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The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

October 6, 2019 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Pentecost

Passage: 2 Timothy 1:1–1:14

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: 2 Timothy 1:1-14
Date: October 6th, 2019; Pentecost 17; Series C
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • This morning we are going to look at St. Paul’s letter to Timothy.  
  • Paul was Timothy’s mentor and teacher who trained him in the ministry.  
  • Paul sent this epistle (or letter) to Timothy while he was prison for preaching the gospel.  
  • Class is in session even while Paul is in jail.
  • Paul had some very important words to share with Timothy about the gospel and the faith that clings to it.  These words are also very important for us today.  
  • After his introduction, notice how Paul begins his letter.  He begins by thanking God whom he serves!  
  • Here he is locked up in prison, being treated like a criminal, for doing the work that God has given him to do – and he thanks him for it!  
  • What a great example of seeing beyond our current circumstances and focusing on God’s promise.  This is faith in the gospel.  
  • This is faith in the “sound words”, the “good deposit” that has been entrusted to Timothy.  
  • The same sound words and good deposit that has been entrusted to us.
  • So what is it exactly that has been entrusted to us?
  • Well, to use some of Paul’s words in this letter, “…the testimony about our Lord…who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought immortality to light through the gospel…”
  • That is the gospel message that has been handed down to us ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin.  The one that is entrusted to us.  The one we are to guard.  The one we are to keep pure.  It is the truth.  
  • Paul tells us that the gospel is the testimony of our Lord who saved us.  
  • What is it that God saved us from?  
  • Sin and its ultimate consequence - death.
  • Sin is our action of turning from God to go our own way.  
  • It is a rejection of his holiness, purity, and blessings.  It is a rejection of his life.
  • When we love God with all that we are - our relationship with our Creator is what it was always intended to be.  We live in harmony with God.  We live in peace.  
  • When we love God with all that we are - we live according to his will.  
  • We live according to his will and love and serve him above all things and love our neighbours as ourselves.  
  • This is how our Lord summarized God’s will for us.
  • When we do not do this – we sin.  
  • Our sin causes pain, sadness, and misery for our loved ones, for the world around us, and for ourselves.  
  • Sin makes us unholy and separates us from God and each other.  
  • The Good News, the “good deposit” is that God has saved us from sin.  
  • In the midst of the pain, sadness, misery, guilt, and separation that our sin brings us and causes others – God graciously forgives us for all of them.
  • And Paul makes it very clear that God has not saved us because of our works.  
  • The Good News does not operate like the world does.  
  • If you mess up in the world – you pay for it.  Maybe you have to do a bunch of nice things to make it up to the person you hurt so they forgive you.  Maybe you have to pay a fine or compensate someone if you have caused them harm.  Maybe you have to spend time in jail if you do something wrong.
  • But it doesn’t work that way with God.  
  • God’s forgiveness for you is because of his “own purpose and grace.”  It is because of his love for you.  
  • Christ who was crucified on the cross to pay for all of your sins has done everything that is necessary for you - and he assures you that the harm, the suffering, the guilt that sin causes is only temporary.
  • St. Paul says that God has saved us and called us to a holy calling.  
  • Not only are we saved from the consequences that our sin deserves – we are now free, enabled by God, to live our lives according to his will.    
  • We are no longer completely bound by sin, but can (and do!) live according to his will.
  • God has saved us from the ultimate consequence of sin which is death and eternal damnation.   
  • Not only did Jesus die for us by being nailed to a cross to pay for our sins – he also defeated death for all.  He “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” as Paul describes it.  
  • So, now, we look forward to the day when Christ will return for us and lead us to our eternal home.
  • Our eternal home where sin simply will not exist.  
  • Where the pain, sadness, and suffering that sin causes will only be a thing of the past.  
  • Where the separation that sin and death has caused between God, and each other, will be removed as we are reunited in heaven.
  • This is the precious Holy Gospel.  The sound words.  The good deposit.
  • And we receive the forgiveness, salvation, and life promised in the good deposit through God’s gift of faith.  
  • The faith that was given to us in our Baptism and is sustained and nourished as we receive his true body and true blood in Holy Communion.
  • The faith we receive as we hear God’s sound words of grace, his love, his mercy, his life through his Word read and preached.  
  • This happens in church.  
  • This happens in our homes as parents teach the faith to their children and grandchildren.  
  • This happens in personal devotions as we immerse ourselves in his Word and spend time in prayer.
  • The Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds to say, “Amen, I believe” when we hear the Good News and receive God’s gift of faith.
  • In his letter, Paul talks about the faith that was handed down to Timothy by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice.  What a wonderful thing this is!  
  • Who handed down the faith to you?  Who did God work through that you may hear the gospel and come to believe?  
  • It is good to reflect and thank God for them.    
  • And as Paul instructs Timothy, let him instruct us: let us not be ashamed to proclaim this Good News to the people in our lives.  Our friends and families.  Our children and grandchildren.  Our coworkers and those we meet throughout our day.  
  • How blessed we are to receive the sound words, the good deposit, the forgiveness and eternal life given through it.  Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

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