How many people do you know who are bold witnesses? In my opinion we have too few who are willing to regularly and boldly share their faith. Why? Many reasons surface but a lack of reliance of the Holy Spirit, and the commands of God have to be leading causes. Paul witnessed boldly shortly after he was saved. You might say he did it before he fully acknowledged, and understood his called to be an apostle. He witnessed just because he had something to share. Do you and I have something to share? Then ask the Lord to give you boldness, opportunities, and obedience. You may become one who witnesses boldly.
1. Witness Boldly Inspired by Your . . Family.
A. The . . Emotion of A Witness Inspired by Family.
4 Remembering your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy, 5 clearly recalling your sincere faith . . . "
B. The . . Experience of A Witness Inspired by
Family. v 5b-6
". . . that first lived in your grandmother Lois, then in your mother Eunice, and that I am convinced is in you also. 6 Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands.
C. The . . Equipping of A Witness Inspired by Family.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love,
and sound judgment.
When Paul remembered Timothy's
family he did it with emotion. Timothy no doubt shed tears as he remembered
how he came to faith. Timothy was inspired by the sharing of his grandmother,
and mother. What a great legacy. How many generations precede you in your
experience in the faith? My great-grandfather, William Christopher, has
a prayer garden named for him on the grounds of a Baptist church. My grandfather,
James Christopher, and some friends started several churches in the St.,
Louis Association. My mother taught a Sunday school class for over 50 years.
My family experiences should lead me to be bold in sharing my faith. How
about you? All of us are equipped to share our faith boldly through the
gifting of God.
2. Witness Boldly Inspired by Your . . Friends.
A. Without . . Shame. v 8b & 12b
8 So don't be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner.. . . 12b But I
am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to
guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
B. With . . Suffering. v 8b & 12a
". . . Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, 12a and that is why I suffer these things.
C. With . . Servitude. v 9
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
D. With a . . Sublime Gospel. v 10 - 11
10 This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who
has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 For
this [gospel] I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher,
Can you believe some were
ashamed of Paul's imprisonment? Does Paul indicate some were even ashamed
of their testimony? We need to focus on verse twelve and discard fear or
shame. Paul knew from the beginning he would have to suffer for the faith.
If we face suffering we should not shrink from it, but depend upon the
Holy Spirit to watch over us We have the privilege of serving our Lord
because He saved, and called, us with a holy calling. This was through
His grace and not our works. All this calling took place before time began.
We are not an after thought of God, and this has become evident through
the work of Jesus. We have a sublime gospel to share.
3. Witness Boldly Inspired by Your . . Faith.
A. Inspired by Faith that Leads One to . . Hold
On. v 13
13 Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and
love that are in Christ Jesus.
B. Inspired by Faith that Leads One to Guard Through
the .. Holy Spirit. v 14
14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, that good thing entrusted to you.
C. Inspired by Faith that Leads One to not be a
.. Hindrance. v 15-18
15 This you know: all those in Asia have turned away from me, including Phygelus and
Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often
refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he
diligently searched for me and found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he obtain mercy from the
Lord on that day. And you know how much he ministered at Ephesus.
A growing faith inspires
a growing witness. What does a stagnate faith produce? An
inspired faith has holding power so it "holds on" to sound teaching about Jesus and the faith.
Paul tells us to guard this faith "through the Holy Spirit who lives in us." He is in us and so is
the faith we must share. A sad note comes as Paul shares about some who turned away from him
and became a hindrance. But then he shares about the man Onesiphorus who stands out in his
boldness. When the bold saints are listed let's be listed among them. Amen? Amen