Posted by: SandreS | September 14, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 8

Not Ashamed

Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God (II Timothy 1:8).

This idea of shame was such a big one that it is a reoccurring theme in this first chapter.

– Timothy was not to be ashamed (1:8).
– Paul was not ashamed (1:12).
– The house of Onesiphorus was not ashamed (1:16).

Timothy was exhorted not to be ashamed. He was not to be ashamed of our Lord, nor His testimony; neither was he to be ashamed of Paul. To be ashamed of Paul is to be ashamed of the Lord! Paul is God’s divinely appointed representative and spokesman for the Body of Christ in “the dispensation of the grace God,” just as Moses had been for Israel under the law. Paul is the Apostle to the Nations (Romans 11:13), and encourages Timothy not to be ashamed of him, even though he was in prison as an evil-doer (1:8; 2:9). After all, Paul was not ashamed of the degrading circumstances in which he found himself imprisoned.

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (II Timothy 1:12).

In spite of all the things that had, and were transpiring, Paul had a firm confidence. In the midst of what could have been great humiliation, disgrace, embarrassment and shame, Paul knew Whom he believed. Paul’s confidence was not just in what he believed, but in Whom! It was not about Paul at all – rather, it was about His able, faithful Lord. Paul sought to encourage Timothy by his own example. Paul’s confidence was in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ!

However, Paul did not stop there, as he also shared Onesiphorus as an example.

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain (II Timothy 1:16).

We know so very little about Onesiphorus, but it is obvious that Timothy knew him well, as Paul displayed him as an example of faith and spiritual courage. As E.W. Bullinger has written, Onesiphrous “must have recently died,”[1] and Paul speaks of his faithfulness to the very end.

It is amazing that, in the middle the greatest crisis of Paul’s own life, we see his great love and compassion, not only for Timothy, but also for the family of Onesiphorus – “the Lord give mercy upon the house of Onesiphorus.”

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

[1] E.W. Bullinger, The Companion Bible, p. 1810


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