Pt 7 Power Love and A Sound Mind

Pt 7 Power Love and A Sound Mind

Power, Love and a Sound Mind

2 Timothy 1:6–14

6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Introduction

2nd Timothy is one of the four Epistles written by the Apostle Paul that are distinct from every other letter written in the New Testament. These four letters (1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus & Philemon) are Pastoral letters written to individuals.

This is their form and function, they are Personal, and they are Pastoral.

We contrast these four Epistles with the NINE letters that are before these four, and the NINE letters that come after these four; They are all Doctrinal and they are corporate.

The first nine given to Gentile Christian Churches, to teach them the truth of their faith and how they should live.

The last nine (including the book of Revelation) are given distinctly to the Hebrew Christian Churches, to teach them the truth of their messiah and to prepare them to endure the trials to come.

These four pastoral letters are centrally located between the two pillars of letters to the Gentile and Hebrew Churches, and are for the benefit of PERSONAL INSTRUCTION.

Now, because they are known as “Pastoral Epistles”, it does not mean they are written for the benefit of pastors alone. Certainly there is a role there, yet the personal application specifically to men is difficult to ignore.

In this second letter Paul identifies the Character of the Holy Spirit manifesting itself in four distinct ways, and we will conclude our consideration of the Spirit of God with this sermon today.

The four ways have one negative aspect; telling What the Spirit is NOT, and three positive aspects; Stating with clarity what he is.

The verse we will have as our focus in verse 7;

 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

PRAY

 

NOT OF FEAR

 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Timothy was a young man relatively speaking, indeed anyone under the age of 50 were considered unworthy of being given the title of teacher in the Ancient Greek world. 

The Philosopher Plato, in his volume simply titled The Republic, none would be considered experienced in the maters of life and wisdom under the age of 50 years. 

This was not necessarily the case in the Hebrew culture, but Timothy was a Greek and not a Jew, well, at least half Greek (Acts 16:1) and because that half was his father, he was treated as a gentile.

As such, he is likely to have had some anxiety to formally enter into the ministry to which he was called.

There are times when we have a natural fear of attending to those things the Lord has called us to attend to and that fear most frequently has nothing to do with any physical harm. It often has more to do with the anxieties of being accepted, being appreciated and loved but sometimes even fear of being opposed, denied and scorned.

Timothy was called to be a Pastor and indeed was historically believed to be the first Pastor of the Church of Ephesus. Paul, in his first letter to him states;

1 Timothy 4:12–13

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

In other words, be an example of a man who is growing in his relationship with the Lord and living in the likeness of him as one who is CALLED to attend to that which God has called him.

And now we see in this second letter Paul testifies of the work of the Spirit in his life to comfort him.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We are NOT given that spirit. 

We are living in trying times today, times that would truly test our own faith, times when we have uncertainty the world over and the information we receive seems relentless to keep us in a state of fear.

Fear is the mechanism through which governments and authorities have worked to keep people in line for centuries, but fear is NOT the tool that the Lord uses to have us obey him. God uses love, mercy and grace to keep us close and to desire to remain faithful.

The Lord shows us each and every day that we can trust him, that his is worthy of our faith and devotion.

Just when we deserve to be chastised, he shows grace, and when we are chastised by the Lord he shows MERCY, giving to us much less than our iniquities deserve. 

Not so this evil world, the world would keep us in a perpetual state of fear if it could and it would do so on every front possible by creating as many divisions as possible, divisions religiously, divisions philosophically, devisions morally. We have divisions of allegiances, medical divisions, political divisions, economic divisions. They desire to keep us on a war footing, a pandemic footing and they have separated the just system of law to suit ONLY a particular side of the political spectrum.

Protests seem to be the norm these days, so frequent are they that fewer and fewer people are paying any attention. 

We endured the greatest trials of our faith during the medical tyranny of our governments, and such trials truly did sift the wheat from the chaff in many christian circles. Those who trusted the Lord were separated from those who demonstrated their wilful ignorance of the Bible by maintaining a separated state writhing their own flocks.

Pastors around the world not only failed the calm the hearts of their congregations, but precipitated the fear through an out of control and unqualified coercion to receive what has turned out to be the most lethal experimental treatment in history. 

All through both fear and coercion.

But that is NOT OF GOD beloved.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We have received the Spirit of the Lord.

Power is given us to resist the whiles of the devil and he will flee from us ( )

Love is given us to never separate one from another for the free choices of conscience we would make ( ).

A sound mind is given us that we might discern between good and evil.

But all of this hinges firstly on if we are reading our bibles, spending time daily in prayer and expressing our faith by trusting Jesus for the basic things we are called to trust him for.

Think to yourself of what area of your life you are NOT trusting Jesus with, and right now each of you no doubt have one that has just come to mind, and hear you will find your main source of fear.

