The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 122 of 181
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stir ourselves while the day of opportunity lasts and make the most of the time remaining
to us!
The Lord will not be in any man's debt and He takes account of all loyal and practical
response to Him. Crowns and rewards are for faithful servants, those who have pleased
Him in their outworking of His truth and have been prepared to suffer if need be. "No
cross, no crown" expresses this truth. II Timothy is really going over the same ground
as Philippians, but with different illustrations. In both it is the response of the believer
that is stressed, with the possibility of a prize or crown at the end. Never let us forget that
prizes or crowns may be lost, but equally they may be won. We are deciding each day
which it is to be in our experience when we meet the Lord in resurrection face to face.
Let us sum up the teaching of these three illustrations:
THE GOOD SOLDIER.  Endurance. Non-entanglement.
THE DISCIPLINED ATHLETE.  The Crown. Keeping the rules.
THE PRACTICAL FARMER. Toil. Then first partaker of the fruits.
Verse 7 continues:
"Consider what I say; for the Lord shall give thee understanding in all things" (R.V.).
Noeo, translated `consider', means `to think over', `to grasp the meaning' and if
Timothy will do this, the promise is that the Lord will supply all needed understanding.
For our encouragement we should remember that if we ponder and apply God's truth to
our own lives, the Lord will increase our power of understanding which will blot out our
ignorance and conform our lives closer to His will.
Paul has not only brought before Timothy God's truth, but also what it would cost, if
faithfully lived and proclaimed.
There were `afflictions of the gospel' (1: 8). He would be called to suffer hardship
with the Apostle (2: 3) and in order to come triumphantly through these experiences,
Timothy's gaze is now directed to the risen Christ just as it is expressed in Heb. 12: 1-3.
So Paul goes on to say:
"Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my
gospel: wherein I suffer hardship unto bonds, as a malefactor; but the Word of God is
not bound" (II Tim. 2: 8, 9, R.V.).
The A.V. reads "Remember that Jesus Christ . . . . . was raised from the dead" as
though the Apostle was asking Timothy to remember the fact of His resurrection. There
was no need to ask Timothy to accept the truth that Christ had been raised from the dead.
As a genuine believer, he could not do otherwise. What the A.V. has missed is the
passive participle (egegermenon) which draws attention to a present experience of the
risen Lord. He is saying in effect, "look away from the present testing and hardship to
the risen One Who is all-sufficient for your needs". Paul was doing this very thing, for
although he was now being treated as a criminal, chained night and day in a Roman