Lesson 2: Never Fear, Grace is Here! – II Timothy 1:7-12

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 2 from the sermon series "2 Timothy (Abbreviated and Updated, 2023)" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.


Paul was about to be executed in prison (2:9;4:6), and Timothy was fearful (1:7) he’d be next.  Paul told him not to have “the spirit of fear” caused by fear of punishment under the law (Rom.8:15) because Timothy was wondering if God was chastening Paul for trying to offer a sacrifice to please Jews (Acts 21:26), and that God might chasten him for any missteps he might make in his zeal.  But God only allowed that riot to break out (v.27-32) to stop Paul from offering it.

But God allowed him to be arrested because He knew it’d lead to furthering Christ in “all other places” (Phil.1:12,13). That’s why Paul calls himself “the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,” and not the prisoner of Christ for wanting to offer a sacrifice.  It took time to reach “all other places,” so instead of breaking Paul out of jail (cf.Acts 16:26), He left him there, “that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear” (IITim.4:16,17).

Paul told the Ephesians his imprisonment was “their glory” (Eph.3:13) because he was suffering it for them, so they shouldn’t “faint” because of it—as Timothy was doing.  His timidity (ICor.16:10) made it so he didn’t just fear going to jail under God’s chastening.  He feared it for any reason.  So Paul told him God has given us the spirit of “power” (IITim. 1:7), the power grace gives us (IICor.12:9,10) of knowing that even if we get locked up like Paul that God could use us more as prisoners than as free men—as He was using Paul.

If Timothy needed more incentive not to fear distresses like jail, Paul told him God’s given us the spirit of “love” (IITim. 1:7).  Love gives us the power to glory in tribulations (Rom. 5:2-8) when we remember His love was shed abroad in our “hearts” when He saved us, not in our lives by saving us from distresses. That love motivates us (IICor.5:14,15).

A “sound mind” (IITim.1:7) is a mind filled with the “sound

words” (v.13) given to Paul. It’s a mind that knows that when we’re distressed, God is not punishing us.  Timothy was “ashamed” (v.8) of the “testimony” of grace (Acts 20:24) because when he thought God was punishing Paul, he thought grace was doing something it said it wouldn’t do.

The Jews were saved with a holy calling, but according to their works.  If their works were good, God kept them out of captivity.  Our holy calling is “not according to our works” (IITim.1:9), “but according to His own purpose and grace.”  Part of that purpose was to teach angels to serve Him out of love (Eph.3:8-11), instead of fear of eternal fire (Mt.25:41).

That purpose was kept a secret until the “appearing” (IITim. 1:10) of Christ to Paul (Acts 9:17;26:16), who explained that God “abolished death” (IITim.1:10) for Gentiles, i.e., made it null and void, by having Christ die for them too (ITim.2:6).  Death will “end” later (ICor.15:24-26; Rev.20:14).  The gospel of the 12 brought this life and immortality to light for Jews, but the gospel “whereunto” Paul was made an apostle (IITim.1:11) brought it to light for Gentiles.

It was for that “cause” that Paul was unashamed to be in prison (IITim.1:12), and not for the cause of being ashamed of being chastened of God.  You see, he knew “who” he believed (v.12).  He believed the Lord when He said he was in prison for the Gentiles.  If he’d believed Moses instead, he’d be persuaded he was in prison for displeasing the Lord.  Believing the Lord also persuaded Paul He would “keep” his soul (cf.IPet.4:19).  The souls of kingdom saints were kept “in well doing,” i.e., in good works, for the law said Jews had to keep doing good works (Jo.8:31).  Paul couldn’t know that the Lord would keep his soul in well doing, for he hadn’t been doing well in wanting to offer that sacrifice.  But under grace, Paul was persuaded the Lord could keep his soul “against that day” (IITim.1:12), the day of the Rapture.  “Against” means in preparation for (cf.Esther 3:13,14).

A video of this sermon is available on YouTube: “Never Fear, Grace Is Here!” 2nd Timothy 1:7-12

Related Files: