Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! —2 Timothy 2:8-9
Again, notice how Paul always brings the proof of the gospel back to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection event is always his principal evidence—the defeat of physical death that gives humanity hope of spiritual life. In addition, Paul makes the connection that Jesus has to David's lineage, which reinforces the Messianic promise.
He repeatedly reinforces this because many were dismissing, abandoning, and canceling Paul. After all, he proclaimed Jesus Christ as the only King during a very tense time in the Roman empire.
You see, in July of 64 AD, while Paul was in prison in Rome, a massive fire broke out. It destroyed 10 of the city’s 14 districts. The fire lasted for more than six days. While how the fire started is still contested, rumors surged that Nero, the emperor at the time, had secretly started the fire so he could rebuild Rome to his own liking. Nero tried to stop the rise of these rumors but was unsuccessful. So he looked for people to blame. And since two of the districts untouched by the fire were disproportionally occupied by Christians, he shifted the blame to them. And of course, Paul, who was a leader of the Christian movement, and labeled for stirring up controversy, was surely taking some heat because of all this.
Given this, many began to disassociate with Paul. Propaganda was now branding him as a criminal, and these other issues were amplifying this false narrative. (You see, fake news is not a new idea.)
But Paul clarifies that he is no criminal, only a faithful messenger of the timeless and true gospel message. And he reminds Timothy that the message of Christ cannot be bound with chains, but instead, it's the message that breaks the chains of bondage—the bondage of sin and death.
So today, our call to action is to live in freedom as a people who have been freed. To do this, we have to stop succumbing to biased truth, fake news, and false messages. We have to remember that when messages have fragments of truth that they might be lies. This is because fragments of truth are dangerous, sometimes resulting in bondage to ideas that work to silence the gospel of freedom. We must daily reset our minds to the gospel's timeless truth, and not what we hear perpetuated by news media, social media, and corporate media. We have a better message, a gospel that frees all humanity from bondage.
ASK THIS: What is a lie that others project about you, that has you living in bondage? (Share it in the comments below)
DO THIS: Find a verse in God's Word that counters this lie. If you need direction ask for it in the comments below.
PRAY THIS: God, help me in my unbelief to believe your truth more than the narrative of lies.
PLAY THIS: Zach Williams. No Longer Slaves.
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