The Divine Resource (continued)
Well, what did it all amount to? This is the point; we only need to reemphasize it. Paul was not calling upon Timothy to be more of a man than he was; he was not calling upon him to be a kind of superman. If we talked to one another like that when we were a bit down under, it would not get us very far. If in our human language we used such expressions as: 'Well now, buck up!' or: 'Now then, none of that, no giving way!' or: 'Remember you are a man, remember you are a responsible person! You ought to behave better than that!' - I do not know how far that would get us. It might make us feel all the worse, thoroughly ashamed of ourselves; such utterly worthless creatures that we wanted to get out of it altogether. And so might Timothy have felt, if this had been what Paul was doing. He might have said, 'Well, Paul evidently does not think much of me; he has got a very poor opinion of me. I am good for nothing - I had better just give it all up.'
But that was not what Paul was doing. It is important to notice this great feature about his letters; we shall probably enlarge upon it in other connections later. Paul was not telling Timothy to be a superman - for it wanted a superman to stand up to this situation, to carry this load, to meet these emergencies - or to be more of a man that he was, in himself. Paul was indicating to Timothy all the way through that Timothy's very life and work, his ministry and his position of responsibility, rested upon a Divine and super-natural basis. "The gift of God which is in thee..." Paul refers to that more than once in his letters (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6). "God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness" (2 Timothy 1:7). Read them through again and note this. The strength that Timothy was to have, the ability that was to be his for doing and for enduring, was a strength and an ability which would not come from any spring in himself. He could be, and Paul was calling upon him to be, a superman - but not in himself. "Be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1). He was really being called upon to be and to do far more than any human person could measure up to; far more than was possible even for the best of men, the strongest and the wisest of men - let alone a Timothy! But the Lord never lays upon us as impossibility. If He charges, if He calls or demands, He provides: His is the strength, His is the wisdom.
Christians Are Super-Men In Christ
Now, without taking that any further, I bring it to this focal point. Difficult as it may be for you and for me to believe it, especially at times, it is true that in a sense, and a very real sense, every Christian is a super-man or a super-woman. Every Christian is supposed to have knowledge and understanding of that which no other person at their wisest can know. Every Christian is supposed to do what no one outside of Christ can possibly do; and every Christian is supposed to go through what no one else can go through, in the way in which a Christian is supposed to go through it. There are imposed upon Christians demands which are super-human. There are given to Christians resources which are super-natural. The Christian life is super-natural, from start to finish.
(continued with # 50)