"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" A Faithful Saying (2:11-13) INTRODUCTION 1. Paul makes mention of the phrase "faithful saying" several times... a. Regarding Jesus' coming to save sinners - 1Ti 1:15 b. Regarding the desire to serve as a bishop - 1Ti 3:1 c. Regarding the value of godly exercise - 1Ti 4:8-9 c. Regarding our salvation by God's grace - Tit 3:4-8a d. And also the passage that serves as our text today - 2Ti 2:11-13 -- The Greek is "faithful is the saying" (JFB), and identifies that which is "worthy of entire credence and profound attention" (Barnes) 2. The "faithful saying" we examine today may have been from an early hymn... a. "The symmetrical form of 'the saying,' and the rhythmical balance of the parallel clauses, makes it likely, they formed part of a Church hymn or accepted formula..." - JFB b. "...perhaps first uttered by some of the Christian 'prophets' in the public assembly (1Co 14:26)." - ibid. -- As many think other passages may have been
- cf. 1Ti 3:16; Ep 5:14 (RWP) 3. Paul's purpose was to encourage Timothy to endure hardship for Christ... a. As mentioned near the beginning of this chapter - 2Ti 2:3 b. As Paul himself had done and would continue to do - 2Ti 2:8-10 -- This "faithful saying" should encourage us to endure hardship as well [This "faithful saying" reveals much about our life with Christ, as we note that the first 'verse' relates to...] I. THE BEGINNING OF LIFE WITH CHRIST A. "FOR IF WE DIED WITH HIM..." 1. An allusion to baptism, in which we are crucified with Christ - Ro 6:3-8 2. It was not uncommon to speak of having died with Christ - Col 2: 20; 3:3; Ga 2:20 -- Have you died with Christ (i.e., been baptized)...?
- Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38 B. "WE SHALL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM..." 1. We live with Christ now, in newness of life - Ro 6:4; Col 2: 12-13 2. We shall also live with Him in the age to come, in glory - Co 3:4 -- Yet living with Christ both now and then is contingent on having died with Him...! [If you have started this new life by dying with Christ, you have every reason to do what is necessary to maintain such life. The second 'verse' tells of the need for endurance in suffering as...] II. THE GUARANTEE OF LIFE WITH CHRIST A. "IF WE ENDURE..." 1. Our life in Christ often involves hardship
- He 10:36; Mt 10:22 -- Are you willing to endure hardship to receive the promises..? - He 6:11-12 B. "WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM..." 1. A wonderful promise made by Christ Himself - Re 3:21; cf. 1:5 2. A reign with Christ that... a. Begins in principle in this life - Ep 2:4-7 a. Continues in practice in the intermediate state - Re 2: 26-27; 20:4,6 b. Culminates in glory in the eternal state - Re 22:5 -- Participation in this reign depends on willingness to suffer with Him...! - Ro 8:17 [Implied in being willing to endure in order to reign with Christ is the possibility of not enduring to the end. What then? The third 'verse' refers to very real danger of...] III. THE TERMINATION OF LIFE WITH CHRIST A. "IF WE DENY HIM..." 1. Refuse to confess Him, or being ashamed of Him - Mt 10:32-33; cf. Lk 9:26 2. A very real possibility, even by those redeemed (bought) by the Lord - 2Pe 2:1; Jude 1:4 -- Denying the Lord places one's life with Christ and His Father in a very precarious position! - 1Jn 2:22-23 B. "HE WILL ALSO DENY US..." 1. He will deny us before His Father in heaven - Mt 10:33 2. He will deny us before the angels of God - Lk 12:9 -- This denial is indicative of the terrible judgment that awaits those who having known the Lord choose to ultimately reject Him - cf. He 10:26-31 [Of course, Peter's own denial and subsequent forgiveness reminds us that while there is life there is hope. And so the fourth 'verse' provides a hint of...] IV. THE RESTORATION OF LIFE WITH CHRIST A. "IF WE ARE FAITHLESS..." 1. It is possible to develop an evil heart of unbelief
- He 3: 12-14 2. In which like unfaithful Israel we can be cut off - Ro 11:19-22 -- Unbelief can destroy those who were once saved; thus we like Israel need to 'make our calling and election sure'
- Jude 1:5; cf. 2Pe 1:10-11 B. "HE REMAINS FAITHFUL; HE CANNOT DENY HIMSELF..." 1. Some have understood this to mean He will save us even if we live in sin a. Yet Paul had just said that if we deny Christ He will deny us b. We have seen that believers were warned to continue in their faith, or be cut off 2. Rather, it means that Christ remains true and trustworthy, for He cannot be otherwise a. For those who persist in sin and unbelief, their condemnation is sure b. For those willing to repent, His promise of longsuffering and mercy provides hope! 1) As illustrated in His words to Peter - Mt 18:21-22 2) As demonstrated in His forgiveness of Peter, who denied Him three times - Jn 21:15-19 -- While apostasy is a very real danger, restoration remains a viable hope because of the faithfulness of Christ and His Father - cf. 1Jn 1:9 CONCLUSION 1. Why should we be willing to endure hardship for Christ...? a. Because those who have died with Him will live with Him! b. Because those willing to endure for Him will reign with Him! c. Because those who deny Him will be denied by Him! d. Because those who are faithless know what they need to do to face Him who remains true to His Word! 2. Thus in this 'hymn' we are reminded of key elements pertaining to our life in Christ... a. How it begins (by dying with Christ in baptism) b. How it will end in glory (by enduring hardship with Christ) c. How it could end in shame (by denying Christ) d. How the faithless who deny Christ can regain it back (by obeying Him who can be trusted) Have you started your life with Christ (Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16)? Are you remaining faithful to Him who remains faithful (Re 2:10)? May this "faithful saying" encourage you to do whatever is needed to make your life with Christ what it should be...!