Paul has finished well [draft sermon notes]
Published June 22nd, 2022
2 Timothy 4:6-8
6 For u I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my v departure has come. 7 w I have fought the good fight, x I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is y laid up for me z the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, a the righteous judge, will award to me on b that Day, and not only to me but also to all c who have loved his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:6-8
6 Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἤδη σπένδομαι, καὶ ὁ καιρὸς τῆς // ἀναλύσεώς μου \\ ἐφέστηκεν. 7 τὸν // καλὸν ἀγῶνα \\ ἠγώνισμαι, τὸν δρόμον τετέλεκα, τὴν πίστιν τετήρηκα· 8 λοιπὸν ἀπόκειταί μοι ὁ τῆς δικαιοσύνης στέφανος, ὃν ἀποδώσει μοι ὁ κύριος ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ δίκαιος κριτής, οὐ μόνον δὲ ἐμοὶ ἀλλὰ καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ἠγαπηκόσι τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ.
Paul has finished well Intro : 'For' (v6): Paul announces his departure. It adds even more urgency to his charge to 'preach the word.' What does it mean to finish well. What is success in following Jesus? 1. Paul has kept the faith (v6-7) Drink offerings and their background in the Bible; why does Paul liken himself to one (cf Philippians 2.17)? Connection between 'waste', 'not being ashamed', and life in Jesus. Good fight/struggle; finished the race; kept the faith. What is 'success' in following Jesus? 2. Paul has a crown waiting for him (v8) The crown awaits all the Lord's faithful ones. Since he reigns, we share in his victory. 'That day' - is his return to judge the living and the dead, and reward his people with crowns. How is it that Paul (who was Saul) is so confident of this? Not that he knows he has 'done enough', but that his Lord has 'done enough', and he has spent himself for his Lord. He has endured to the end. God's glory . He shares his reign, his throne, his crown, with his people. FCF . We redefine success. H1. Increasing our own value and glory in obvious and overtly 'worldly' ways. H2. Achieving something tangible 'for' God; 'Christian' results are a proxy for our own assessment of ourselves. Rather than being spent in true service of Jesus. Person of Jesus . He models 'success'; to love God and neighbour even to extreme self-loss. Work of Jesus . His is ultimately the good struggle, and since he finished his race, we share in the victory. Already now we participate. Union with Jesus. A crown for those who have died with Jesus; if we endure, we will reign with him. Invitation . Come and die. Life in Christ is shown and proven by the constant, real-time, mini-death-to-selfs. Confrontation . Stop gathering up for yourself, instead spend yourself and be poured out. Consolation . If you are like a 'wasteful' drink offering, know that this is so precious to our Lord. And a crown awaits. Wrap up : What does it mean to finish well. What is success in following Jesus?