Be Strong in Grace

I. The 3rd command embraces the action, the means and the implementation.

A. The imperative action is: “be empowered.”

1. The Greek verb is ENDUNAMOO in the passive voice.

2. The aspects of “empowerment” are often referred to in Scripture.

a. Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Romans 4:20)
b. We must “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10)
c. Paul could “do all things through Christ” who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13)
1) 1 Timothy 1:12 -- And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
2) 2 Timothy 4:17 -- Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
d. Past heroes Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Hebrews 11:34)

B. The means of empowerment is “grace” (CHARIS) available “in Christ Jesus.”

1. Ephesians 4:7 -- But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

a. Romans 12:3 -- For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
b. 2 Corinthians 10:13 -- But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
c. Ephesians 4:16 -- From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

2. 1 Peter 4:10 -- As every man hath received [ a ] gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

3. Ephesians 3:7 -- Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

C. The ongoing implementation is two-fold.

1. That which you have heard commit to others.

a. The action word is PARATITHEMI – “set (place, stand) along side.”
1) Matthew 13:24 -- Another parable put he forth unto them, saying . .”
2) Mark 8:7 -- And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.
3) Acts 14:23 -- And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed
b. The “placing” before others assumes “being placed” and “having placed.”
1) 1 Timothy 1:18 -- This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee . . .“
2) 1 Peter 4:19 -- Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

2. The commitment must be to “faithful men.”

a. Proverbs 20:6 -- Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
b. Psalm 101:6 -- Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

D. The requirements for “faithful men” filter out many.

1. They must be alert and aware of God’s master plan.

a. Expecting and working toward Christ’s return (Matthew 24:42-46).
b. Understanding the scope and focus of God’s perspective (2 Peter 3).

2. They must be industrious and committed.

a. Conscious of the ultimate spiritual evaluation (Matthew 25:14-23)
b. Concerned with the “least” of biblical instructions (Matthew 5:19)

3. They must be faithful stewards (managers).

a. Faithful with the “mysteries” (1 Corinthians 4:2)
b. Faithful with the “grace” of God (1 Peter 4:10)

4. They must be exemplary family men.

a. Moses is recognized for his example (Hebrews 3:5)
b. Abraham is especially noted (Genesis 18:19; Galatians 3:6-9)
c. Elders (and deacons) are so required (1 Timothy 3:5, 12)

5. They must be able to teach others also.

a. Obvious requirement for leaders (Titus 1:7-9; 1 Timothy 3:2)
b. Awesome responsibility to assume (James 3:1)

II. There are important examples of human faithfulness to emulate.

A. We must “endure hardness” as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3-4).

1. There are “afflictions” in the gospel ministry (2 Timothy 1:8-9)

2. There is unjust “trouble” to be suffered (2 Timothy 2:9)

3. There is a necessity to “endure afflictions” in everything (2 Timothy 4:5)

4. There are the example of the prophets (James 5:10)

a. Ezekiel 2:7 -- And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear
b. Jeremiah 20:9 -- Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
c. Hebrews 11:32-39 -- And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets . . . Who through faith subdued kingdoms…Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, … others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:…trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)

B. There is the dedication (exclusion) to a task.

1. A soldier has one purpose – to please/obey his Commander.

a. Galatians 1:10 -- if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
b. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 -- ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.  (See also 1 Thessalonians 2:2-10)

2. A soldier does not “entangle” himself with “normal” life.

a. James 4:4 -- friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
b. Romans 8:8 -- So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

3. A soldier goes to fight a war.

a. 1 Timothy 1:18 -- by them (his charge) mightest war a good warfare
b. 1 Timothy 6:12 -- Fight the good fight of faith
c. Ephesians 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.

4. A soldier seeks to win the war.

a. Ephesians 6:13-18 – Prepares for battle with God’s armor
b. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – Seeks to destroy the “strongholds” of the enemy.

C. There is the example of the athlete who competes for victory.

1. 1 Corinthians 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.

2. 1 Corinthians 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.

a. Running for a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4)
b. Running for a crown of life (Revelation 2:10)
c. Running for a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)

D. There is the example of the farmer who works the field.

1. He works, but first must invest the seed he plants.

2. He works, but is the first one to taste the fruit of his labor.

III. There are important “considerations” (2 Timothy 2:7).

A. The soldier “endures hardness.”

1. He endures to please the One who “calls” him.

2. He fights with a single minded purpose.

3. He isolates/separates himself to be effective

4. He understands the possibility of injury or death.

B. The athlete strives contends.

1. He strives for a crown (recognition/reward)

2. He must be wiling to spend long hours in training before the event

3. He must be able to endure self-denial, often lonely, unappreciated effort.

4. He must abide by the “rules” or he loses.

C. The farmer works hard.

1. He must begin with the investment of his own seed.

2. He must understand the world of cultivation and patient expectation.

3. He must depend on God to provide the end product.

2. He will be the first one to realize the profit of his work.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 –English Standard Version

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

We have the divine power to destroy strongholds

We are commissioned to destroy arguments

We are expected to destroy arrogant opinions that flaunt the knowledge of God

We are required to take every thought captive to obey Christ

We should be ready to punish disobedience when we complete our own obedience.

2 Timothy


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