the end of the movie you're going to find yourself wanting to fire the screenwriter and the director.
It's what Peter did. Right? I'm going to take you really quickly to Matthew 16. Here's why I want to take you to Matthew 16. In Matthew 16 Peter is just a man. He thinks like a man. "Life can't have things I don't understand in it." Even though Jesus had been, in effect, teaching him, "Hey. Don't lean in your own understanding. Listen to me." God said, when he anointed his Son at the beginning of public ministry, "This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!" Don't listen to yourself and your own thinking.
So Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do you say that I am," and after everybody else speculated, to Peter he said, "I don't want to know what the world says about me. Who do you say that I am?" We know that Peter, right there in verse 16, said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said, "'Blessed are you…because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father, who is in heaven.'"
Can I just say this to you? There is not a single one of us who has ever said, "Jesus is the Savior; he's coming to the world to save sinners, and I need him, I love him, and I trust him," because we were smart. It was a gift, and God gave it to us. If you're here today without the gift, God wants to give it to you. You might say, "How do I know he gave it to me?"
The answer is you receive it. You just say, "Well, I'll be. All this anxiety, stress, turmoil, fear, and dissatisfaction in my life is because I've been trying to find health and wealth on my own, and riches, honor, and life are with him. Sin has separated me from him, and Jesus is the way back." So come all you who are weary and heavy-laden and he will give you rest. Now watch. Peter wasn't paying attention. He still wanted to write the movie.
He still wanted to direct, even the one he just said, "You're the Messiah. You are Mighty God, Eternal Father. You're the Prince of Peace." The Prince of Peace says, "I'm going to a cross because I have not yet accomplished what I need to so you can be reconciled to the Father. I'm here to show you the goodness of the Father, and the Father doesn't just wink at sin. The Father hates sin. So I, who am one with the Father and was with him in the beginning but wasn't him, am going to go to a cross. I'm going to do what you can't do. I'm going to pay a debt.
Since I don't have sin I can pay your debt. Since I'm eternal I can satisfy an eternally holy God. Trust in me. I'm going to be turned over to the scribes and the Pharisees, and they're going to crucify me, but on the third day I'm going to come back. This is going to be one of the worst parts of the movie, but trust the screenwriter."
What did Peter do? Well, here's what Peter did. "God forbid it, Lord!" Which is hilarious, when you think about it and deconstruct it. "I'm telling you my Lord and you perfect, loving God what to do." Jesus' response was gentle. Right? "Get behind Me, Satan!" Only a fool tries to rewrite God's screenplay. That's what Satan is doing. "God says this is good. Let me rewrite it."
I read a guy this week. I'm going to butcher the quote, but I read it, and it was really good. It was something along the lines of, "If God let me be as powerful as he is I would change many things, but if God let me be as wise as him I would change nothing." Isn't that great? That's why you're not going to hit Edit except when you write sin into a script that God didn't want sin in, you confess, you repent, and you get back on script, and you love him as your Director.
Jesus said, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me…" Whenever you are around anybody in your community or this world who says, "God can't want this, because it's hard," or, "God can't want this because it won't make you happy," I wouldn't say, "Get behind me, Satan," unless you're the Messiah because it tends to disrupt relationships, but you can communicate the general idea and say, "Listen. When you say that you're setting your mind on… I think you love me and you don't want me to experience hardship, but when I do what God wants me to do and I endure suffering with hope, that's not hardship. That's glory, and it's going to produce in me the perfection that Christ intends." That's why we counsel biblically.
Are you with me? Gang, you're going to go out there, and some of you are going to get beheaded. Some of you are going to lose limbs. Some of you are going to lose friends, more likely. Some of you are going to be called horrible names. Some of you are not going to advance in your career because you are going to come back with your shield or on it. I'm telling you, this is true about the grace of God.
Write this down, because I did for you. We don't just depend on Christ for our salvation but also for our service. I'm about to launch into verse 2 here. When it says be strong in the grace, you don't ever stand before God and go, "God, I am here and I am strong in my works," because works aren't going to work out well for you. Ephesians 2:8-9: "…by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
It's not your works! You're not going to stand before the Lord and be strong, like, "Look at how good I was, how faithful I was in my marriage, how I tithed, how I went to war." You're going to say, "I was weak. I was a sinner. I was frail. I tried to decrease so you might increase. There were great seasons of amazing faithfulness by your kindness, but I don't offer you perfection. I have nothing except Jesus." All right? You with me? "Be strong in the grace, knowing you have peace with God. You have salvation. But watch. You don't just depend on Christ for your salvation. This is the key, Timothy. You depend on Christ. You let him be strong for you in your service."
Some of us are out there like, "I'm going to be great for God this week." No. What you want to say is, "I'm going to abide with him, because apart from him I can do nothing." Our hope is that he will produce in us what he intends. Let me take you back, because I'm still in chapter 2, verse 1. What is chapter 2, verse 1? It's a summary of chapter 1.
