Sunday, April 1, 2012

2 Timothy 2:8-13

Vs. 8 There is only one gospel and as the Apostle Paul reminds Timothy it begins with the Jesus Christ coming into the world according to the seed or lineage of David. Anyone who tries to divorce the Lord Jesus Christ from the nation of Israel and the kingly lineage begun through them for Him is preaching another Jesus (See 1 Cor. 11:3-4 NKJ). Similarly anyone who does not preach the resurrected Living Jesus Christ is not preaching the Jesus Christ of the gospel (1 Cor. 15). Jesus Christ crucified and risen from dead and by faith in and confession of Him there is remission not just for the Jewish person’s sins, but for any sinner’s sins, that is the gospel! (Rom. 10:9-10). “For whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rom. 10:13

Vs. 9 Therefore it is for the gospel that brings everlasting life freely to all who believe in Jesus Christ the Lord that the Apostle Paul suffered trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains, but the Word of God is not chained. Just as it hasn’t been chained down through the centuries by whatever hostilities rise against it. The gospel always accomplishes God’s purposes for which He sends it out. It transcends all human and demonic activity and can even direct it into the will of God to accomplish His purposes (Acts 2:23). True believers then always dispense a fragrance of Christ wherever we go (2 Cor. 2:14-17). Even in death, since Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Consider the churches first martyr Stephen when dying cried out for his persecutors mercy, and it was a young Jewish zealot man then named Saul who was holding their garments who is now the Apostle writing to a young Timothy. (See Acts chapters 6:8-8:3 for the Biblical account and Acts 9:1-31 of the Apostle Paul’s salvation).

Vs. 10 “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

The Apostle Paul knew that in all his afflictions, trials and imprisonments God was working out a far greater good for the betterment of the elect. That is the ones whom God calls and who receive Him by faith in Jesus Christ His Son and thus receive the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. That is they receive remission of all their sins and everlasting life and thus share in Christ's eternal glory. Therefore we too as we endure whatever things appointed to us in this life will become a part of that process of God both saving and building up the church, which is Christ’s Body.

Vs. 11-13 Now the Apostle Paul recites a brief hymn to encourage and remind Timothy; and us all who believe in Jesus Christ of our place with Him and our responsibilities towards Him.

11 This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

Verse eleven:
“If we died with Christ…” the Apostle Paul is not talking about our literal death. We don’t get to live eternally with Christ because we are martyred. As if that is the price of salvation, our dying for Christ. Rather he is talking about Jesus Christ’s Substituionary death for us and what happens to us the moment we believe in Jesus Christ. That is our co-crucifixion death with Him (Rom. 6:6), which assures us of the promise of resurrection life with Christ. For only Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the purchase price of our salvation (John 3:16). Therefore since we died with Christ when we believed in Him, we shall also live with Him. For Jesus Christ’s death is the basis for everything else.

Verse twelve:
Having died with Jesus Christ we must then endure with Him, so that we might also reign with Him. Salvation comes in an instant but discipleship is a lifetime pilgrimage and endurance is the prerequisite to bearing fruit in it (Luke 8:15), as well as achieving the character transformation that God works in us by His Spirit as we continue on with Christ (Rom. 5:3-5; James 1:3-4). All then who truly believe in Jesus Christ endure with Him (Heb. 12:7) and will be rewarded accordingly (Rom. 2:7; James 1:12; Rev. 1:5-6; 3:10-13). That is why the Scriptures promises are given us, to assure us and strengthen us and build hope in us as we wait patiently for the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23; 15:4-5). Now endurance or patient endurance is required not only of individual believers who seek to obey God (Heb. 3:5-6) but also when we are chastened by Him (Heb. 12:4-11). For as those who ran the race before us endured, so must we run our race with endurance, laying aside every weight and sin that so easily ensnares us (Heb. 12:1). “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. Heb. 12:2-3 Therefore patient endurance is something believers not only pursue (1 Tim. 6:11) but is a trait of their genuine love (1 Cor. 13:4). For just as the Lord Jesus’ endured hostility from sinners so must we (Heb. 10:32-39; James 5:10-11). Learning to follow our Lord Jesus Christ’s example of enduring wrongs patiently. Those in leadership then must endure all things for the sake of the elect (2 Tim. 2:10) and encourage and pray for the same for those they oversee (1 Peter 1:3-9; Col. 1:9-23).

Verse thirteen:
“If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.”

The Apostle began the chapter by telling us to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Here then Paul reaffirms Jesus Christ’s faithfulness towards us who believe in Him in spite of our weaknesses and and all to often failings. For God does not abandon us who have put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ; He chastens us; or He corrects and redirects our lives and efforts (Heb. 12:3-11). But He never abandons us (Heb. 13:5). Since Jesus Christ lives in us all who believe in Him (2 Cor. 6:16). Therefore He cannot deny Himself (Gal. 2:21). "Being confident of this that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Php 1:6

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982

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