St. John's & Zion Lutheran Churches

Remember Jesus Christ

Sermon on 2 Timothy 2:8-13

Text: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Many of the wars of the United States have had slogans or rallying cries to inspire the troops to keep fighting. In the war for Texan independence, the fighters were encouraged to “Remember the Alamo!” In the Spanish-American War, cialis parapharmacie the cry went out to “Remember the Maine!” after the ship that had been sunk by the Spaniards. These rallying cries helped the people as they were fighting. It reminded them of others who had lost their lives in the struggle. It encouraged them to keep going. You and I are involved in a war that lasts our entire lifetime. This morning, the Apostle Paul gives us a battle cry, as well. He tells us REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST. 1. He Is The Giver Of Life. 2. He Is The Purpose Of Life.

At first, you might think it strange that we are encouraged to remember Jesus Christ. After all, we are Christians. We believe in Jesus Christ. Why would we be told to remember Jesus Christ? The reason we are being told to do so, is the same reason that the Apostle Paul told Timothy to remember Jesus Christ. Paul knows that in the stresses of this earthly life, it is all too easy to forget Jesus Christ. We need to be reminded to have Jesus and his saving work in mind continually.

It is exactly that point that Paul brings home in the first verse of our text, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.” In those two descriptive phrases about Jesus, the Apostle Paul lays out Christ’s redemptive work for us. Paul reminds us that Jesus was “descended from David.” That one phrase brings two very important thoughts to mind. The first is this: Because Jesus Christ, true God, was also descended from David, he is also true man. As such, he was able to serve as our Substitute, by living a life obedient to the law. That life was perfect in every aspect. The second important thought found in the words “descended from David,” is that Jesus was the promised Messiah, promised not only to David, but also his ancestors going all the way back to Adam and Eve.

Jesus Christ is also described as being “raised from the dead.” That simple phrase touches on the beauty of Christ’s work. Jesus Christ not only had to live a perfect life in our place. He also had to suffer and die to pay for our sins. Jesus showed that great act of love complete, when he rose from the dead. That was God’s seal of approval on everything that Jesus had done for us. We are forgiven. We are the children of God through faith in Jesus. Jesus Christ has given us life by his work of redemption.

God also makes promises to us. Paul writes in verse 11, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him.” What Paul is referring to here is our Baptism. Paul makes this same point in Romans 6:3&4, where he writes, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ, that is to say, our sinful nature was put to death and buried. Just as Christ rose from the dead, we also arose, that is to say that the New Man that delights in doing God’s will in thankfulness for all that he has done for us came to life. So when Paul writes in Romans 6:8, “If we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him,” he is saying that, since in Baptism, we have been made part of Christ, our sinful nature was put to death, so that we are not bound to its desires. We also were made alive in Christ and live in Christ as Christians. We share in the victory that Jesus won over sin, death and the devil. Jesus’ death gives us life.

Paul continues by stating another promise from God, “If we endure, we will also reign with him.” (Verse 12) If we continue in our Spirit-born faith, we will reign with Christ for all eternity. What a mind-boggling thought! We will reign with Jesus Christ for all eternity. This is very encouraging for us. Here on this earth, things may be rough and people may not always be what we want them to be. Yet, we have the promise of eternal glory that God will give to us. This helps us keep hanging in there when things are not going so well. We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Our troubles are called “light and momentary” in comparison with the eternal glory that far outweighs them all. We live for Jesus as we look forward to our eternal rest.

Let us remember Jesus Christ, because he is the giver of life. He has seen to it that I am saved. He saw to it that I was joined with him in Baptism. He has given me every reason to live for him. Remember Jesus Christ, because he is the giver of life.

Jesus Christ has not only given us life, but he also gives my life purpose. He gives me a reason for existing. Paul knew why he was here on this earth. He wrote in verse 10, “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” Paul was willing to suffer everything that came his way as he told others about Jesus. Here was a man who was whipped, beaten, stoned, left for dead, shipwrecked and imprisoned. It looked as though his life would soon come to an end. Yet, he said it was all worth it, because he was serving the Lord by sharing the gospel with others.