So when I tell you to be strong, let's so back to chapter 1. Let's just read one more verse. In chapter 1, verse 12 we see, "For this reason I also suffer these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to protect what I have entrusted to Him until that day." I made a quick allusion of this. People who exposit/study/take their thinking from the Scripture… There is a lot of debate over the years over what Paul meant when he said God is able to guard what he has entrusted to him.
Does it mean he's not going to lose his salvation? Well, we know the Bible teaches that. You're not going to lose your salvation because you have put your faith in Jesus, and Jesus isn't going to sin, so you're good. But I think, and most guys think, is what he's talking about there is not what you and I see the first time we read it. He has told him is that his service will not be in vain.
What he has entrusted to him is that, "He has given me the ability to be what he wants me to be. One of the greatest assurances that you could do something is that God has you to do it. If God has called you to be his ambassador and to be strong, you don't have to be like me. You don't have to be like Paul; be Timothy. But be strong as Timothy.
Let no one look down, Timothy, on your youthfulness, but in your speech, your conduct, your faith, your life your purity… Show yourself an example to those who believe. Just be you as you follow Jesus and walk in moral virtue. And to your moral virtue, add knowledge. To your knowledge, add self-control. To your self-control, add perseverance. To your perseverance, add brotherly kindness. To your brotherly kindness, add love. Let's go!"
Just be you. God will let you do what he wants you to do. You're not going to be judged because you don't have the characteristics of Paul. You're going to be judged because you didn't use what God gave you. What did God give Paul? The gospel. What has God given you? The gospel. What has God given Paul? Today. What has he given you? Today. What has God given Paul? A spirit to be faithful with. What has God given you? A spirit to be faithful with. What has God given Paul? A personality to live out to the glory of God. What has God given you? A personality to live out to the glory of God.
You don't need to be anybody but you, but you need to go, "God has given this to me, and it's enough. I'm going to be strong in the grace of God." So watch this. To Timothy he says in verse 2, "The things which you have heard from me…" I want to say this again. Our gospel… We're not a secret society. That's what the Gnostics were.
Men are such suckers for this. Aren't we? Whenever somebody says, "Hey, man. We have some inside information. You want the varsity stuff? Come over here." We're like, "What's behind the velvet rope? What's behind the big curtain? I want to get in there." You aren't lacking anything. God has given you everything pertaining to life in godliness. If anybody tells you the secret stuff is in here, they are false teachers and they are liars.
Paul said, "You heard this, Timothy. I shouted it in front of everybody. And you be faithful with it." Then he goes on to say, " … entrust these to faithful people…" We're going to start talking about it next week. I'm going to spell it out for you. Okay? What faithful men are. The rest of the book I'm going to explain this so that you can teach others also.
Guys, God wants you and me. We are here to reproduce. The very first command that God gave… God blessed men, and he said, "I'm going to let you partner with me. Be fruitful and multiply other individuals." Now, watch. The law of creation is creatures reproduce after their kind. So here's the question. If the church was reproduced based on your Community Group… Remember what we say.
We're one church, several campuses, thousands of locations, shepherded and taught by you, where you are helping each other be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, with each of you uniquely being faithful as you go to war as a mom, a teacher, a student, a businessperson, faithfully representing the gospel and living with moral virtue and dignity, not letting immorality, impurity, or greed even be named among you as is proper among the saints. Because, less of you and more of him. You abide with him, and he's given you everything you need to be faithful this week. Are you being attentive?
You're going to reproduce what you are. I've said for years around here that the most important people at Watermark are the next 100 people who come. But I've never said that without saying it's because those people are so important that we invest so much in you, because you're the faithful men and women who are going to carry this forward.
Watch this. Jesus gave it to Paul. That's chapter 1. Chapter 2 is, "Now, Timothy. I gave it to you. Timothy, you give it to faithful people, and faithful people will teach others also. If it does it well, in 2021 there will be some yahoos in Dallas and Frisco and watching online who are going to have the same gospel, the same power, and the same opportunity to be just as prosperous as Onesiphorus. Even though there will be hardship, Timothy, their movie will end well." Amen?
Father, build my life. Help me to be more of what you want me to be. Help me to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Do not let us miss our calling and miss our task. Help us to take up our shield this week and be strong, faithful, and honorable in all we do. We want to take the things which we have heard from you in the presence of many witnesses…
It was declared all over today, Father, because somebody was faithful to grab it from timothy and give it to somebody who gave it to us, and you in your divine sovereignty preserved the Word so we could hear from Paul, just like Timothy, so we could be encouraged today and could teach the faithful individuals and our location could be a source of glory to you. Lord, build our lives so we might reproduce faithful ones. In Jesus' name, amen.