Here's what Paul says in the passage in 2 Timothy:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:7-10
What can we draw out of this about God?
- God gives His people a spirit
- God has power that enables us to endure suffering for the gospel
- God saves and calls people to a holy life
- God saves with/on purpose and by His own grace
- God gives His grace in Jesus
Wow, what a list!
I don't know if or how recently you've spent time in any of Paul's letters, but he has a beautiful habit of gospel-dropping in the midst of any exhortation, explanation, or encouragement. Last year while working through Colossians, I noticed this Pauline behavior. I love it! Paul cannot help himself because, as God's child, He's so defined and driven by the Lord and his relationship with Him. He explodes in doxology when he is in the middle of teaching, because it is the Lord and His goodness and grace that fuel the Christian toward and in the Christian life.
Paul almost shouts,
"Don't forget the glory of Christ, the power of God, the gift of the Spirit!
What does God have to do with the holy life? Absolutely everything! According to this passage, (which summarizes much of what the Bible says about God and His relationship to His people),
God is the origin of and the power supplier for salvation and the holy life.
When I was a young girl growing up in the church, my sinful heart heard believe in Jesus and be saved from your sins, then buckle down and work hard at being a good Christian. There's no doubt that in this passage and many others, Christians are called to live the holy life and given guidelines for doing such - but never, never, never divorced from a constant, vibrant, dependent connection with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, by the indwelling Holy Spirit. God doesn't save His people then wish them well as they attempt to live the holy life. No, no!
So what does He do?
Let's talk about that tomorrow, when we take a look at the second person in the Godhead, Jesus!
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