Imprisoned Criminal; Approved Workman

February 18, 2021

2 Timothy 2:8-18

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.


Today we will continue looking at the eight pictures of a faithful servant found in 2 Timothy 2:1-26. So far, we have looked at the FAITHFUL STEWARD, GOOD SOLDIER, LAWFUL ATHLETE and HARDWORKING FARMER. Today we will look at the IMPRISONED CRIMINAL and the APPROVED WORKMAN.

Obviously, Paul saw himself as the IMPRISONED CRIMINAL. This does not mean he had committed a crime, but that he was accused and imprisoned for possible crimes against the empire. Paul is saying that when you stand with King Jesus you may find yourself in trouble with those in authority. Paul was treated as a criminal for the sake of the gospel. Even though he was chained as a common criminal, Paul declares that the gospel cannot be chained. Even while in prison, Paul saw a fruitful harvest from preaching the gospel to his captors. The harsh reality is that sometimes standing for Jesus will cost you your life. A faithful servant must be willing to be imprisoned or even die for the cause of Christ. This is a stern warning and a challenge to Timothy and to us. A good read on this topic is Foxes Book of Martyrs. This book records the history of many people that have lost their lives for the sake of Christ. The most recent edition is dated November 2001.

The next picture is of the APPROVED WORKMAN. Here Paul is instructing Timothy to work at his craft which was studying and teaching the Word of God. Timothy is being instructed to be a diligent student and teacher of the Word of God. In other words, when it came to his ministry, Timothy was to be a skilled workman like an artisan. As part of his responsibilities, Timothy was to “rightly divide” the Word of truth. In his commentary on 2 Timothy, J.V. McGee writes, “The Bible is built according to a certain law and structure, which must be observed and obeyed as you go through the Word.” It is harmful to cherry pick verses here and there that agree with an opinion and ignore the larger truth. The Bible should be taught in its entirety. This admonition should not only be for church leaders but for every believer that is serious about their faith. Paul is telling Timothy and us to be diligent in our study of the Word of God, so that we might be a child of God who rightly divides the Word of truth. We have been blessed these past five years as Pastor Bob has taken us through the entire Word of God!

Questions to Ponder

Are you willing to go to prison or even die for the cause of Christ? Are you willing to be rejected by your family and friends for the cause of Christ? If you were ordered to deny Jesus or die, what would you do? Are you a diligent student of the Word of God? Do you like to pick and choose which verses from the Bible you agree with and reject those that you don’t like? How are you living out God’s Word today?

Prayer Points

  • Worship the Lord as the Slain Lamb, humble in heart, bowing low, being cruicified so that those who accepted Him would have life everlasting.
  • Thank Him for being the Perfect Sacrifice, thank Him for taking on the punishment we deserved so that we would have life in Him.
  • Pray for the reality of picking up our cross, for being persecuted because of our walk with Him. Pray for strength to bless and pray for those who persecute us.
  • Pray for a heart that is obedient to Him and His word. Pray that we read, hear and live out the Word of God.

Suggested Prayer
Holy Father,

I ask that You would enable us to be ones that abide in You and that Your Word would abide in us. Help your church to live out Your Word today. Holy Spirit lead and teach us. Cause us to be compelled by Your love oh God. I am asking that Your Words would overflow from our hearts. Give us words of wisdom, words of knowledge, and words that will sustain the weary and encourage them in their walk with You God. Cause Your love to overflow from us in both words and actions. I ask in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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