Jesus told us that if we are ashamed of him in this life, he will be ashamed of us when he comes again. How does a person live an unashamed life in Christ when so many in the world seek to intimidate us?
(2 Tim. 1:8-12)
A. So what would it take for you to be like Peter? Before you answer that, let me tell what I mean. Peter had a way for speaking first and boldly. He spoke from his heart with great conviction in what he believed. But the night that Jesus walked out to the garden for his last night of prayer, that scene we often remember, Jesus spoke to the group (Read Mark 14:26-31). I love Peter. I love his faith, his conviction, his great desire to do what is right. But we know what happened that night. (Read Mark 14:66-72)
B. So what would it take for you to be like Peter? Would it take the threat of punishment or death for you to deny Jesus as your Lord? Some sell Jesus out for money, others for power, others for instant gratification of some type of sin. This is a powerful question. For it demands an honest answer. For many of us like Peter would be quick to say, “Even of all others deny you, Lord I never will!” Yet, our actions have proved that many of us have in some form.
C. Now, what if we spent some time thinking not about past failures, but present and future victories? It is not that we don’t or even won’t stumble, but let’s focus on what it means to live a life unashamed.
I. Unashamed of Jesus or His Testimony
A. Paul says so passionately to Timothy, “Don’t be ashamed of, or to, the testimony of our Lord.” Timothy had a fearful nature, a non-controversial nature, but one that was filled with deep emotions. For many people, our deep emotions can also lead us to live in shame and guilt. What Paul is calling Timothy to do is to NOT go there. Don’t live in shame and guilt. That is not the spirit of God at work.
B. “But I am sinful?” “I have failed Jesus so often.” But Paul is not talking about your past. Paul takes Timothy to his present. DON’T be ashamed of the testimony of Jesus.
C. Timothy role was that of a preacher of the Gospel message, but that role in the church came at a price. With Paul as an example, living out your faith could put you in jail. Don’t worry about the effect preaching has, remember the one about whom you preach.
D. Too often you and I forget. We forget what Jesus has done for us. Listen again to our text (2 Tim. 1:8-11). Paul is reaching out to us through Timothy. You have I have been given a “holy calling.” This “holy calling/life” is not based upon our holiness, but upon the holiness of Jesus. The whole point of the good news, the gospel message is that Jesus came to this earth and abolished death in order that we might have life. That calling is what drives me. That calling brought me to the point of preaching the good news.
E. I want you to take away from this text the reason why you are here, why you believe what you believe, why you do what you do. It is not because you are simply a good person. It is not because you are a part of the family religion. Paul says, you are who you are because Jesus reached out from heaven and claimed you as his own. He came down to this earth to remove the barrier between you and God. Having abolished death, Jesus gave you life – eternal life.
F. Doesn’t that make you want live an unashamed life? I am much more bold when I remember how loved I am than when I live in shame, guilt and fear. I can face whatever this life throws at me, even prison if I have to, before I would want to walk away from the one who abolished death and gave life.
II. Paul’s Testimony
A. If you want to live an unashamed life, look to a person who has walked that road and given you an example to follow. Paul did that for Timothy and for us. Just as Paul exhorted Timothy to not be ashamed, he, himself is not ashamed of Jesus.
B. Listen to his words (Verse 12)
C. Paul places all his trust in whom he has come to know and believe. The great news is not that Paul knows Christ or Timothy knows Christ, but that YOU know Christ.
D. Jesus is not one we know intellectually. Jesus is not one we simply know historically. Jesus, Paul says, is one whom we know and believe because Jesus is ABLE. I put my faith and trust in one who is able. Paul triumphantly states, “I know him!” Paul met Jesus on the Damascus road and has never looked away. Paul knew Jesus as his Lord, as his Savior, as his God. Paul knew Jesus as his teacher, his master, the one who brought him from death to life. Paul knew Jesus as the one who never left him even when people did. Yes, Paul says, “I know whom I have believed.” Do you know this Jesus? Do you know the same Lord, Savior, God, teacher, master, and deliverer?
E. Jesus is able. Paul wants us to know that Jesus is able. He is able to keep the deposit until he comes again. The interesting thing is Paul doesn’t say what deposit or who deposited it. It could be one of two things:
1. His Deposit – Jesus gifted Paul, Timothy, and us. For Paul, that gift was the proclamation of the Good News. Paul could be saying that he knows Jesus is able to keep that proclamation going no matter what happens in life.
2. My Deposit – my life, my soul, my hope for eternal life. I have entrusted my afterlife and this life with Jesus and I know that He is able to keep me in his hands.
F. Either way we come to this conclusion, Paul doesn’t lack faith in the ability of Jesus to keep the deposit of both his ministry and his soul until the Day when Jesus comes again.
A. I look forward to the second of Christ. I wait for that Day with great expectations. I hope Jesus will come again in my lifetime. I would love to see with these eyes the one who is eternal, immortal and dominate over all things. I pray, “Lord, come quickly.” Yes, this life has very sad aspects and many people have turned away from Jesus.
B. BUT I am convinced, I am persuaded, I confident that the one in whom I trust is able to keep that which has been entrusted until he is ready to receive me. How about you? Do you trust him to the end? Don’t be ashamed!