Persecution, Power, Love, and a Sound Mind 2 Timothy 1:7-8
Todd Tomasella: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” 2 Timothy 1:7-8
Notice in the passage above how “power” and “love” and a “sound mind” are coupled with not slandering or receiving and joining in with the persecution of a brother or sister in Christ.
May God bless each of us to walk in the wisdom of the whole counsel of His Word (James 1:5; Proverbs 8; James 3:17-18, etc.).
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:17-18
Here the great apostle of Christ is in jail where he wrote this from. And, obviously, some were using his jail sentence against him. So, Paul tells his understudy Timothy, not to be ashamed of him because he’s being persecuted.
The Bible tells us that when we walk in God’s love through intimate union with Christ, even “a multitude” of the sins of others will be covered.
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:7-8
Case in Point
“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” 1 Timothy 5:19
Todd Tomasella: Note closely in the above verse, that we are not to receive any accusation against one of Christ’s elders (or any believer for that matter) without at least two actual WITNESSES. Did you catch that? Not two spreaders of slander but two people who actually WITNESSED the supposed matter/violation. Do you see the difference?
You see, we all know that one person, one devil, can accuse a brother or sister or something and then other pawns can spread the mere fabricated lie. Those are not witnesses. Those are simply people who are spreading a lie.
A man who is an elder received vicious slanderous accusations about another brother (who is a preacher). When he is “concern” contacted me about that brother, I refused his cause against that brother and told him that I have no evidence or sense that such is true about that brother and outrightly stand with that brother and against this fabricated slander. And, I stated to him that I supposed that those slanderous things came from Satan’s very children (namely jezebels). My concern then became about this accusing “elder” who would dare buy into such fabricated slander. Red flags. Paul the apostle of Christ, who was persecuted unto prison (chained down behind bars), said to Timothy:
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” 2 Timothy 1:8
The next time we hear slander about a known brother or sister, like something that they did in the past (SUPPOSEDLY), let us remember the verse above and memorize it and the address of it. Let us also be filled with joy that the brother or sister being persecuted by slander must be making a great impact for Christ and against the kingdom of hell!!!!!
Now THAT’S how we need to field these things. Is this not the kingdom perspective?!
Our concern actually needs to be about ourselves if we are never slandered or maligned, lied about or persecuted in any way. According to Jesus, if we are not being assaulted, we are not “blessed” according to His divine definition and should be greatly concerned and driven to fall afresh on His mercy at the foot of the cross before it’s too late.
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you FALSELY, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12
Okay, someone may say, “WAIT, what if what people are saying about that person is TRUE?!??!!!”
Reply: DID God’s plan to crucify His only begotten Son not include forgiveness AT and AFTER He saved an individual?
If you for a moment believe a Christian can’t be forgiven of any and all sin, you have elevated sin above the blood of Christ’s cross and are in serious trouble spiritually.
If a man stands solidly on both feet in divine truth and publicly declares it, you can know of a certainty that such a man of God WILL ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT FAIL to be assaulted by “evil men” and jezebels. Remember God’s prophet Elijah and how jezebel fumed in hatred over him and swore to take his life? (1 Kings 18-19)
In fact, gentlemen, if we aren’t being lied about, assaulted, shunned, and horrifically slandered, we may wish to examine our own lives – their root in Christ and subsequent fruitfulness.
Question: Who needs to be worried?
Answer: NOT the fruitful, persecuted true disciples of Jesus but rather those who are not being fruitful and therefore attacked.
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Luke 6:26
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22
Of course, not all sinners will hate us. Yet, the point is, if we receive no persecution, including those which Jesus specifically cites, what does that tell us of our lack of union with He who was persecuted unto crucifixion?
The Revelation 12:10 phrase “accuser of the brethren (Satan)” fits well here and that’s because these are true disciples of Jesus being falsely accused, not the wolves of Satan. Usually, that verse is taken out of context to cover for and defend absolute wolves who pose as Christ’s ministers while misleading and damning many (2 Corinthians 11:12-15). May we study God’s Word for ourselves and thereby gain a biblical clue!
Who did Jesus say is blessed? Listen to the Lamb:
“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 24 But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Luke 6:21-26
From our LORD’s teaching here and elsewhere, conversely those who should fear for their eternal souls: are not poor in spirit, are full and not charitable to others (givers), not hated, not separated by joined with apostates and sinners, not reproached, whose names aren’t ridiculed and mocked, laughing and having no troubles due to truly following Christ.
—– Prayer: Father, in the name of Jesus, grant my heart to be clean of all self-righteousness and an evil eye and that You would allow Your love in me to overlook the multitude of sins in others. Bless me to know that no one on this planet is less worthy of Your sheer mercy, saving than myself. Grant that my heart be broken, humble, and set upon serving You and others. You have not given Your people the spirit of fear but rather of power, love, and a sound mind. Bless me to never be ashamed of your beloved saints as they suffer slanderous persecution and imprisonment in this brief journey leading up to our eternity with You! Instead, use me to pray for aid, and comfort them in any way possible! Thank You this moment LORD, for multiplying Your wisdom to my heart and life, in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
More on Persecution here. | More on Self-Righteousness Here.
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Source By: Todd Tomasella