2 Timothy 1:6–8
2 Timothy 1:6–8, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;”
Paul wants to remind Timothy. Remembering is an important part of a living faith in the living God. Remembering is stressed by Paul and also by the apostle Peter. Let us look at some other verses where we are exhorted to remember.
1 Corinthians 15:1–4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Paul exhorts us to “keep in memory” the gospel.
2 Peter 1:13, “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;”
2 Peter 3:1, “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:”
Paul reminds Timothy to stir up the gift of God which Timothy received when Paul laid hands upon him. We have one time where Paul laid hands on Timothy and he received a spiritual gift, and another time when the presbytery laid hands on Timothy.
Paul tells Timothy to actively, aggressively work with the Holy Spirit. This is concentrated, focused agreement with God’s Spirit, with God’s Word. This is a picture of someone who read, studies, memorizes, meditates on the word, and then finds out how the word relates to his every day life situations and puts that word into practice in his life.
Obedience to God’s word is not passive. It is an active cooperation and agreement with the Holy Spirit. When the Lord speaks, we say, “Amen”. We agree with the word of God. If the word of God condemns us then we need to take the side of truth against our own self, and agree with God that we deserve judgment. Agree with the Lord. When we humble ourselves before the Lord in this manner we are in a position to receive grace and mercy from God.
Fear is a common problem in people’s lives. The bible has a lot to say about fear, confronting fear, overcoming fear. The bible even says that cowards will have their part in the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
We want to get as far away from cowardice and fear as we possibly can. The only way to do this is by standing on God’s unchanging word and making a decision that we are prepared to die for our commitment to God’s word and the truth.
The underlying fear that causes all other fears is the fear of death. When we face the fact of our own mortality head on and believe the gospel, which includes God raising Jesus Christ from the dead, then we will have the foundation to overcome all other fears that we may have.
Hebrews 2:15, “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
Fear is the opposite of faith. Those who allow fear to control their minds are not standing on the side of the truth. There is not a real love for the truth in the person who lives constantly with an attitude of cowardice and fear.
Being ashamed carries with it the idea that a person is unwilling to step out for the Lord and share the gospel because of an apprehension of the consequences which that might bring. This goes back to the attitude of cowardice and fear. Being ashamed of the gospel is more common than we realize. People instinctively realize that the gospel is in contradiction to the devilish wisdom and structure of the world system. They know when they share the gospel truthfully it will be offensive to people. It offends people because the gospel tells men they are sinner in need of a Savior. The message offends people on many different levels, and so those who are timid and afraid are ashamed to share this good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Notice Paul has suffered the consequences of preaching the gospel. He is now a prisoner in a Roman jail. Paul tells Timothy not to be ashamed of the Lord, and also don’t be ashamed of the apostle Paul who is in prison. Don’t be ashamed. Instead, we should be proud that Paul has suffered for the truth.
Paul urges Timothy instead to take part in this suffering and the afflictions of the gospel and do so in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.