2 Timothy 2:11-13 – “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.” NKJV
The Bible is filled with progressions easily related to everyday life and this, in my view, is one of those examples. It contains a gold mine of truth and I would like for us to attempt to unearth some of the simple surface truths found here.
Paul was encouraging his spiritual son Timothy and all who would hear regarding the importance and labor of Grace and the need to be strong. He warned that there would be hardships and unveiled the reality that this Christian walk could be compared to that of a combat soldier. He warned that those who are going to succeed in this warfare must consider it just that, WAR. The successful soldier does not become entangled in the peripherals of life but focuses on his missions and his orders. He also compared it to the athlete who has certain rules to follow, a training regimen and dedicates himself to the contest. Then he identified how this life compares to the farmer and the labors involved but reminded Timothy that the farmer is sustained by the harvest of his fields. Paul then shifted gears, some seem to think, but I suggest he is simply outlining the Progression of Life in the Daily Walk of the Believer.
He uses the word “IF” repeatedly and it is critically important. This is another of those “if-then” situations in the Bible. If you do this, then you get this or become this. If you do this, then God does this. The converse is also true, if you do not do this, then you do not get this. This is a Progressions that begins with SALVATION.
- We Must Die with Him to Live with Him.
This is not speaking of that ultimate hour when we depart this life and live for eternity with God. It is speaking of our Dying to Sin and becoming New Creations in Christ Jesus, THE NEW BIRTH of Salvation. Remember when Jesus spoke of His own death, He used the natural analogy of a grain of corn being planted (dying) so that it could germinate, produce a stalk, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. It is a necessary progression. If we are DEAD TO SIN, then we are ALIVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. Old things are passed away and all things become new. But, the beginning of this walk, way, and warfare is DYING with Him and being RESURRECTED with Him spiritually.
- We must Endure to Reign with Him.
I agree this is talking about eternity but it is also talking about our condition and position in Christ here on Earth. First, we died to sin so that we could be BORN AGAIN and rise to newness of life. Then, we encounter the fiery darts of the wicked one with all the tests, trials, and temptations as he seeks to shipwreck our faith. Jesus warned that the world would hate us because it hated him. James reminded us that trials were a natural part of the Christian life saying, “Count it all Joy when they come.” He explained that the trials make us strong and perfect our faith. Jesus called us a “kingdom of priests” and we are told that we ‘more than conquerors’. You do realize that you cannot be a conqueror much less more than a conqueror with no conflicts, don’t you? So, if we ENDURE we REIGN with Him.
- If we Deny Him, He Denies us.
That is a direct reference to the words of Jesus that if we are ashamed of Him before man, He would be ashamed of us before the Father. If we deny Him, He will deny us. If we receive Him, He will receive us. This is a negative that is positive in the sense that the converse is also true. If we Deny Him, He Denies us but if we Acknowledge Him, He acknowledges us. In life, we move from Death to Life in the Spirit realm, the exact opposite of the natural. Then we endure as training for reigning and in that enduring, we learn confidence and develop commitment through His Covenant so having done all to Stand We Stand in Faith.
- If we are Unfaithful (Faithless), He remains Faithful for He cannot deny Himself.
We may turn our back on Him, go back on our word, break our commitment and covenant, but HE WILL NOT. When we come to that place in our Christian experience that we Know that we Know that we Know He is Faithful we find it easy to die to sin, live to righteousness and endure everything life throws at us. For we know whom we have believed and are confident that He is able and will keep what we have committed to Him (Our lives) eternally.
May the Lord encourage your heart and help you to die daily to everything and anything that might hinder your warfare as a soldier, your competing as an athlete, and your harvest as a farmer. Remember you are in training for reigning and He Never Fails!
God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!