But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Tim 1:12
I love how the dictionary defines unashamed as unabashed, not ashamed or embarrassed. It also describes the idea of being unflinching and unapologetic. I think this is why the apostle Paul was one of the most influential and beloved men of history. He was unflinching and unapologetic when it came to his devotion to Christ and his ministry of proclaiming the gospel.
Paul wrote this letter as he awaited execution. Yet despite all that Paul was facing-death, the end of his ministry, abandonment by most of his friends for fear of persecution he points Timothy, his spiritual son in the faith, to put his eyes on the Lord. Paul also invites Timothy to join with him in suffering for the cause of Christ.
Steven Cole comments on these verses by saying this, “Most evangelistic appeals today pitch the gospel as the way to have an abundant life. Jesus came to offer you abundant life. Trust in Him and He will give you peace, joy, and a truly happy life. While all of those claims are true if properly defined, what the salesman hasn’t told the potential customer is that your problems may grow much worse after you have trusted in Christ. When we pitch Jesus as a better way to self-fulfillment, we’re promoting an Americanized message that is not the biblical gospel.”
In 2 Tim 3:12, Paul says, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Look again at verse 9 of 2 Tim 1 and notice what Paul does. He sandwiches the glorious gospel right in between his challenge to embrace suffering and all that comes with it, unashamed. 1 Peter 4:1 tells us, “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose”…
In Acts 20:23 as Paul was on his way to Jerusalem the Holy Spirit gave him clear insight that, “bonds and afflictions” awaited him. Yet, he could say triumphantly “but none of these things move me.”
We may not be put into prison, as was Paul; but we might suffer in other ways: the loss of friends, being bypassed for a promotion, loss of customers, being snubbed by family members, etc. It would have made Timothy’s ministry in Ephesus much easier if he had gone along with the crowd; but Paul admonished him to remain true.
How could Paul make such bold assertions on someone else’s faith? Look again at what he say’s in verse 12? He “knew” whom he believed and was convinced that He is able to guard what he had entrusted to Him until that day.
Paul lived with the certainty that God would guard his life’s commitment to the gospel until the great day of Christ’s return. Paul knew he hadn’t spent his life in vain serving the Lord! He not only lived for Christ’s sake, he suffered, sacrificed, and considered the most sacred endeavor this side of heaven was to know his Savior and make Him known.
Ladies, Biblical truth and the call to radical discipleship is under unprecedented compromise! It’s a great day when by faith our hearts say, “yes” to whatever the gospel brings and we join hands with Paul and say, “I am not ashamed!”