“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”(2 Tim. 2:1).
As Paul prepared to leave this life, he longed to leave Timothy with a few parting instructions to encourage him in the faith. The apostle knew that his young friend was easily discouraged. Of course, some of the circumstances Timothy faced as he defended the faith would be enough to dishearten the most seasoned veteran of the Cross today (Acts 19:23-41 cf. 1 Tim. 1:2,3).
Paul affectionately refers to Timothy as “my son.” Although Timothy was not Paul’s son in the flesh, the aged apostle had led him to the Lord; therefore, he was his son in the faith. As a result, there was a very special relationship between them. Timothy might have had ten thousand instructors in Christ, but he only had one spiritual father who loved him like a son. Thus, Paul challenges him to be strong in grace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor toward those who are undeserving.
Timothy, “be strong,” don’t let others rob you of the grace that you’ve freely received. And legalism will do just this if we allow it. It’s the enemy of grace. Like the Pharisees, the legalist wants to set the standard, which he decrees to be the measure of spirituality. Legalists love to develop an unspoken list of do’s and don’ts for others to follow. You must conform to what they have established as acceptable behavior in regard to how you should dress or act, or what reference Bible you must carry, or how many church services you should attend throughout the week. Failure to conform is a sure indication that you are not very spiritually minded.
Beloved, God has given us the standard we are to follow in His Word; it’s called GRACE! Today, we are not under the Law, nor are we to submit ourselves to those who believe they are the final authority as to how the Christian life should be lived. Grace teaches us how to live; it is patient, understanding, and tolerant. Grace always leaves room for differences. It’s never judgmental (1 Cor. 4:5). So then, Timothy was not to allow anyone to rob him of the liberty he enjoyed in Christ, nor should we. “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.