Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hold Fast and Endure

2 Tim 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

I used to be a scuba diver off the shores of Southern California. I saw one kelp forest of seaweed that appeared as trees rising from the ocean floor to the surface. The kelp (seaweed), was secured by a "holdfast" a gripping root that attached itself to a rock. We are to hold fast to the Rock that is Jesus, the Living word as we hold fast to his teachings. One of the greatest teachers after Jesus, was the apostle Paul. Did Paul teach the word of Jesus? Yes, by revelation from the Holy Spirit who teaches what he hears of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.

Baptized in the Holy Spirit

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Revelation knowledge

Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
Gal 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

Gal 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
Gal 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

None of us walked with Jesus, yet like Paul, we have the scriptures and the revelation knowledge of the Holy Spirit.

Hold fast to these sound teachings, in faith and love which you have in Christ Jesus.

Endure Hardness

2 Tim 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Be strong, not referring to physical strength. Men sometimes work out to be strong in flesh, this is not the strength that Paul wants for Timothy. This strength will not help in ministry. We need to be strong in His Holy Spirit through the grace that is in Jesus.

2 Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Cor 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

2 Tim 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Paul was facing death; earlier he spoke of holding fast to sound doctrine.

2 Tim 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Hold onto these things, the word of truth, the testimonies and share them, teach them to faithful men, so that they will be able to teach others also. Share the good news, make disciples, so that they will make disciples. This is the way the church is built. Jesus Christ is the foundation and all fit together on this foundation.

1 Cor 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1 Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1 Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

2 Tim 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

True strength is inward. Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Soldiers fight battles, the problem with enduring hardness is that we sometimes become hard. We need to keep soft hearts as we battle in the spirit. Look to Jesus for strength.

Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Heb 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

2 Tim 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

A soldier is under command and he must submit in obedience. He is trained to submit for the good of the army. The army of God submits to God as commander, Jesus as the head of the church under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Satan has an army too, whose purpose is to destroy you and the work of God. Our obedience to God keeps us, for in ourselves we have no power to defeat our spiritual opponent. We war in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, against principalities and powers of darkness.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

2 Tim 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

In the Olympic games, the players must abide by the rules, or they will be disqualified. They strive for a crown or a gold medal. They want to train to endure and surpass their opponents.

1 Cor 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Paul uses an allegory of an athlete running a race, we are amidst many other people who are running, but maybe they are running after the wrong goals. Only the one who runs the course well wins the prize. Salvation and eternal life is our prize, and that one at a tme.

1 Cor 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

An athlete must train hard to be the best. They may receive a corruptible crown; but we receive an incorruptible crown.

1 Cor 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

We keep our behavior under the Lord's control, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. If our life is corrupt our preaching is of no value, and we are in danger of missing God's salvation. More of Jesus, less of us. Allow no darkness for what fellowship has darkness with light?

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Are you a disciple who has given up all for the high calling in Christ Jesus? Or are you setting your affections on worldly things and fleshly comforts? Keep your eyes on Jesus. Look to him, hear his voice and follow. We are in spiritual warfare and must remain strong in faith.

Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

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