Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Call to Boldness in Preaching

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace …  (2 Tim 1:8-9a)

The preaching was about cross, insults, humiliation, suffering, death.  This seemed to unbelievers to be shameful.  “The word of the cross,” he says, remember, “is folly to those who are perishing.”*  Hence he claimed in his own case in the letter to the Romans, “I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation for every believer.”†  So he urges the disciple to preach these things with boldness—hence the reason for his mentioning also his own bonds, to bring out that he was held in prison for the sake of the message.

The suffering of the preachers he called suffering for the gospel since it was for its sake they suffered the manifold punishments.  So he urges him to bear nobly, and he encourages him with the mention of the divine power: the one who calls to salvation provides power as well, measuring the grace to match the faith of the recipients.  He called us, not having regard to our way of living, but solely on account of his lovingkindness.

Theodoret of Cyrus, “The Second Letter to Timothy”

*  1 Corinthians 1:18
†  Romans 1:16

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