This passage is about the victory of the Christian through suffering. Paul is encouraging Timothy and strengthening him in his resolve in the gospel – particularly in how Timothy thinks. He wants Timothy to have the mindset of an athlete or hard working farmer – but especially of a Soldier because these callings have in-common the resolve through suffering which will eventually have its victory. As Paul directs Timothy to meditate on these metaphorical pictures he presents The premier example – the Lord Jesus Christ who is indeed the promised kingly seed of David according to the flesh, risen from the dead according to the Spirit. This Suffering Servant King who is both God and Man is everything to Paul – he is the Gospel that he preaches. It is for Him that Paul has been imprisoned.
Paul also wants to direct Timothy’s attitude with his own. Paul has full confidence in the power of the Word of God. This comes up often in his letters to Timothy – but is significant that here Paul is specific about the Word not being bound. He could have said the ‘Power’ et al. But Paul focuses on the Word because it is the power of God unto salvation – it is not just a container for the gospel… it is the gospel for it is the testimony of Jesus. The impact of the Word on Paul is that he is able to endure anything or perhaps even more poignantly as Paul has it ‘everything’ – even as the LORD has, for the sake of the elect, again even as the LORD has. How wonderful our union with Christ which gives all our suffering redemptive purpose, but more than that it has its hope with Jesus in eternal glory!
The last 3 verses are a HYMN of the early church to the faithfulness of Christ. The orchestration brings out the nature of what Paul has been talking about – and reminds us that the Christian life must share in the suffering of Christ, but it will be His faithfulness not ours which will see us through. Thus grace does not negate our role, but guarantees it! Grace justifies our attitude of confidence and conviction – Let go and Let GOD is the opposite of what grace gives us!! because God is faithful, we endure, we hold on, we fight on as a good soldier. it is our nature, because he has given us His nature
See more: 12 sermons by Andrew Adcock in 6 series