Falling in Love with God
Bible Study Lesson and Devotional #13: 2nd Timothy Chapter One
2nd Timothy 1:9 "Call to Holy Living"
Form: Personal Letter (Epistle)
From: Apostle Paul
Date: 67 A.D.
Story: The Apostle Paul writes to encourage and embolden young Timothy.
Lesson: Vs. 9 “God calls us to Holy Living”
In verse 9 Paul introduces (8) concepts for Timothy to consider: (1) Salvation, (2) Efficacious Call, (3) Holy Living, (4) Human inability, (5) God’s Sovereign Will, (6) Grace, (7) Union with Christ, (8) Foreordination.
Just a point of order: Some may ask why we are being so meticulous and scrupulous in our study through 2nd Timothy. This hearkens back to the Psalmist who said:
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2 NIV
Thus, we want to approach the Word of God in our study more as a meditation than a textbook that is read to pass a test or receive a degree. There is no hurry (we have all eternity) to learn the ways of the Lord and for all eternity we will never run out of our desire to know Him more:
“Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me. Let them bring me to Your holy mountain, and to the place where You dwell” (Psalm 43:3 BSB).
Here we will look at God’s Effectual Call for Us to Holy Living
1. So far, we have learned that God effectively called each believer to a “safe harbor” of salvation. We learned the we were saved from the wrath of God, we are being saved from the sinfulness of our old nature, and we look forward to being saved from the corruption of this world when we, “pass on to the other side.” We learned that this rescue operation was brought into being by the exclusive supernatural work of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We further learned that our former lives were so vile that there was no part that we could or would have played in our salvation:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves, their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18 NIV
Now we want to look at what we were saved to: namely Holy Living.
2. As you remember Paul has already counseled Timothy to return to his roots, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Cor. 2:14 NIV). Therefore, Timothy has been reminded to walk in the Spirit and not fall back on his old fallen nature. Now in vs. 9 we see the outgrowth of the “power of God” in our lives and the numerous effects that power brings to pass, and one of those is a life of Holiness.
3. The pursuit of personal Holiness has been called the miraculous renovation of the soul. This renovation comes as a result of the new heart and disposition which God infused in the believer as seed in the soul which will grow toward heaven as an oak tree grows toward the sky. All that is eternal and worthy and honorable and holy that arises out of the believer is as a result of the infusion of that seed the Holy Spirit.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63CNT).
“For he, that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:8 KJV2000).
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5 NIV).
4. Therefore, if we are to become Holy, we must recognize that something has changed in us. That change is our disposition, our desire, our affections, our dreams, our goals, our supreme love. We have fallen in love with God all over again.
5. “Octavius Winslow explains: “The Holy Spirit testifies that "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." This testimony is true. For first, he loves and worships a new God. The natural man is a god to himself, and he has many other gods as well. Whether it be self-righteousness, self-gratification, the world, wealth, family, in whatever form it appears, "other lords have dominion over him," to the exclusion of the one true and living God. The nature of the human mind is such that it must love and worship some object supremely. In his state of innocence (Garden of Eden), Jehovah was the one and supreme object of the creature's love and adoration. Seduced from that state of simple and supreme affection by the tempter's promise that, if they ate of the fruit of the tree forbidden of God, "they should be as gods," in one moment they threw off their allegiance to Jehovah, renounced him as the object of their supreme love, the center of their holiest affections, and became gods to themselves. The temple was ruined, the altar was thrown down, the pure flame was extinguished, God departed and "other lords" entered and took possession of the soul. But what a change does grace produce! It repairs the temple, rebuilds the altar, rekindles the flame and brings God back to man! God in Christ is now the supreme object of his love, his adoration and his worship. The idol self has been cast down, self-righteousness renounced, self-exaltation crucified. The "strong man armed" has entered, cast out the usurper, and, "creating all things new," has resumed his rightful supremacy. The affections, released from their false deity and renewed by the Spirit, now turn to and take up their rest in God. God in Christ! how glorious does He now appear! Truly it is a new God the soul is brought to know and love. Never did it see in Him such beauty, such excellence, such blessedness as it now sees. All other glory fades and dies before the surpassing glory of His character, His attributes, His government, and His law. God in Christ is viewed as reconciled now; enmity ceases; hatred has passed away; opposition throws down its weapons; hard thoughts of His law, and rebellious thoughts of His government, subside; love kindles in the soul and, in one precious Christ the one Mediator, God and the sinner meet, embrace and blend. Truly they become one. God says, "You are mine." The soul responds, "You are my God- other lords have had dominion over me, but henceforth, You only will I serve, You only will I love. My soul follows hard after you; your right hand upholds me. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple."
To Be Continued: