Explore The Bible Study: Confidence

9:50 AM

When you saw the image for this post, many of you might have wondered what heresy might be covered in this week's session. No worries. This isn't the case for this weeks Explore the Bible Study: Confidence. A study of 2 Timothy 1:3-14 will lead you and your group to really take a hard look at "Who" we should base our confidence upon. 

Imagine you were the Apostle Paul. You were in a Roman prison for the second and final time before facing death. You had faithfully shared the gospel and invested in many believers, and now you were staring death in the face. How confident would you be? Would you be thinking "positive thoughts," or would you be wondering if you had chased a pipe dream?

What we see in the Apostle Paul is one who is more convinced and confident than ever because he knew in whom he had believed and was persuaded that He (Christ) was able to guard what had been entrusted to him until that day -- see 2 Timothy 1:12. His confidence was not in himself but in the Christ who had begun a good work in Him the moment he received Christ as his Savior (Philippians 1:6).

Challenging Questions
Consider using the following for each point of your outline. Note that these questions follow a different progression than what is provided in the study guide. More details about these questions are provided in the supplemental teaching ideas you can download.

2 Timothy 1:3-5
Paul begins with an interesting phrase in verse 3, "I serve with a clear conscience."
  • What might prevent us from having a clear conscience? (unresolved sin; continued guilt from forgiven sin; disobedience; the memories of past sins that have been forgiven; etc.)
  • How can unresolved sin impact our confidence to serve Christ?
  • How can guilt from sins that have been forgiven impact our confidence to serve Christ?
  • Imagine you were discouraged in your faith and Paul was writing you. How would the reminders about others' belief in Christ encourage you and boost your confidence in the Lord?
  • Whose faith demonstrations encourage you to continue to be confident in the Lord?
  • Who could you encourage today by reminding them of their relationship with Christ?
2 Timothy 1:6-7
Paul tells Timothy to rekindle the gift of God that is in him. Notice, he has moved from encouraging words about Timothy’s faith in Christ to encouraging instruction related to Timothy’s ministry as a believer.
  • What situations could cause us to lose confidence and back away from serving God through the gifts which He has given us? 
  • How can we rekindle the gift of God in us? 
  • How can remembering that God has not given us a spirit of fear but one of power, love, and sound judgment help us rekindle our confidence and restore our passion for serving?
2 Timothy 1:8-12
Don’t be ashamed (2 Timothy 1:8)
  • Of whom should he not be ashamed? (The testimony of the Lord or of Paul the prisoner)
  • Why would Timothy be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord? Of Paul as a prisoner?
  • What circumstances might cause us to be ashamed of Jesus or of those who are serving faithfully? 
  • Describe what being ashamed would look like today?
Share in suffering for the gospel (2 Timothy 1:8)
  • What does the word share communicate about who will suffer and why they will suffer? (many will suffer; it is for the cause of the gospel; Paul and Timothy were in this together; all believers are in this together)
  • Since our suffering is minor compared to that of other believers around the world, how can we share in suffering for the gospel? (We remain faithful in sharing Christ here where we are since we have it relatively easy; we pray for those who are suffering; etc.)
Rely on the power of God (2 Timothy 1:8)
  • Is it easy to forget to rely on the power of God in our self-centered, self-reliant culture? 
  • How can we determine to rely more on the power of God?
There is a PowerPoint option and a list of "self-confidence" slogans you could use to introduce the session. Be sure to check all this out and more by downloading the supplemental teaching ideas.

Perhaps we should all answer the following questions: Does all that Paul described about why we can have confidence in Christ in 2 Timothy1:9-12 make self-confidence look wimpy? If so, why do we place so much stock in building our self-confidence versus building our confidence in Christ?


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