Keep the FaithWritten by 9th Avenue Church of Christ on Jul 17, 2016 in - No Comments
A. How many of us who love the Lord have still, at times, questioned our faith?
B. Paul wrote as some of his last words, “I have kept the faith.”
C. In 2 Timothy 4, we find 10 principles for how we, too, can keep the faith, even in times when we struggle.
A. He Mentored Those Who Were Younger
1. 1 Timothy 1:2
2. It’s not just “staying young.” It is investing in those who need it.
B. He Realized Judgment Was Coming
1. Jesus “is to judge the living and the dead.” See also 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Philippians 2:9-10
2. If you want to keep the faith, don’t just focus on the here and now; remember judgment.
C. He Stayed Faithful to the Word
1. “Preach the Word!” (2 Timothy 4:2); 2 Timothy 4:13
2. You cannot keep what you do not have. Run to the Bible when you are struggling.
D. He Recognized Danger
1. Some would turn away from the truth.
2. We do not keep the faith by avoiding problems. We must face them honestly.
E. He Pressed On to the End
1. “I have finished the race” (2 Timothy 4:7); 2 Timothy 4:5
2. A race…
a. Has a set ending point.
b. Has rules that help us stay focused.
F. He Looked to the Reward
1. The crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
2. Our “wreath” is imperishable!
G. He Surrounded Himself with Faithful People
1. Paul and Timothy. Paul and Silas. Paul and Barnabas. And so on. Paul was always surrounded by others who were faithful.
2. You cannot remain faithful as a “lone ranger Christian!”
H. He Restored a Relationship
1. Mark “is very useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11). This was a major point of reconciliation.
2. Not all was perfect (2 Timothy 4:14), but Paul was working toward restoring relationships.
I. He Forgave
1. “May it not be charged against them!” (2 Timothy 4:16)
2. We need to remember that we were forgiven, too (Ephesians 4:32).
J. He Realized the Presence of Christ
1. “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17).
2. When we are struggling, Christ is always there with us (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)
Conclusion: There is rest at the end of the row! Keep pressing forward, and keep the faith.