2 Timothy 1:8-12
You can view this service on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/QAcJNtmLy1w
“Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me,” (2 Timothy 1:8).
The last time I spoke about being a living example of our great Lord and Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ. This morning, the one main question I would like to ask is, ‘What may cause us to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ?’ We will explore:
The uncertainty which may cause us to feel ashamed or embarrassed;
the food that will enable us to thrive or fail;
how can I be bold for Christ?
The uncertainty which may cause us to feel ashamed or embarrassed:
The word ashamed means to be embarrassed, to feel guilty about something. Have you ever been embarrassed about the Lord Jesus Christ? There are times in our lives when we’ve experienced it. When I was younger, at about 15, I was already taking Sunday School classes and preaching at youth camps. I began preaching just before I was 21. I remember being invited to preach at a day event in London. In the afternoon I was invited to an open-air outreach at Kew Gardens. I felt nervous at the thought of speaking out in the open, to non-believers, being judged. I was not ashamed but embarrassed to share in public. Giving out tracts was challenging. Then, I was called upon to speak to everyone. I spoke on John 3:16. Over the years I continued to speak at open-air missions, but it was never easy.
Paul is saying to Timothy, ‘Do not be ashamed of the testimony of Jesus Christ, wherever you are, in whatever circumstances. Paul says in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Paul, as soon as he was taken out of prison, began preaching again. If we were told not to preach, what would you do? Continue to preach God’s word because it is the power of God! Because we are in Christ, we have to stand up for God’s word. Paul says, “Do not be ashamed.”
One of the reasons we may be ashamed is our uncertain foundation. We are reminded in Isaiah 28:16, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.” We are built on the foundation of Christ, the solid rock, an unshakeable foundation. What an awesome foundation we have – built on Jesus Christ, the rock! Christ is the only one who has changed you and brought you to His salvation. We are saved by grace. We are living stones. How precious! He is the source of your life and my life. He is the strength of your life and mine.
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
How can we be ashamed! What a gospel, what a hope!
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
How blessed we are! We exercise our faith in Him. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16). It is important to stand up for Jesus whenever we can.
Food that will either cause our testimony to thrive or hinder
This is really dependent on how we are feeling and with whom we are mixing. The Corinthians were tainted by men’s philosophies and mixing it with the Word of God. They denied the Resurrection. We have to be very careful what we say. We must never deny the power and authority of God, that we do not nod in agreement to things which go against God’s Word. When we start mixing with people who want nothing to do with Christ, don’t be deceived.
What should we do to thrive? “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5).
If you want to live for Christ, to glorify Him, to be a living example, you have to abide in Christ, to live for Him, to stay close to Him, to feed upon His word. Abide in Him. “Taste of Him, Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:8).
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods,
So is my beloved among the sons.
I sat down in his shade with great delight,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
Song of Songs 2:3
This is where we feed, that we might not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
Matt Redmond: Abide in Me https://youtu.be/D1nuDXZrp9k
How can I be bold in Christ?
Because I am abiding in the One who will never let me go, who will never leave me or forsake me, who will never turn away from me, who is the same yesterday, today and forever. That love, that abiding, is based on the finished work of Calvary’s cross, when He took my sin, when He bore my sorrows, when He bore my shame, so that I will not be ashamed of His word.
He now says, ‘Stand firm in the liberty of the Word I have given you, of the gospel of Jesus Christ.’ Paul unashamedly says, “I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12). Very shortly, he was going to be beheaded. You can imagine him saying, unashamedly before Nero, ‘I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep the salvation that He has given to me, to keep the faith that He has given to me, and I will not let Him down.’ And unashamedly he would walk out before Nero, before all those, and he would say to Timothy, ‘Do not be ashamed of the testimony, do not be ashamed of me, do not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.’
Let me tell you something, we have got to stand up for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The world hates the Lord, and it is going to hate us. But the Word is the very power unto salvation to any who believe. If you believe and trust Him, it is the power that upholds you, it is the power that keeps you, it is the power that drives you, it is the power that is going to take you right up to glory.
His love will never let you go. Be assured, if you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, He is encouraging you to abide in Him, to trust in Him, to feed upon Him, to live in Him.