The source of courage for the one doing spiritual duty, the source of courage to be uncompromising and faithful to the task is found in these following attributes of God.
Number one, the preservation power of God…the preservation power of God. Go to verse 13. “I command you, Paul says to Timothy,” and he’s commanding him in verse 14 to do his duty, to keep his commission without spot and unrebukable. “I’m commanding you to fulfill your ministry, do your spiritual duty, use your spiritual gift, do what God wants you to do, obey the service God’s called you to whether that specific service to which Timothy was called or extended to any of us here today,the idea is the same for all of us, we are commanded to do what God has called us to do.” And then to help us be motivated, it says you’re doing it in the sight of God who makes all things alive. And there is the first characteristic of God mentioned in the text. What God do we serve? The God who makes all things alive. Anything that lives, lives because God gave it life. God is life. God is the source of life.
In fact, we could sum it up in four statements. When it says “God who makes all things alive,” it refers to God as creator of all things. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God…what?…created the heavens and the earth.” God is creator. In fact, He is called the creator. In Romans 1:25 it says, “Men worship the creature more than the creator.” God is the creator of all life. He makes all things live.
Secondly, He is the sustainer of all life. Whatever He makes to live, He keeps alive. He sustains all things. It says in Acts 17, “In Him we live and move and have our existence.” God has generated life and God progenerates life and God gives continuity to life, all life is the reflection of God’s power. In Psalm 36 and verse 6 we have the Old Testament simply saying this, and it’s as direct as it can be, “O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast.” God sustains life.
Thirdly, the implication of the phrase “who makes all things alive” is that God is also the protector of His own. In a unique sense He preserves the life of those who are His own. In Psalm 37, I think it’s verse 28, it says, “For the Lord loves justice and forsakes not His saints, they are preserved forever.”God gives life to all. God sustains life for all. And God uniquely preserves His own forever. In fact, in that wonderful passage in Matthew 10 verses 29 to 31, the Lord says to the disciples, “If God takes care of the sparrows that hop and numbers the hairs of your head, don’t you know you’re of much more value than they are?” In other words, God is intimately concerned with His own.
And because of these concepts we can approach ministry without a fear of danger. In other words, translating it into the spiritual dimension, God gave you life, Timothy, God will sustain your life, Timothy and God will preserve your life unto the fulfillment of His plan. And that’s the only way to live and do your spiritual duty. If you’re concerned with self preservation and reputation and comfort and all of that and those are your preoccupying factors,then you’re going to give yourself away to those things. But if you realize your life is expendable and if you’re saying to yourself, “I’m not going to fear what men can do unto me, God gave me life, God sustains my life, He promises to preserve my life, what do I have to fear?” Timothy, go at it.
But there’s a fourth principle and I believe it is really the salient primary interpretive key to this phrase. “God who makes all things alive” primarily refers not to God as creator, God as sustainer or God as preserver of His own, but God as raiser of the dead. The primary point here is that it is God who raises the dead. And so what Paul is saying to Timothy, in effect, is you know that the worst that can happen to you is that you’ll die and that’s the best that can happen to you. Paul put it this way in Philippians 1, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is…what?…gain.”
So he says I’m caught in a place between two things, both that are good, one to stay here with you and one that’s far better to go and be with Christ. And you see, that’s why he was able to give his life away in spiritual duty because he had absolutely no thought for his life. You remember on his way to Jerusalem, he kept being warned by everyone that he was going to get into chains and bonds and so forth and that he might lose his life and Paul’s response in Acts 20, “None of these things move me.”
I am not motivated by fear of death. I am not motivated by fear of incarceration or imprisonment. Those things don’t move me, because he says, Acts 20, “I do not consider my life dear to myself.” He wasn’t living for the physical. He was living for the eternal. That’s the whole point. The worst that could ever happen to the servant of the Lord is that he would be killed. And if he was killed, the Lord would raise him from the dead. The Lord would instantaneously make him alive because absent from the body is what? Present with the Lord as Philippians 1 said, Paul said, “Far better to depart and be with Christ…to depart and be with Christ.”
We look, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, we look for that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. In fact, we groan for that experience. Job saw it. The worms destroy this body yet in my flesh shall I see God. The Psalmist David saw it, “Thou will not allow Thine holy one to see corruptionbut will show him the path of life.” Daniel said there will be a time when many shall rise from the dead unto the resurrection of those that are good and unto the resurrection of damnation…very much like John 5. Abraham was willing to plunge the knife into the heart of Isaac because he believed in the God who raises the dead, Hebrews 11:17 to 19. You see, those servants of God who could give their lives away in spiritual duty without fear were that way because they worshiped the God who raised the dead. You understand that? It’s your perspective on God that dictates how you’re going to live your life. We receive courage to continue in our spiritual duty when we realize the preservation power of God. God may preserve my life in life or He may preserve my life through death, either way I’m okay. And so the solemn call to spiritual duty is a call that demands we understand that God is the God who makes all things alive. God is the God who can raise even the dead.
