1. Paul makes mention of the phrase faithful saying five times
a. Regarding Jesus' coming to save sinners - 1 Timothy 1:15
b. Regarding the desire to serve as a bishop - 1 Timothy 3:1
c. Regarding the value of godly exercise - 1 Timothy 4:8-9
d. Regarding our salvation by God's grace - Titus 3:4-8
e. And also the passage that serves as our text today - 2 Timothy 2:11-13
2. Paul's purpose was to encourage Timothy to endure hardship for Christ
a. As mentioned near the beginning of this chapter - 2 Timothy 2:3
b. As Paul himself had done and would continue to do - 2 Timothy 2:8-10
3. This faithful saying should encourage us to endure hardship as well
A. FOR IF WE DIED WITH HIM
1. An allusion to baptism, in which we are crucified with Christ - Romans 6:3-8
B. WE SHALL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM
1. We live with Christ now, in newness of life - Romans 6:4
2. We shall also live with Him in the age to come, in glory - Colossians 3:4
3. Yet living with Christ both now and then is contingent on having died with Him!
A. IF WE ENDURE
3. Are you willing to endure hardship to receive the promises? - Hebrews 6:11-12
B. WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM
1. A wonderful promise made by Christ Himself - Revelation 3:21
2. A reign with Christ that:
a. Begins in principle in this life - Ephesians 2:4-7
c. Culminates in glory in the eternal state - Revelation 22:5
3. Participation in this reign depends on willingness to suffer with Him! - Romans 8:17
A. IF WE DENY HIM
B. HE WILL ALSO DENY US
1. He will deny us before His Father in heaven - Matthew 10:33
2. He will deny us before the angels of God - Luke 12:9
A. IF WE ARE FAITHLESS
1. It is possible to develop an evil heart of unbelief - Hebrews 3:12
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 - Matthew 18:21-22
2) As demonstrated in His forgiveness of Peter, who denied Him three times - John 21:15-19
3. While apostasy is a very real danger, restoration remains a viable hope because of the faithfulness of Christ and His Father - 1 John 1:9
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 passage 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)
4. Are you remaining faithful to Him who remains faithful? - Revelation 2:10
5. May this faithful saying encourage you to do whatever is needed to make your life with Christ what it should be!
-- Don Treadway, March 2011 --