TEXT: 2 TIMOTHY 2: 11-13 read vv 1-13
READING: MATTHEW 5: 1-12
SUBJ: The faithfulness of God to Himself and the revelation of Himself in the face of all the opinions and false beliefs of men.
AIM: That we may see that unbelief does not alter the plan of God or the promises of God and that denial and unbelief is unacceptable in any form.
INTR: Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus were meant to encourage both them and us to stand against the enemies of the Gospel. There is no greater assurance and encouragement that to know of the steadfastness of God.
1. Enemies of the truth and enemies of believers were all about. The object of their contempt was Christ and those who believe on Him completely.
2. Consider the encouragement to the battle given to Timothy (see the illustrations in vv 3-6). Three are mentioned - the Soldier, the Runner and the Husbandman.
3. We note well here the form of these three verses as that of Hebrew Poetry - not rhyming, but in parallelisms - and that these may have been sung as a church hymn.
THESIS: In all that God does, His glory, His holiness and His personal satisfaction and delight with Himself are at issue and He will remain faithful to Himself; and that to the delight of believers and the horror of those that oppose and deny.
I. The true form of "Blessed Assurance" (v. 11) - "If we be dead. . ."
1. Consider comments on the sense of Blessedness as the same as Happy and refence to Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12)
2. Being "dead with Christ" is here used in the sense of "once and for all."
1) Consider Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? - we note that the death of Christ cannot be undone and yet
2) We are alive with Him: Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
3) Thus declaring that all that died (the reasons and condemnations) have remained dead in the life of believers.
3. Thus, by the grace of God we live with Him and bear evidence of the life of Christ in us.
4. Being saved means life with Him forevermore - not just in the distant future where all is made clear and experienced perfectly.
II. The necessity and evidence of personal confession (v. 12) - - "If we suffer. . . "
1. The condition of suffering or endurance with Him. See Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
2. The matter of reigning with Him - we do what He does. He suffered and He reigns as do we.
3. The contrast - Men speak of belief often and bring it down to human terms. Not so with God and we compare and contrast:
1) Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. - What if you don't???
2) Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. What if there is denial instead???
4. The words of: Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. - Lit. He will not acknowledge as His own - Vincent. S. A. Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
III. The precious of assurance of God's immutability (v. 13) - "if we believe not. . ."
1. This is not a faithfulness to save unbelievers or those who do not continue in faith. We are reminded: Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
2. His faithfulness is to:
1) All that He has determined (no aborted trips or plans with God)
2) All His threatening with regard to fallen man - there is no recourse.
3) All His promises with regard to redemption including to save, to justify, to sanctify, to glorify Himself in His people.
3. While many deny Him, the true believer cannot for any reason:
1) Because of who they are - His
2) Because of who He is - their Lord
3) Because of His great love wherewith He loved us
4) Because He is the blessed hope of all who call on Him.
4. He cannot deny Himself which would occur if:
1) He saved such as reject His Son and abide in unbelief
2) He did not save such as are found in the way of faith and life in Christ alone. After all it is Christ in us that is the hope of Glory and He cannot deny Himself!!