Sunday School Material 4-3-11: Remembering Jesus Christ
(II Timothy 2:8-15; 4/3/11)
Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that believers should endure hardship with a focus on the greater good. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to endure our hardships with a focus on the greater good.
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Read II Timothy 2:8-10
I. Christ, The Source of Encouragement. In this section of the Sunday School material Paul wants Timothy to remember that Jesus was raised from the dead according to Paul's gospel.
Paul is suffering, but he is happy about the gospel of Jesus Christ going forward and people are getting saved.
- The death and resurrection of Jesus. Notice in vs. 8 of this section of the Sunday School material that Jesus died and rose.
It is so important to remember that Jesus died, and He died to pay for our sins. And then He rose. His resurrection assures us that we can trust the other promises that He made.
Let's make sure we are saved and living by the promises of God. That is to say, make sure we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith. Make sure we are loving God and others as we love our selves with the confidence that God will bless our obedience.
- Suffering for the greater good. Notice in vss. 9-10 of the Sunday School material that Paul endured his suffering with a focus on how people would be saved by the word of God (i.e., the word was free, even though Paul was bound).
We can choose to endure our suffering with a focus on the greater good, or we can simply focus on how our terrible our suffering is. Let's choose to focus on the greater good, in our times of suffering.
This is often very difficult to do. It is hard to think about anything other than pain, when we are in pain. However, with prayerful study, obedience, and Christian support, we can move in the right direction.
Read II Timothy 2:11-13
II. Christ, The Point of Identification. Paul is mindful of how suffering with Christ leads to victory with Him in this section of the Sunday School material.
However, denying Him will lead to bad things for us. Thank God, Christ is so faithful that He cannot deny Himself.
- Suffering for Christ with hope. Notice in vss. 11-12a of the Sunday School material the idea of dying with Christ means that one will live with Him. The general principle is that if we suffer for Him, we will be blessed.
Suffering for Christ is not aimless or worthless suffering. As we go through whatever we go through, we should first of all make sure it is for Christ and not our own sins. All suffering is not for Christ's sake.
And second, we should remind ourselves that suffering has a purpose. Let's work on suffering for Christ with the hope of being blessed.
- Avoid the denial and punishment of the Lord. Notice in vss. 12b-13 of the Sunday School material that for us to deny the Lord leads to His denying us.
It seems that the first mention deals with denying Him as savior all together, in which case one is not saved at all (i.e., one is denied salvation).
The second mention seems to deal with a Christian who has suffered a temporary failure in being faithful to the Lord – the Christian sinned.
In this case, Jesus is so faithful that He will not deny Himself – once we are saved, we are in the body of Christ, and Christ cannot deny Himself. However, we can yet be punished without being denied.
Let's make sure we are saved and striving to live according to God's will. We should do this, instead of trying to figure out how much sin we can get away with.
After all that God has done for us, we should strive to love Him and others as we love ourselves, out of pure gratitude for what He has already done for us.
Read II Timothy 2:14-15
III. Christ, The Focus of Scripture. Timothy is to remind his listeners of the things previously mentioned in this section of the Sunday School material.
He is to charge them to avoid worthless conversations. They are to focus on rightly dividing the word of truth.
- Reminding one another. Notice in vs. 14 that Timothy is to keep reminding the people of the sound doctrine that is mentioned above.
Just because the Pastor preaches a sermon once doesn't mean that he can't preach again. Just because a lesson is taught once doesn't mean that it cannot be taught again.
Think about how many times we hear the same song sung over and over again. The purpose of the church is not to simply give religious entertainment with a new show every week.
We are to build one another up in the knowledge of God's word and obedience to it. The word is not changing; therefore, the message is not changing.
Let's work on reminding one another of the message and how it relates to what we are going through today.
- Avoiding worthless conversation. Notice in vss. 14-15 of the Sunday School material that Timothy is to work on helping the people of God avoid worthless conversations.
There are still those who like to have long irrelevant conversations that have so little to do with the church's forward movement towards being the godly evangelizing and edifying movement that God is calling her to be.
Let's work on keeping the word of God well above the worthless conversations that tempt is to deviate from God's calling on our lives.
Tradition and history are great to the extent that they help us do what God is calling us to do today. When they become obstacles then they need to be revisited and often given less attention.
Doing our best in righting dividing the word of truth is essential to this application. We need to know what is based on the truth and what is not.
Conclusion: Let's work on enduring our hardships with a focus on the greater good. God has much for those who obey His will.
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