If you're just popping in on this November series, you can catch up here.
Today we'll consider what Paul has to say about the Holy Spirit in the passage we've been looking at 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 does Paul say here about the Spirit?
- The Spirit is given to us by God
- The Spirit is one of power, love, and self-discipline
- Since we have the Spirit, we should not be ashamed to testify about the Lord
From the list, it does not seem like he has as much to say about the Spirit as he does about God the Father and Jesus. What he says is dense, though.
When I was thinking about what verses to begin this series, I was going to start with the one that really caught my eye. Then I noticed the "So" at the beginning of the sentence, indicating that there was something that came before that was important to understanding Paul's reasoning. SO, what did I find there? I found verse 7, that many of you probably know, about the Spirit.
Not only does God give us grace in Christ Jesus;
He also gives us His Spirit!
At this point, I think about how I used to think about this verse when it was oft repeated in youth group and I dwelt on my (really quite petty) teen-age problems. I took it and ran with it in this way: God gave me this Spirit, I better get my act together and live more powerfully, be more loving, and more self-disciplined. I am so good at making myself the center of things!
But the Lord gives His Spirit that we might find all of these things in Him. He puts His Spirit in our hearts to strengthen us to believe the Good News, to repent of our sin, and to testify about the Lord.
We are weak. God knows it. Paul reminds Timothy that God has given him a Spirit that will enable him to do what He was called to do. Sunday, as I was reading my study guide on 2 Timonthy 4, Kay Arthur made this comment,
"Whatever [God] would do for Paul, He will do for you!"
God strengthened Paul, God strengthened Timothy, God strengthens all the saints (all who believe and trust in Him) by giving them His Spirit! You wanna live the holy life? I'll bet you the farm that we're gonna have to learn more about this Spirit to make sure we can. I'm looking forward to doing that with you!
For today, I leave you to ponder a verse that popped into my head early Monday morning:
You do not have, because you do not ask God.
Lord, we ask you to help us understand your Word. We ask You to show us how to live in a way that honors You, not in our own strength, but by your Spirit. We ask You to remind us, by your Spirit, to ASK YOU! We forget You so easily, yet you are our life, hope, and joy. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.