Sermons

What’s the Thing?–2 timothy 3

As Shaun continues the series from Paul’s letters to Timothy, he shares how Paul addresses how Timothy can address the opposition of false teachers, reiterating to him that their message comes from flaws in character and that it is leading people astray, in good part because it is all centered around them. Paul presents Timothy with encouragement to retain an orientation in keeping with his spiritual history–one rooted in the voice of God spoken through the scriptures.

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What Actually Helps — 2 Timothy 2:14-26

Shaun continues the series on 2 Timothy as Paul transitions from encouraging Timothy to a look at the work ahead. Again the problem of heretical church leaders is in focus, but Paul’s instructions to Timothy draw attention to the core problem (that the false teaching shrinks the Gospel message) and how to avoid a few all-too-easy pitfalls when opposing it.

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Once More on Discouragement–2 Timothy 2: 8-13

Shaun wraps up the sub-series on discouragement with a look at Paul’s culminating discussion on the topic, which used what was likely a hymn known to Timothy, pointing out that while our denial of Jesus is obviously problematic, the final word is still always God’s enduring faithfulness.

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When the Going Gets Tough — 2 Timothy 2:1-7

Continuing in 2 Timothy, Shaun looks at the encouragement that Paul sends to Timothy. Yes, sometimes the going gets tough and the tough are already tired out, but through God’s generous grace, we can persevere for the Kingdom.


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For the Discouraged–2 Timothy 1:1-18

With apologies, the recording system failed as the sermon was a minute or two in. Below is a brief outline of Shaun’s start to a 2 Timothy sermon.

Intro/background: Timothy in Ephesus
–from 1 Timothy, we learn that the Ephesian church was struggling with some errant elders and with strong opposing cultural pressures
–from 2 Tim 1:8, Timothy might have been feeling shame (regarding Paul in prison or general cultural distinctiveness)
–from 2 Corinthians 11, we know that Paul feels “anxiety for the churches”; Timothy might well have been feeling that pastoral weight
–does Timothy want to walk away?
–the Christian life is, indeed, one with strain, opposition, and demands; belief and obedience are hard

When discouragement is a problem, what is the solution?
1. Paul reminds Timothy of the solidarity he has
–vv3-5 solidarity with his persevering family
–vv12-18 solidarity with Paul and his suffering
–intervening verses: the most profound solidarity he has is with the fullness of the Trinity
–so ultimately, the answer to discouragement is the presence of God

2. How do we work this truth into our lives?
a. v6 fan into flame the gift of God (contextually, “the gift of God” is the Holy Spirit)
–in your life, find that ember of where the SpiritĀ is working; put effort into *that* rather than trying to deal with the entire weight of your discouragement

b. v8 do not *be* (not “feel”) ashamed
–Paul and Jesus were not exactly in positions of honor, so association with them would not have been easy in that culture
–things in Christianity look different than the priorities of the world
–v12 there will be “the day” that the suffering ends, and we are given the means to endure in the mean time

c. Follow the pattern, example, and instructions of Paul
–keep obeying God’s commands even if you don’t “feel” it
–obedience is not a constraint on living; it is more like being instructed in the steps of a dance: it’s learning how to move through our life

Conclusion: so if you are discouraged, look to the example of Paul’s exhortation to Timothy and see some of the ways to reach out and feel how the Trinitarian God is right there with us.

Paul Wept — Acts 20:31-32

Max Harris preaches on how Paul – whom we often caricature as being purely intellectual – was really both intellectual and emotion. He highlights several passages that take on new light when you read them to mine both meaning and emotion. (It’s OK for men to weep, even if you are English or Midwestern.)


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Life in the Trinity – 2 Corinthians 13:11-14

How is This a Good Thing?–John 16:4-15

Shaun looks at two ways in which Jesus explains the benefit of his departure to the Father and the sending of the Spirit: the Spirit’s universal conviction and the Spirit’s universal guidance.

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Following the Signs — 1 Corinthians 10:1-21

Shaun concludes the series on the Lord’s Supper with a look at how it serves renew the covenant relationship we have with God.


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Suffering and Sacrament–Luke 22: 14-23

Shaun expands upon the significance of last week’s sermon topic of God’s nearness with a look at Jesus’ nearness to us and solidarity with us particularly in both ordinary and extraordinary suffering, noting how the Lord’s supper provides us with regular rehearsal of God’s faithfulness in and through suffering.

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