Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

March 23, 2005

A Question about Grace

I have a question for you. It's about 2 Timothy 2:1, where Paul exhorts Timothy, "You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." I'd really like to know what people think about that verse. My question is a simple one:

What does it mean to be strong in grace?
I mean, grace is all about a free gift, right? So where does strength come in? Drop your thoughts on this matter in my comment box, or (better yet) post them on your own blog and let me know when you've done so. I'd like to start a conversation about this. Talk to me about strength and grace. I'm all ears!


Anonymous Paula said...

All I know is that I am SO weak when I forget that I can NEVER count on myself for goodness. Anything good comes from God. When I get caught up in myself, especially my failings, I feel so weak and ineffective. When I remember God's grace I breathe a huge sigh of relief and open my arms wide and say, "Oh God. Thank you that You love, accept and empower me even though I'm so unworthy of your care.

I've had a horrible week. Lots of stress and a constant struggle not to feel in despair and be angry with God. I "happened" to be reading in Ephesians and Philippians, both of which remind me that God has moved in and given me His resurrecton power. Now there's some strength in grace.

Be strong in grace . . . I'm not sure what it means except I know that's the only time I can really move forward with confidence, when I'm totally accepting and leaning into God's grace.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Paula said...

BTW, I just posted your question over at gracereign, too. It's such a great question.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

2 Tim 2:1- You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:10 -And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Both verses remind us that this “grace” is not arbitrary; it does not live in a vacuum of our own creation or definition. Grace is within Jesus! Being confident that Jesus will lead us to the eternal glory of God, no matter our current sufferings, to me, is to be strong in grace. In a world that attacks us from all sides, that often leaves us weak and stumbling, this is the one thing we can be confident in and sure of: That the "God of all grace", through his son, will restore us. The strength is not of our own making but in our acceptance of God’s son as our savior!

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Milton said...

The context of 2 Tim. seems to be Timothy's discouragement in adversity and Paul's attempt to encourage him. Chapter 1 suggests that Timothy has been troubled (v. 4) and fearful (v. 7), perhaps because of Paul's hardships (v. 8ff). When Paul says "be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus," I think he's simply enouraging Timothy to be strong by reminding him of the basis for all our purpose, joy, peace, and power: the grace of Jesus Christ.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous John said...

My take on this is... "Don't try and do this on your own strength Timothy, use the strength that has already been favoured to us by Jesus!

Its similiar to what paul said to the Ephesian Church... Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.--Eph 6:10 (NIV)


10:30 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Excellent, John. I actually read this comment of yours after posting my extended take on it (above), but you've put it in a nutshell. Thanks.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

Being strong in grace... Semantic problems. I used to wonder, while watching "Star Wars," what it meant to be "strong in the force" when the force was something that was just there, like air.

I think what they really meant was to be strong in their use of it. Being creative, being humble and knowing that the power wasn't theirs but freely available.

Grace is equally available to all of us. It's just that some of us know our need more. When God brought me back to himself, it was purely by his grace, timing and actions. Since then he has wrought changes in my life that I consistently think are impossible... before they happen.

God gives me his grace so I can hang onto his dream for my life. I don't have a dream any more; it died years ago, but God is good at resurrecting if I stay with him.

Being strong in grace, for me, means just keeping my eyes on Jesus rather than all the things that can go wrong. He enables me to do that, if I keep looking at him and don't start haring off after all my ideas. Jesus is the author of graceful living and I'm slowly learning from him.

11:28 AM  

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