A SPIRIT OF FAITH
Introduction: 2 Tim. 1:7
A. The book of 2 Timothy is the last book Paul wrote. Some of his last words were: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:6-7).
B. Paul had and maintained a spirit of faith. His faith was the basis of his salvation (Eph. 2:8-9), his security (2 Tim. 1:12), and his steadfastness (Col. 1:23).
C. In this study we will observe, in some detail, what Paul said to Timothy in chapter one verse 7. Notice that God has “not given us the spirit of fear.” If we have a “spirit of fear” we may have gotten it from preachers or somewhere else, but it is not from God.
D. What kind of spirit, or disposition, has God given us? Answer: It is a “spirit of faith.” But what does that involve? Notice that it is:
I. A SPIRIT OF POWER.
II. A SPIRIT OF PASSION.
III. A SPIRIT OF PURPOSE.
I. A SPIRIT OF POWER
A. First, notice that God has given us a “spirit… of power”. (2 Tim. 1:7a). Note carefully that the source of this “spirit of power” is God.
B. Notice also, the basis of our “spirit of power” is the promise of God (2 Tim. 1:1) and the purpose of God (2 Tim. 1:9).
C. Because of the promise of God and purpose of God, we are supplied with power from God. We have a “spirit of power” because of the “source of power.” The power does not come from us, but comes to us.
D. Observe some of the many verses that emphasize the power that God has made available to us:
1. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also has made us sufficient…..” (2 Cor. 3:5-6).
2. “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9).
3. “..that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10).
4. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10).
5. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).
6. “..that you may walk worthy of the Lord….being…strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power…” (Col. 1:10-11).
7. “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” (Eph. 3:20).
8. “I can do all thingsthrough Christ who strengthens me” (Eph. 4:13).
E. In his prayer for the Ephesians, Paul prayed that they might understand “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead…” (Eph. 1:15-20).
F. Because of our recognition of His promises, we have a disposition of power.
G. We sing about it: “His power can make you what you ought to be” and “Soldiers of Christ arise and put your armor on, strong in the strength which God supplies.”
H. As Paul stated later, “..for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Tim. 1:12).
I. Christians are to have a spirit of enthusiasm. Our powerful position in Christ has given us a positive disposition in life.
II. A SPIRIT OF PASSION (LOVE)
A. Observe that God has not only given us a spirit “of power,” but also “of love” (2 Tim. 1:7).
B. The “love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
C. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love…” (Gal. 5:22). The “Spirit of His Son” that He has sent forth into our hearts produces love in our hearts (Gal. 4:6).
D. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19) and “if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:11).
E. In fact, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8).
F. Love is the badge of discipleship (Jn. 13:34-35). Love is the basis of our works (Gal. 5:6). Love is the bond of our fellowship (Eph. 4:2-3).
III. A SPIRIT OF PURPOSE (SOUND MIND)
A. Not only has God given us a spirit of power and a spirit of love (passion), He has also given us a spirit of purpose.
B. It is interesting to note that “sound mind” is translated “sound judgment” (McCord); “self-control” (ESV); and “self-discipline” (NIV).
C. According to Strong the word means “an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control.”
D. In other words, God has given us a sense of purpose. A sound mind is one that is “grounded and steadfast” (Col. 1:23).
E. Christians are those who “set their minds…. on the things of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:5). Thus they are “spiritually minded” (Rom. 8:6).
F. They do not “set their mind on earthly things” (Phil. 3:19), but instead they “set” their “minds on things above” (Col. 3:2).
G. The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. And God has given us a purpose, an aim, an objective, and a goal.
H. A “double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (Jam. 1:8). He is “like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (Jam. 1:6). But a “sound mind” is sure, settled, and steadfast (Col. 1:23).
I. As Paul said, the love of Christ compels Christians to not live for themselves “but for Him who died for them” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
J. Or, as he wrote on another occasion, “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
K. This is the “one thing” we do. We “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ” and as many as are mature, have this mind (Phil. 3:13-15).
L. We have a “sound mind” because we have a mind with a specific purpose.
CONCLUSION: God has not given us a “spirit of fear” but a spirit of faith. Which means, He has given us a spirit of power, a spirit of passion, and a spirit of purpose? The conclusion is in the next verse: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord….but share in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Tim. 1:8). Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).