2 Timothy 1 Lesson

Grace, Mercy, and Peace

INTRODUCTION TO 2 TIMOTHY

Things have escalated since Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy five years earlier. As he writes his second letter to Timothy, Paul finds himself back in prison, aware that his death could be imminent. 

Paul begins his letter to, “His beloved son, Timothy,” by extending grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.  In today’s lesson, we will review the meaning of these three blessed terms that are so critical to Christianity and our salvation.

GRACE

The definition of the word grace is: “Unmerited favor. Receiving something that we have not earned.” (Source: Google Dictionary)

God’s grace is offered in abundance to those that put their trust in Him. As we learn God’s commandments, He wants us to make a sincere effort to obey them. He also understands that we are human and will make mistakes and fall short from time to time. That is where the redeeming blood of Jesus and God’s unsurpassed grace can save us from our sins.

If our sins and God’s grace were put on a scale, God’s grace would far exceed our sins, and that is reason to have hope!  

Jesus said in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians:

  • “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” –2 Corinthians 12:9.

No matter what life may throw at us; be it sickness, war, poverty, hunger, or any type ofadversity, God’s grace is sufficient to see us through. We receive God’s grace through faith in Jesus, and by striving to obey God’s commandments. We are not expected to keep His commandments perfectly, but we are expected to try. The character is in the trying.

MERCY

Mercy is defined as, “Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.”(Source:Google Dictionary)

We all must decide for ourselves whether we want justice or mercy.  When it comes to ourselves, we all understand that we want and need God’s mercy because we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). However, when it comes to others, sometimes we are too quick to pass judgment, and not fast enough to show mercy.

Everyone is suffering from something.Sufferingis a part of life. Some of us may be suffering more than others, but we are all suffering.   God usesadversitytodisciplineus, teach us, and shape us into the people that He created us to be.

Perhaps if we stopped to think about that more often, we would do a better job of showing compassion to one another. Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” – Mathew 7:1-3If we want mercy for ourselves, we must show mercy to others!

PEACE

The definition of the word peace is: “Freedom from agitation or disturbance by the passions, as from fear, terror, anger, or anxiety; quietness of mind; tranquility; calmness; quiet of conscience.” (Source: Google Dictionary)

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he wrote:

  • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7.

This may sound like it is easier said than done, but not if we act on the scriptures! If we add prayer and giving thanks to our daily routines, we will find peace. For today’s lesson, we will list four reasons that Christians have to find peace in a troubled world:

  1. Jesus overcame the world!
  2. We have the Holy Spirit to help us,
  3. We are not of this world,
  4. Heaven.

Jesus said, as recorded in John’s Gospel:

  • “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33.

Whatever difficulties we face on earth, they are only temporary. Ultimately, Jesus will overcome them all and His righteous kingdom will reign for all eternity! This should bring us peace and hope.

The second reason to have peace in a troubled world is that we are never alone! We have been given the Holy Spiritto help us through whatever challenges we face on earth. 

In Virtual Bible Study’s lesson on the Holy Spirit, we made the following three points about the Holy Spirit:

  1. God sent the Holy Spirit to help us.   We receive the Holy Spirit when we arebaptized.   The Holy Spirit helps us through feelings and not words. The feelings must always align completely with the teachings of the Bible.   If they do not, the feelings are not the result of the Holy Spirit.
  2. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are separate entities that are one and the same because they always align, and never contradict each other.
  3. The Holy Spirit is working to help us, even when we do not know what to pray about, or what to ask for. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “Now, in the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know what to prayfor as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” – Romans 8:26.

Knowing that we have been blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit is reason to have peace in a troubled world.

God does not want us to dwell on the evil works of Satan that we see on the news and in our daily lives. He wants us to rise above it!  Consider the following scripture:

  • “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” –Romans 12:2.

And while the news outlets and other forms of media focus on the worst of humanity, as Christians we are to focus on the positive and share the hope that we have in Jesus with others.

The greatest thing we can do to find peace in a troubled world is to focus on what lies ahead. For followers of Jesus, that means heaven! Heaven awaits the faithful in Jesus! It is a place more beautiful than words can describe.

In his letter to the Romans, The Apostle Paul wrote:

  • “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” –Romans 8:18.

John wrote about what heaven will be like in the Book of Revelations:

  • “And He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain.” –Revelation 21:3-4.

Understanding the glory of heaven that awaits the faithful in Jesus is critical to finding peace in a troubled world.

CONCLUSION

Grace, mercy, and peace are closely related.  When we understand that it is only through God’s grace that we can inherit eternal life, we will grow in our love, appreciation, and dependence on Jesus. 

Only when we show others mercy, can we expect to receive God’s mercy in return. It is our compassion that the world needs, not our judgment!

We can find peace in a troubled world by remembering these four things:

  1. Jesus overcame the world!
  2. We have the Holy Spirit to help us,
  3. We are not of this world,
  4. We have the hope of Heaven.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following words spoken by our Lord and Savior:

  • “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” - John 14:27.

Comments

Dan W

Yes, there are many passages about perseverance! Some of these are meant to comfort, and some are meant to warn. Let us resolve to hold fast the beginning of our confidence to the end.

Reply