Ashamed of the Gospel?

2 Timothy 1:8-10 ESV

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

The Gospel Message

Now these are Paul’s words written to Timothy, but we can still learn from them, for the message here is repeated for all of us in other passages of Scripture. None of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ should be ashamed of our Lord and of his gospel, for if we are, Jesus said, then he will be ashamed of us when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (Luke 9:26; cf. Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 4:16).

But we are to share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God. So, what is the gospel? It is that Jesus Christ, who is the only begotten Son of God, and is God, left his throne in heaven, emptied himself and took on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And when he was around the age of 30 he ministered to the people on the earth and he preached the gospel of our salvation. But he was hated and so those who hated him had him put to death on a cross when he was around age 33.

But it was the will of God that Jesus Christ should suffer and die on that cross, for when he did, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. For he died that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness. He died that we might live for him and no longer for ourselves. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God out of our lives of sin (to redeem us) so that we might now honor God with our lives.

For, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives, but free from slavery to sin and in walks of holiness and righteousness, in obedience to our Lord Jesus. Therefore, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, and if obedience to our Lord is not what we obey, it will lead to death, not to life eternal with our Lord.

[Philippians 2:5-11; Isaiah 53:1-12; 2 Corinthians 5:15,21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24; Romans 8:1-14]

Suffering for The Gospel

For Jesus Christ taught us that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin) and follow (obey) him. For, if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life with God. But if we are ashamed of him and of his words, then he will be ashamed of us when he returns to gather up his bride (Luke 9:23-26).

So, how and why will we suffer for the gospel by the power of God? Because we are living holy lives, separate (unlike, different) from the world, because God is conforming us to the likeness of Christ. And because we are sharing the truth of the gospel, and not the lies, and we are calling people to repentance (to turn from their sin) and to follow the Lord Jesus in obedience. And also because we are teaching what Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught regarding the conditions for our salvation, the same ones that Jesus taught (Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 7:21-23; John 6:35-58).

Hated and Persecuted, Jesus’ words: [Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-17; Jn 15:18-21]

Called to a Holy Calling

For Jesus Christ did not save us from our sins so that we could continue living in sin guilt free. He saved us and called us to a holy calling. And to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made to be like Jesus in character and in deed. And so we no longer live in sin like we did before we believed in Jesus Christ, but now we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For if we live according to the flesh, we will die in our sins.

Now, this was not a result of our own fleshly works. For we can do nothing in and of ourselves to be acceptable to God. We can do nothing in ourselves to earn or to deserve our own salvation. Our own fleshly works will not secure for us salvation from sin nor eternal life with God. For even the faith to believe in Jesus Christ comes from God and is gifted to us by God, and we can’t even come to faith in Christ unless God the Father first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness and of our need to repent of our sins and to walk in obedience to him (Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 12:1-2; John 6:44; Romans 1:18-32; Ephesians 4:17-24).

But this doesn’t mean that our faith or our salvation are absent of works. It is just that the works which are now required of us are the works of God which he prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. And it is his design and purpose for our lives that we should always be abounding in the work of the Lord. And we are also going to be judged by God by our works, as well, for if we do not obey him, we do not have eternal life in him.

Works Required of Us:
[Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 15:1-11; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17]

Judged by Our Works:
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Full Release

An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.

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