The Book of 2 Timothy
Does the Gospel change from person to person? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones dives deeper into what the Gospel is. In 2 Timothy 2:8, Paul instructs believers to follow “my Gospel.” Some have interpreted this to mean that we each have our own individual Gospel based off of our individual experiences. Yet, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows, this cannot be further from the truth — Paul is exhorting Timothy to hold tightly to the unchanging, true Gospel that Paul was preaching. What else is he saying in this passage? First, that it is the only Gospel. Second, this Gospel is to be remembered because it is the story and meaning of the story of Jesus the Christ. While some say that claiming to have exclusive truth is “narrow-minded,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides some reasons why Christians can rightly claim that this Gospel is true. First, if there was any other Gospel, the events that occurred in the life of Jesus would not have happened because they would not have been necessary! Second, Jesus is the only one to fulfill the prophecies from the Old Testament about the promised Savior. Third, Jesus is the only one who can really teach us about God since He is a person of the Trinity. Fourth, only Jesus could perform the task to accomplish what we need — our salvation, the defeat of our enemies, and a guide through life.
This sermon calls to those who have a tendency to feel down or discouraged about life. It is for those who look around at the world and wonder what good can possibly come from all the evil that seems to run so rampant today. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from 2 Timothy 1:10, and offers the believer some practical encouragement drawn from Paul’s letter. Timothy, like many believers today, had a tendency for being down, especially with the anticipated death of Paul, his beloved friend and mentor. Knowing this, Paul wrote this encouraging letter to Timothy. His remedy for Timothy’s sadness is to remind him of the gospel. It’s easy to think that things have only been going poorly in the world during this lifetime. However, this evil has been occurring since the beginning of time, and it’s crucial to remember that God has been acting from even before that time. The Christian’s hope and rest is in the gospel because God is in control of it all and through Christ who has cancelled out the effects of sin and death. Christians are those who have been made alive unto God, and thus, can look at this world knowing that there is a perfect world awaiting followers of Jesus upon their deaths. This is the hope that Paul imparted to Timothy and that Dr. Lloyd-Jones wants to give to the listener.
What is your approach to the hard and difficult things that come your way in life? Do you have peace when things are spiraling out of control? In this sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones draws encouragement from Paul’s life and resilience in the midst of difficult circumstances and takes the listener through how he or she can be at rest in the midst of difficult times. Paul underwent countless sufferings, and yet he was content and at rest in God. What accounts for Paul’s attitude? First, he had recognized the supreme value of the soul. What is this? It is a recognition that the soul will last forever and that there is an eternal reality we are living for. Second, he lived his life in view of what he called “that day,” the coming day of Judgment. Third, above all, Paul had a personal knowledge of Christ and the love of God. He knew that God loved him and would keep His promises to grow Paul in his Christ-likeness, even if that meant difficult circumstances on earth. Yet, Paul was at peace with that because he knew it was for his ultimate good. When you’re a Christian, you have this same confidence, too — you have nothing to fear, not even death. Repent today and become a child of God!
In his sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that the gospel will benefit anyone who believes in Jesus Christ— it is good news for all people. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that the Apostle Paul was a natural pessimist, and yet, he found hope through the gospel. He boldly proclaimed “I am not ashamed.” Scripture’s promises are not dependent upon a person’s temperament or tendencies; it has power for all. Many today hold to a stoic view of life and believe that all are born to die, but this view provides no hope for people. Dr. Lloyd-Jones contrasts this with the Christian view, using the real-life example of songwriter Horatio Spafford who penned the well-known hymn, “It is Well with My Soul.” Spafford wrote this hymn soon after the tragic drowning of his children and losing most of his wealth. Though all here on earth could be going horribly wrong, and though evil and its results seem to prevail, followers of Jesus have hope. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that this is not automatic — though salvation is received through faith alone, the Christian journey is one in which its followers must play an active part in living out the gospel. He closes by stating that Christianity has no comfort or consolation if one does not believe its truth. Paul’s comfort was deduced from his faith — repent from sins and believe the gospel today in faith.
As time has progressed and the world has become more secular, many charge that the Gospel is useless, outdated, and has failed despite being given several centuries to flourish and establish itself. In this sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers some of the criticisms of the Gospel and helps us understand how we can formulate a biblical answer that is intellectually and spiritually satisfying. The first difficulty we encounter is the definition of the Gospel— can it be defined? While many different people will offer to have their own “version” of the Gospel, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points us to Scripture and reminds us that Paul defined the Gospel right there. Second, many feel that the Gospel has failed. Yet, Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us that it has accomplished exactly what it was established to do: to reconcile people to God through faith in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for their sins. Third, some object that the Gospel is of no value because progress has left it far behind. Yet, he reminds us that the struggles of people today are no different than they were in the first century — Scripture is still incredibly relevant. So what is the Gospel? What is man’s authority? Does reason have limits? Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers these questions and points to why we as humans need divine revelation and why Scripture is the best answer to our problems today.