It is exactly that same idea that each of us has been called to. Jesus tells us that we are to be his witnesses. While this may include formal evangelism type of thing, it is not limited to it. The old saying holds true that ‘Actions speak louder than words.” God has called us to various places and positions in life. In doing so, he gives us opportunities to witness our faith to others by the way that we live our lives. So, what kind of witnesses have we been? That is a question that each of us can ask ourselves. Remember that we have the greatest motivation in the world to live in a God-pleasing way. He loved us so much that he sent his Son to die for us. We have eternal life waiting for us, because he loved us so much. Living a God-pleasing life is our way of thanking him.

Yet, it is hard to be a good witness for Christ. There are many pressures and temptations not to be. God understands that and that is why he gives us the encouragement to carry it out. First of all, we have examples of others who have withstood the temptations to give in. For example, Paul writes in verse 9, “This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.” Paul knew that it was on account of his testifying for the faith and his refusal to stop spreading the gospel that he was suffering. Yet, that did not stop him from doing so. Remember that there have been Christians throughout the centuries who have faced the same temptations that you do not to live a Christian life. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” That verse reminds us that not only are our temptations common to others, but that God will provide a way out of that temptation and will not put us in a situation in which we cannot help but fall. We receive our strength and encouragement to stand firm from God. Only then can we face these temptations and be victorious.

In addition, to help buy levitra 40mg online us as we go about our day to day lives, we have both a warning and a promise. We read verses 12&13, “If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” The warning in verse 12 is quite clear. If, in a time of persecution, we deny that we believe in Jesus or in any other way abandon him and, if we continue in that unbelief, we will be lost forever. When we think of denial, we may think of Peter in the courtyard of the high priest. He denied even knowing who Jesus was. He even called upon God as his witness that he did not know who Jesus was. It is very easy for us to be critical of Peter. Hadn’t he spent nearly three years with Jesus? Yet, he gave in so easily. While it may be easy for us to be critical of Peter, is it really any different than when we deny knowing Jesus by the things that we say and do? Remember where Peter was when he denied knowing Jesus. He was there in the courtyard of the high priest. Jesus was inside on trial. Peter had seen Jesus being arrested and likely wondered if he was going to be next. You and I, in the face of a little pressure or perceived pressure, at times forget all about Jesus. If we are honest with ourselves, we too feel the burden that Peter did after his denial.

Yet, we also have God’s promises in verse 13, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” We are faithless every time we sin. Yet, thanks be to God that he does not close the door on us and say, “OK, you are on your own now.” Rather, he is like the father in the story of the prodigal son, who constantly searched the horizon, hoping for a glimpse of his son returning home. When we sin, God waits for us to come to him in repentance. He throws his arms of mercy around us and tells us, “All is forgiven.” Indeed, each of us has been faithless, turned our backs on God, but God welcomes us back for the sake of what Jesus has done for us. This is wonderful news as we strive to live God-pleasing lives out of thankfulness to him. Though we may fall, God will forgive us. Having received the wonderful news of forgiveness, may we strive, with God’s help and motivated by his love, to live more godly lives. Remembering Jesus Christ gives us strength to live for him.

A number of years ago, I read a book about a Navy Seal called “Lone Survivor.” He was stationed in Afghanistan following September 11. On one particular day, he and three of his fellow Seals were inserted to kill a Taliban leader. While they were waiting to kill him, their position was uncovered and they were under attack by 150-200 Taliban soldiers. They fought valiantly. All three of his fellow Seals were wounded many times, before they finally were killed. The author of this book was also wounded, but was protected by a village. They kept him safe from the Taliban leader, who wanted to capture and kill him. Throughout the book, he spoke of people that he remembered as encouragement to go on. He thought of his family. He thought of his fellow Seal team members. After he was finally rescued, he went to the families of the men who had died with him and had died trying to rescue him. He told the families what these men had done. These men meant a great deal to him as he struggled to survive. These men gave him inspiration. There are many people through history who have inspired others to do great things. We thank our God for giving us Jesus Christ. He is not only our inspiration to live a godly life. He is our life. He gives us eternal life though his life, death, and resurrection. My dear friends, may this be our rallying cry throughout our lives, “Remember Jesus Christ.” Amen.