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Not ashamed of the gospel

So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 2 Timothy 1:8-10 NLT

Paul from the text impresses upon Timothy the glory of the gospel and the responsibility he has to be faithful to it in his ministry. He challenges Timothy to not be ashamed of the gospel and “to tell others about our Lord.” We cannot be passive about our faith and relationship with God. We are to talk about who God is in our lives and what He has done for us through Christ. For Paul to be faithful to God means enduring suffering. His imprisonment is due to his preaching of the gospel. He received the gift of faith and the salvation that God alone provides. Paul describes himself not as a prisoner of the Roman emperor, but as the Lord’s prisoner. “When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles” (Ephesians 3:1). He regarded his situation in a lonely prison cell as part of God’s purpose for him, and was living up to what he had said earlier in his letter to the Romans. ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28). Others had deserted him (v. 15) so he pleads with Timothy not to do the same by being ashamed of associating with him as a prisoner for the gospel. We might think that if we have been truly born of the Holy Spirit that we have no need to be reminded not to be ashamed of testifying for Christ, or ashamed of the gospel of Christ or ashamed of the people of Christ. But it does happen. Peter denied Christ and his gospel not once, but three times! Phygelus and Hermogenes and others were ashamed to be associated with God’s apostle and deserted the faith (2 Timothy 1:15). And there was Demas who ‘loved this world’ more than he loved Christ (2 Timothy 4:10). The Lord Jesus Christ gave this warning when He said: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). We should be proud to declare the gospel for by its power “God saved us and called us to live a holy life” (2 Timothy 1:9).


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