The Gospel is what enables living well in the midst of difficulty. In this sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones poses these questions: what is the Gospel, and how does it impact the Christian? Paul’s main principle in this passage is that everything must be examined, including our lives, in the context of the whole collection of Scripture. Just as a doctor would want to address the root cause of an issue instead of merely trying to fix the symptom, so too, the Christian must look to Scripture and see the roots of the sin and seek to weed it out instead of attempting to merely fix the outward manifestations of the issue. Our framework for understanding this depends on our view of life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones contrasts the biblical view with the unbiblical, which is based on the principle that everything is constantly in flux and that life is a random accident. In contrast, God’s plan has a purpose and is not based on blind chance — it provides hope and rest, and best accounts for the condition of the world today. For Christians, this provides the hope and foundation needed to face difficult times.
Have you been wrestling with some hard and deep questions about your life? “How can I be happy?” “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” In this sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles these questions and more from a Scriptural perspective. Here’s some good news! Your existence is not a result of random chance. It has a purpose, and God is in charge. Because of God’s revelation in the Bible, we know that man is different from animals because he was created with a soul. Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents some common views of man today, reminding us that man was created to do far more than eat, drink, and fulfill our lusts. Many today chase these activities in hopes that they can be made happy. Yet Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches that our happiness was never designed to be tied to our circumstances — we can find temporary pleasure, but we cannot find lasting happiness. The thing that our happiness is dependent upon is a relationship with God. Yet, our sin separates us from Him. What can be done about this? Nothing of our own accord — the Bible tells us that we cannot earn our way to God. Yet, He sent His sinless Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and rise from the dead so that all who put their faith in His sacrifice can be saved. This is how you can have peace with God — repent from your sin and believe today!
What role does Christianity take in your life? Is it a Sunday-only activity that helps you to meet other people? Do you take some of its points and mix it in with aspects from other worldviews? Or is it central to every aspect of your existence? As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains, many people think they can construct a worldview built from Christianity and other religions or ways of thought and still experience the hope that a follower of Christ has. But as Dr. Lloyd-Jones illustrates from 2 Timothy 1:12, you cannot have the benefits of Christianity without believing and following Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the Gospel and its importance for everyone. Jesus, the God-man, entered into time and became God in the flesh. In His living, He showed us how man is to live. In His sacrificial death and resurrection, He made a way for people to be made right with God and to have their sins forgiven. All that He claimed to be while alive was proven by His resurrection, showing that He is God and the Lord over all, even death. He established that death is not the end — He has conquered it. Friend, you cannot have this hope and confidence unless you are trusting in Jesus solely as your Savior from sin and following Him as your master. As the hymn states so beautifully, “What is our hope in life and death? Christ alone, Christ alone.” He alone can save and give us the hope we yearn for.
What would you give to have a confidence that stays the course regardless of if things are easy or difficult? Paul wrote 2 Timothy 1:12 as he was on the cusp of being executed. Yet, as Dr, Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches, Paul wrote confidently because he believed the Gospel he had written about. Many today try to extract the blessings of Christianity without committing fully to its doctrine, but Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us that in order to know the blessings of the Gospel we must believe its truth. And so, Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks, "Do you believe the message of Scripture?" The Gospel starts with God and His process of redemption established before the world began. Dr. Lloyd-Jones instructs us that the foundational truth, and what has been called the “watershed moment” of Christianity, is rooted in history — the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. By rising again, He fulfilled His promise to His disciples that He would live again, and by sending His Holy Spirit after His ascension, He again kept His promise that they would not be without a helper. This is important because it shows God’s purpose. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks again, “Is your life controlled by the fact that you believe in the purpose of God? Does the Gospel mean anything to you?” If not, you are living apart from its promises and on track to die without its hope. Repent and believe today, for today is the day of salvation!
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones opens this sermon reading from 2 Timothy 1:12. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, the Apostle writes from prison and explains his confidence in whom he has believed. Jumping from Paul’s example, Dr. Lloyd-Jones dives into the importance of the Gospel. Salvation is more than living morally and making good decisions. It is more than being a “Good Christian.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us that salvation is trusting in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for the payment of our sins. This is God’s plan for the redemption of men. For the natural man is corrupt. He is under the power of sin – the total pollution of it. Man’s very nature can’t help responding to sin, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says. On his own, he is unable to overcome his disposition. Good works offer no assurance. Even the great Christian figures like Paul, Martin Luther, and Charles Wesley did not rely on their works for salvation. No. It is impossible. But, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that there is a work that saves, but it is not of men. The only work that saves is God’s work – sending His Son for our redemption so we may live eternally.