And a strong reason why we know the resurrection seems to be the strongest implication of this phrase is because of the following illustration in verse 13. We are not only in the sight of God fulfilling our commission, but the sight of Christ Jesus who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a noble…I might add fearless…testimony in the face of death. Jesus, you know the story, was brought before Pilate, right? And the Jews had accused Him of being a king,claiming to be a king. He says He’s a king. He says He’s a king. He’s an insurrectionist. He’s saying He is the Messiah and we reject that. He’s saying He’s a king. He’s not only a threat to Judaism, He’s a threat to the Roman political system. He’s a revolutionary. They accused Him of being a king.
He could have gone in before Pilate when Pilate said to Him, “Are you a king?” could have said, “Of course I’m not a king, take a look at Me, do I look like a king? I’m not a king.” He could have backed off, said nothing, denied the truth. But He didn’t. You want to see what He did? Look at Luke 23. In Luke 23:1 it says, “The whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him.” Here’s the accusation, “We found this fellow perverting the nation.” That’s a lie. The nation was already perverted. He was straightening it out. “And forbidding to give tribute to Caesar,” that’s a lie. He said, “Render to Caesar…what?…the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” “Saying that He Himself is Christ…that means Messiah…a king.” That was true. He did say He was the Messiah and He did say He was a king.
Pilate asked him saying, here it is, it’s the crux of it, “Are You the king of the Jews? He answered him and said, You said it, what you said is true, is that means. That’s exactly right, Pilate. I am a king.”
Look at John chapter 18, starting at verse 33 you get an even more detailed account. “Pilate entered the judgment hall again and called Jesus and said to Him,” John 18:33, “Are You the king of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Are you saying this thing of yourself or did others tell it you of Me?” In other words, is this your question, Pilate, or are you a parrot? Are you just mimicking what you’ve heard? “Pilate answered, Am I a Jew?” In other words, what do I care? This isn’t my question…I’m no Jew. “Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You unto me, what have You done? Jesus said, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world then would My servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now is My kingdom not from here. Pilate therefore said to Him, Are You a king then? Jesus answered, You said it, I’m a king; to this end was I born, for this cause came I into the world that I should bear witness unto the truth, everyone that is of the truth hears My voice.”
That is a noble confession. Jesus said I’m the Messiah and I’m the king. And He knew it would cost Him His what? His life. And that’s exactly the point that Paul wants to make to Timothy. Timothy, I’m commanding you before the God who raises the dead to look at the model of Jesus who when faced with His very life made a noble confession. In other words, He never equivocated as to what He ought to say in the face of imminent danger and death to himself because He committed Himself to the God who raises the dead. Jesus knew He would rise, did He not? He said earlier in His ministry at the very outset, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll build it again.” He knew He would rise from the dead. He committed Himself, it says 1 Peter 2:23, He committed Himself to the God who discerns and judges and acts righteously. He knew God would raise Him from the dead. That’s the whole point. He confessed openly the truth of His Lordship. He confessed openly the truth of His Messiahship. He confessed openly the truth of His sovereignauthority though He knew it would cost His life because He trusted the God of resurrection. And I love the fact that Revelation 1:5 and I think it’s also in chapter 3 verse 14 calls Jesus “the faithful witness…the faithful witness.” Unflinching courage in the face of persecution, unflinching courage in the face of opposition, unflinching courage in the face of difficulty, unflinching courage in the face of temptation to compromise is based upon the fact that you believe the preserving power belongs to God. I will speak the truth. I will live the truth. I will say the truth. I will not equivocate and I will commit myself to the care of the God who will sustain my in life or who will sustain through death.
Now if you can approach life like that, then you can give your life away…then you can give your life away. In the words of Jesus, the one who gives his life away finds it. The one who tries to hold onto his life loses it. That’s the heart of it. I can tell you with all of the warnings and all of the things and it hasn’t been as frequent with me as it has with some other people and the concern about threats on your life and hostility and people reacting and all of that, in my life that has never given me one fleeting second of anxiety. And I think the bottom line reason is simply because my life is in the hands of God and He is preserving my life and no one can touch me until He sovereignly allows that. And the worst that could happen would be He’dtake me to heaven and make me all that He ever designed for me to be in His grace.
Now when you view your spiritual duty like that, you get on with it. And you don’t spend all your time trying to pad your chair, because you’re not going to be in it very long.
Categories: Studiu biblic