“Here is a trustworthy saying:…..” and another one and another one. In 2 Timothy 2:11-13, Paul continues his pattern set in 1 & 2 Timothy & Titus with several conditional statements, statements he assumes to be true and which provide warning, encouragement and hope for daily Christian living.
If we died with him, we will also live with him;
If we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us;
if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
We must take a hard look at who we are and who Christ is. We are called to recognize or identification with Christ and live in light of who God has declared us to be.
#1 We died with Him. Christ died for us as our substitute. But in God’s amazing plan of applying Christ’s death to our account, He considers us to have died with Christ. We are identified with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Colossians 3:1-5 and Romans 6 unpack this further. We are here assured we will live with Him. God offers present and future blessings to those who will trust Christ.
#2 We are called to endure with Him. The Christian faith is not a sprint but a marathon. The evidence of genuine faith is seen in perseverance. Read the letters to the churches in Revelation and note the promise to each one – “To him who overcomes, I will….”
#3 We are called to declare our allegiance to him. Although Peter denied Jesus, he was restored to fellowship. He failed the battle, yet with Christ’s help, he won the war. What did Jesus teach in Matthew 10:32? “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” The tense of the verb reflects ongoing action. This is not a momentary doubt, but a persistent ongoing rejection, a turning away. Read the parable of the soils. The same seed was sown in all 4 soils, yet only one bore fruit.
#4 We are called to examine our commmitment to Christ, but even if our faith fails, He will never fail. Our unbelief, our failure, our fickleness does not change His fidelity. As Scripture says elsewhere, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.”
May we this day, this week, this year turn from doubt, from disobedience, from all that would erode our faith. Let’s continue to run the race marked out for us, “looking unto JESUS, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith.” Taking our eyes off of Him has disastrous consequences!