Finishing Faith – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

Finishing Faith

2 Timothy 4:1-8

Intro: Paul had several things on his mind as he neared the finish line. By charging Timothy, he revealed what was on his heart.

               A. A Passionate Charge – vs. 1

               B. A Promised Coming – vs. 1

               C. A Preacher’s Calling – vs. 2

               D. A Pending Compromise – vs. 3, 4

               E. A Proving Commitment – vs. 5 – See 2 Timothy 3:10

Paul the Apostle is an excellent example of what it means to finish strong.

He started out strong. He started out with power and might.  Notice his beginning.

  • Acts 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

He got saved and was baptized in verse 18, and in verse 20, he’s preaching Christ.

In verse 22, he increased in strength.

To say that Saul started out strong is an understatement!

How was he able to finish as strong as he started?

He had a finishing faith.

I. Faith in God’s PathI have finished my course vs. 7

His first words as a believer were, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

His last words were, “I have finished my course.”

Paul was fully persuaded that God had a specific plan for his life.

He trusted God completely with that plan.

That plan involved: (2 Corinthians 11)

  • labours more abundant,
  • stripes above measure
  • in prisons more frequent,
  • in deaths oft.
  •  of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
  • thrice was I beaten with rods
  • once was I stoned
  • thrice I suffered shipwreck
  • a night and a day I have been in the deep
  •  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
  • In weariness and painfulness,
  • in watchings often
  • in hunger and thirst
  • in fastings often
  • in cold and nakedness.

Yet Paul never lost faith in the fact that God had a very specific plan for his life.

He was able to finish strong because he maintained a strong faith in God’s Plan for his life!

II. Faith in God’s Precepts

Paul’s reaction to God’s first command to him was simple, obedience.

He stumbled, and needed a hand to guide him, but he made it his priority to do exactly what God told him to.

  • Acts 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

He learned from day one NOT TO WALK BY SIGHT; but by faith.

NOTE: Saul couldn’t SEE WHERE HE WAS GOING, but he KNEW where he was going!

Saul said to his servants, “I can’t SEE where I’m going, and I need all the help you can give me, but I know EXACTLY where I’m supposed to be!”

Saul placed much importance on the commands and precepts of God from DAY ONE.

Notice his letter to Timothy near the end of his ministry.

He’s expressing a desire for the companion of his books, especially the parchments in verse 13.

The emphasis was on the WORD OF GOD!

SEE 2 Tim. 3:15-17, 2 Tim. 4:2-4

III. Faith in God’s PersonNotwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me.

Paul spent his entire life trying to please ONE – his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

  • 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

His first effort to join the church was met with rejection and fear.

In this letter (2 Timothy), Paul made multiple references to the loneliness that comes with discipleship.

  • Vs. 9 – He’s begging for company.
  • Vs. 10 – He’s naming those that had forsaken him.
  • Vs. 11 – He’s asking for assistance.
  • Vs. 14, 15 – He’s thinking about all the troublemakers.
  • Vs. 16 – He confesses the pain he endured at being abandoned by everybody.
  • Vs. 17 – he reveals the source of his faith and his ability to continue on.
  • Vs. 18 – and the LORD shall deliver me, and he was working to further God’s kingdom; not his own.

He was serving GOD.

He was preaching Christ.

He focused on bringing GOD glory – (vs. 18c)

He was confident that God would deliver him and preserve Him.


Paul wasn’t able to finish strong because he had hooked his wagon to a man, or a movement.

He hooked his wagon up to the Precepts of God, the Plan of God, and the Person of Gog.

That was how he finished!