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Showing posts from October, 2011

On the gospel and suffering for the gospel

2 Timothy 2:1-7
2 Timothy 2:1-7
A prayer: 'Father God, help us to think about this passage with our mind and heart, and give us, we pray, that which you promise: true understanding. Amen'

Paul, in prison for his faith and facing imminent execution, writes to Timothy, his apprentice.

He gives Timothy this final charge. But it is not just to Timothy. It is to any minister of the gospel. It is to the church.

The Church has been entrusted with a message. It is a message about Jesus Christ (we read it in v8: that the Galilean carpenter was the eternal son of God, that he died and rose again; that he is Saviour and Lord); and it is that in Jesus we preach repentance from sins for forgiveness, new life, justice, hope and peace.

Paul, in these 2 little letters, urges Timothy to guard this message, to preach this message and – here – to pass on this message.

It is an open message: 'What you heard from me in the presence of many witnesses'. Nothing is hidden (cf the gnostics; secret cl…

on God's love for you

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
Paul gives thanks to God for the believers in Thessalonika He encourages them to stand firm And he prays that they and he might have ‘eternal encouragement’ and be strengthened in every good work and deed.
Why? Because they are loved by God. He says it twice in a very few verses. v13 ‘brothers and sisters loved by the Lord’ v16, ‘God our Father, who loved us’.
God is love. God created a world not because he needed to, but as an expression of his love. And God created you and he loves you. He loves you whether you love him or not. Indeed, we are told that the love of God is shown in this: that he loves us long before we loved him. John 3:16 Romans 5:8 That is very good news, because if God’s love for us was dependent on our love for God, we would be in trouble.
God loves you. You are not the product of blind forces of chance, or of physical regularities, which were catapulted into existence by a mindless big bang. You are not living in a universe which is a slave to the l…