2 Timothy 1

 

Scripture

2 Timothy 1:12
“…I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day”.

Observation

In his second pastoral epistle to Timothy, Paul reminds him of his rich spiritual heritage and gifting. Paul exhorts Timothy to be bold, fearless and unashamed of the testimony of Jesus Christ and of his association with Paul. In fact, Paul encourages Timothy to preach and testify in such a way that he would share in Paul’s suffering for the same gospel. While Paul calls attention to those who have deserted him, he honors Onesiphorus who supported and refreshed Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome.

Understanding

Paul declares that the ability to endure all of the trials and afflictions that he has suffered for the sake of the gospel is because he knows on whom he has believed. This ability does not come from his merely knowing about Jesus, but proceeds from an intimate and empowering knowledge of the person of Jesus; a knowledge born of personal experience and relationship with the risen Christ.  Most of the human race knows about Jesus. They can give a fairly accurate biography of Him – his birth, life, ministry, claims of divinity; His crucifixion and “supposed” resurrection and ascension. Most can also give a yeoman’s accounting of the gospel. Yet, because this understanding is merely intellectual knowledge; known but not believed in, it does not transform and redeem. Sadly, even a Christ-follower can exist at the superficial level of head knowledge about Jesus, the Bible, doctrine, theology and the like, but fail to experience the full power of that knowledge because it has yet to find its way into the heart and it fails to flow out of fellowship and koinonia with the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus pointed out the profound need for personal relationship with Him as the source of salvation and transformation when He declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Not the religion of Christianity; not the knowledge of dogma; not the adherence to legalism; but an abiding relationship with the person of Jesus Christ (John 15:5-6) that produces the fruit of worship, surrender, submission, obedience and love.

Life Application

Nothing will quench the transforming power of the word of God more than approaching my times in it as a matter of compulsion or duty. I need to remember that I can have a year’s calendar full of completed devotions yet fail to be changed as a result if I do not engage the word with the single most desire to know my Savior with ever increasing love, intimacy, gratitude and devotion. Even my teaching at Higher Learning cannot inspire and transform others unless it first impacts and then flows from my own deeper intimacy and knowledge of the One about whom I study and teach.

Daniel 11:32
“…the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
 
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-Gary Parker