While we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Jesus gave Himself to redeem and to purify a people that were His very own. Think of the different nationalities, and what sets them apart in our world. Aside from language differences – French, German Chinese – there are cultural difference, Native Americans, Japanese, Mexican. Jesus has redeemed a people for Himself that He wants to be different in language and customs. His people will speak the language of love and grace, and be characterized by a culture of eagerness to do good works. We will not only stand out among the nations because of our language and customs, we will be a testimony to the One Who redeemed us.
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.
Our faith and knowledge rests on hope, the hope of eternal life, but that hope rests on the promises of God Himself. There is no more sure foundation than God Himself. Amen.
At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.
Have you ever experienced this aloneness in a stressful situation? Maybe you are the only one who stands for honesty and integrity in the workplace while others mock you – God stands by you. Have you been in a gathering of Christian women and suddenly, the talk turns off color? You get up and leave – God stands by you. Persecuted for your faith? Misunderstood for an act of kindness? Blamed for something someone else did with no recourse to state your innocence? God stands by you. In other words, we are never alone. Our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel stands by us and gives us strength.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
ALL Scripture is God-breathed. From the doom and gloom of Isaiah, the dryness of the long lists of genealogies, and the symbolism in Revelation, to the beauty of the Psalms, the wisdom of Proverbs, and the grace and mercy in the Gospels: all of it is useful for life and godliness. An electrician doesn’t go to work without his tools and his training. So it should be for us: do not try and live a godly life without our equipment. This verse says that the Scriptures will equip us for every good work. Don’t show up for life unequipped.
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Having studied the subject of grace for a number of years, I know that it is the “undeserved, unearned love and friendship of God bestowed on the believer.” Verse 1, then, leaped off the page at me. As we consider this gift of God’s love and friendship, He wants us to be STRONG in it.” Lay down the traditions of men. Put aside our need to be right. Give up wanting our way, and, instead, please the saints, love them, though they don’t deserve it, be affectionately kind, though they haven’t earned it. LOVE as the Lord has loved us. be strong in the grace…
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,…
Sometimes we are called to suffer for the Gospel. It could be someone taunting or harassing us in the work place. It could be mocking or rejection in our families, or, like a missionary, literally suffering for the Gospel in a foreign land. The second part of this verse tells us we are not helpless in these situations. We are able to stand for the Gospel and withstand the suffering because we have the power of God. How did Paul suffer in prison, in chains, being beaten near to death? The power of God. When we are in the position of suffering for the sake of the Gospel, God grants us His power, and His strength to sustain us.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
In Chapter 2, Paul exhorts women to dress in “good deeds” rather than fashion, jewelry, and braided hair. Here, he exhorts those who are wealthy on earth, not to depend on their wealth for life, but instead, to be rich in good deeds – regarding their wealth as a means to help others, to relieve suffering, to be God’s hand of provision. In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves in heaven. Wealthy in good deeds, generously giving them away, what a great way to live this Christian life!
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.
I see a parade. Good deeds going on ahead, setting the stage, preparing the way. Good deeds trailing behind, not afterthoughts, but gifts, to those who watch or participate in the parade. Like a king whose royal train is made up of good deeds – much better than gold or jewels. Like the flowers at a wedding – good deeds surrounding the godly with beauty, peace and joy. Don’t we want to be known as persons whos lives are characterized by good deeds?
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Godliness here can be translated “spiritual training”.
Physical training involves commitment to daily exercise, and specific training for sports ability or improved health. Godliness or spiritual training is far superior to physical training because it has value in every aspect of our daily lives. So, as w train physically, we must also train spiritually- daily time in God’s Word, practicing the truths of our faith – love, forgiveness, grace, patience, godly wisdom. How sad for the Christian to be perfectly fit for physical things and to have spiritual muscles that are sagging and of no value.
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
Interesting…the mystery, the not-quite-graspable truth, is all about Christ – God in the flesh. In this Christ is the key to true godliness. Learning of Him through he Word of God, being taught by His Spirit, we mature in true godliness. Do we always do, or say, the right things? No, but as we live and respond to the truth we know in Christ Jesus, He fine tunes us for His purposes as His ambassadors in this world.