No matter what it is, if this is the one area at this present time you are withhold your trust in the Lord for, that is you current source of fear. Beloved, I will promise you that that fear will NEVER leave you until you repent and trust in the Lord both faithfully and obediently.

I do not know what that main source of fear is, and I won’t speculate, but what I do know is that if that is what has first come to mind and you have not just tried to quash it and replace it with something else less testing, it is that very item that is holding you back from growing in the Lord.

God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

But we can certainly entertain fear through a lack of faith and by our own free will

 

BUT OF POWER

 For God hath not given us the spirit of fearbut of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

“Power”, a word that has all the nature of force and might and strength. 

When we think of the word “Power”, we never think of it as anything but that which it is. 

There is Authority, Energy, Ability and Confidence in that word that is so clearly demonstrated in the Bible.

Firstly;

There is Authority in the word power, as much as there is strength, both physical and mental strength. 

Jesus spoke of such power when he sent his disciples out for the sake of the Gospel.

Matthew 10:1

1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

This “Power” was not given to all people, but to those who represent the Lord. The seven sons of Sceva had no such power even though they tried to mimic the people of God in casting out evil spirits.

 Turn in your Bible to Acts 19

Acts 19:13–16

13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Secondly;

There is energy in the word Power, an enduring energy that is able to accomplish that which would not be accomplished without the power to do so.

Paul had an energy to endure the most difficult of trials. Turn to 2 Cor 11:22

2 Corinthians 11:22–30

22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

Thirdly;

There is ability in the word Power, an ability that distinguishes itself from our own ability. We are not able, but the spirit of the Lord is able. 

John 15:5

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Jesus was indeed the perfect example of such truth, he testified time and again that he too could do nothing without the father.

Turn to

John 5:19

19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 5:30

30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Even those who received a miracle of the Lord acknowledged that only those of God had the power to do anything;

John 9:32–33

32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

As the Apostle John might say, “ye are of God little children, and have the ability to move mountains

And Finally;

There is confidence in the word Power, a confidence that is to the confusion of those who have no hope.

1 Corinthians 2:1–5

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Beloved, the Gospel itself is written of as being “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom 1:16)

It is truly easier of a camel to go through the literal eye of a literal needle, then it is for a rich man to enter into eternal life, and yet Jesus said of this very thing;

Matthew 19:26

26…. With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

There is NO fear, when those whom God has saved KNOW THIS.

 

AND OF LOVE

 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

No man can know what it is to love another who has never received the love of God through the Spirit of God that abides in him.

This is a bold claim to make and yet it is demonstrably true.

Who is it that has the ability to perfectly love someone that has never been the recipient of the Love of Christ that saved his soul?

The love of the natural man is completely distinct from the Love of God through the Spirit of God. It was that which we had seen in 1 Corinthians 13, the so-called love chapter.

This love is KIND, its not puffed up, its not prideful, does not seek for its own benefit, is not easily provoked, does not spend the time thinking evil of others, it does not rejoice…you know what, lets turn there.

1 Corinthians 13:4–7

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 

No man can love this way if it were not for the Spirit of God in him. 

We spoke of this last time, but I would like again to remind you of that which should be developing in you if you are a changed person, if you are born again.

First, love is LONG SUFFERINGCharity suffereth long

In other words, it endures against those who demonstrate the opposite of itself. 

The expression of love is NOT dependant on the behaviour of the recipient, and the greatest testimony of that is Jesus Christ.

He loved the very man driving the nails into his wrists and heals. He loved them with perfect love. He is LOVE, and if he abides in you, then that is the love you are to have to all others. It is a love that is expressed as kindness, Charity suffereth long, and is kind.

Secondly, it cannot manifest itself in envy. charity envieth not;

The covetous nature of the envious leads to hatred and not to love. 

Those who love as the Lord loves, do not envy others because they have all God has given them to enjoy. Envy is a slight on God’s provision, it says God has not given to me all that is good for me, God has withheld GOOD from me and so I envy.

Paul wrote from a prison cell the greatest letter of joy in all his writings, to the Philippians the wrote;

Philippians 4:11–13

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

To Timothy he wrote;

1 Timothy 6:6–8

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Beloved, what do you lack from God that you would commit the sin of envy by expressing such a lack of love?

Thirdly, it does not manifest itself by boasting & pride charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up

Those who post every achievement on Instagram and pin it in every post for the express purpose of demonstrating some superiority or deserving of blessing, do not demonstrate love for others, but self love. 

These are those who lust after accolades but congratulate no-one. Their conversations are dotted with “I’s”, and unless they are able to speak of themselves, they are bored and see the time spent with you as unenjoyable. 

Love simply does not manifest itself this way. It does not ‘vaunt itself’ it is not ‘puffed up

Fourth, Love Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

These are key. Love is not made evident by bad behaviour, it has its focus on the comfort of others and is acutely aware of being deliberately provocative. If your conversations are employed to draw someone into an argument, this is bad behaviour.

Likewise, it does not manifest itself in selfishness, it’s not all about YOU. 

This is probably the greatest problem with the modern church, people come ONLY to get a fix for themselves rather than to be a blessing to others. 

They sit there waiting for people to come up to THEM and say hello, but they won’t leave their seats for anyone. They sit their resolute expecting surely someone will see me and talk to meyet they will not move but to finally turn on their heal, having expressed no love to any other themselves, and say, “my, what an unloving church”.

These are provoked easily and as a result continue to think evil of others.

More relationships have been destroyed because people think they can know the thoughts and motives of others, than of any actual harm ever done to them. It is amazing how many people think they are psychoanalysts or mind readers or both. 

They think themselves qualified to judge the motives of those they are charged to love, 

Paul wrote of the saying;

1 Corinthians 4:3–4

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

Lastly, love does not rejoice in evil, but it does rejoice in the truth, Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 

This is the evidence of the Spirit given you concerning Love. 

It is one that develops all the more as you realise the extent to which you have been forgiven, and that in spite of all your sin, God will not cast you off.

The more you love him, the more you will love. 

AND OF A SOUND MIND

 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A sound mind has clarity, it thinks along the lines of that with is demonstrably true, it does not speculate, it is not irrational, it is humble and acutely aware of its own nature and tendencies.

A sound mind is not one filled with anxiety and fear. 

And so hear we find ourselves somewhat back where we began.

 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but …. of a sound mind.

Fear takes away the peace of man, the heart finds itself shaken by a leaf blown in the windand the notion of death that might come upon those unconverted souls would almost frighten there. 

But that is not those who have the Spirit of God in them, they have been freed from the fear of death and hell and can think soberly now of life. 

With the greatest obstacle now dealt with; death being now taken from the greatest defeat to the greatest victory, with the final enemy of man becoming a welcome friend, we can now go on and live our lives with purpose, attending to that which we are called to do.

Death is no longer an obstacle, for like the apostle, 

12 …We know whom we have believed, and are persuaded that he is able to keep that which we have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

It is incredible to me knowing that God is the one who has the charge of my life. 

This gives me now the soundness of mind to do that which is right and true, the clarity with which life can now be lived is such a relief, and that only because the Spirit that now resides in me has taken my fear and replaced it with “power, and love and a sound mind”.

Courage I have found, has nothing to do with acting in spite of fear, but everything to do with confidence and complete trust that we are doing God’s will.

We logically conclude that if God says this in his word, then our obedience to it leaves the responsibility for the outcome with HIM. 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God (Rom 8:28)

By contrast however, An unsound, fearful mind lives ONLY for the moment.

Like the animals that perish, those of an unsound mind will REACT rather than RESPOND.

They think only of the immediate relief of their trials, they desire IMMEDIATE gratifications of life, and think little of the hereafter. 

  • They feel hungry, they eat; 
  • they feel anxious, they fret; 
  • they feel angry, they strike out. 

There is little composure and they are are driven by-and-large but their emotions.

This is not a “sound mind”, but one that is troubled.

Like Peter, they see the turbulent seas around them and fear, lest the billows of the waves find them sinking under without hope of air.

  • Business men will not turn off their phones for the risk of missing a single opportunity to comfort their troubled hearts with money. 
  • Students fear their final score, the prospect of a life doomed to mediocrity troubles their minds. 
  • Wives fear not having a child, 
  • mothers fear losing one, and fathers worry they are unworthy of a good report. 

These troubles are natural enough, and all of them have their place in the order of life, each day is sufficient for the trouble therewith”, but Jesus commanded we are not to worry.

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The Spirit has given to us all a “sound mind” with the ability to correct a troubled heart.

When those anxieties come, when the fears of the troubles of a given day assails you, take advantage of the sound mind God has given you, and convince the heart of what God has promised.

 The peace he gives is one that passes all understanding. It is a comfort. But there are times we need to remind our hearts of this when afflictions come.

While the world has set itself adrift in the turbulent sea of wayfaring men who, not only, don’t know where they are going, but have no rudder to direct them. They are blown about wherever the wind would take them and cant even pull down the mainsail to slow themselves from being cast on rocks; BUT those who have the Spirit of God in them coast on the water safe in ship more sturdy than the ark which saved but eight souls only, and we have The Captain of our salvation at the helm.

When will you trust Jesus?

Christian, when will you live by faith? 

Have you jumped from that ship of faith and set yourself adrift? Can you see the rocks yet?

Many wait till they hit the rocks. I did. Not before I got saved, after I got saved. I was a faithless Christian still trying to live life on my own terms. 

I could have and should have known better. God got my attention when my lowly craft hit rocks and splintered into a thousand shattered pieces. BUT IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE THAT WAY.

Christian, tell me, when will your life of faith begin?

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind(2 TIM 1:7)

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