Thursday, July 30, 2009

2nd TImothy study, Part 9

Hello y'all! Remember to pray!

10. Therefore I endure all things for the elects' sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

11. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

13. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

In verse ten, Paul starts out by saying that he endures "all things." What does he mean by "all things?" He means, ridicule, other sufferings, prison, etc. Things that you don't get because you want them, but because you stood up for what you believed in, and those were the results. Remember, "the gospel brings sufferings." He says that he endures all of those things "for the elects' sakes." Who is he talking about? God's chosen people. Remember a few days ago, when I wrote about what Paul said about the Christian soldier? I said that we would talk more later about "Him who hath chosen him." Well, now is the time.

God knows everything. He knows all about you; he knows what you have done, are doing, and what you will do. It says in 1st John 3:20 that God knows everything. He knew all about everyone and everything before he laid the foundations of the world! What does that mean? The point I am trying to get at, is that God knew already who would believe in Him. God chose us. So we are "elected." We are the "elects." So, when Paul says that he endures "all things for the elects' sakes," he means that through his sufferings, and the sufferings of other Christians all throughout time and the world, it makes it easier for the later Christians to follow. Paul knew that he was not suffering in vain. He knew that what he preached was true, and he knew that God was more powerful than anything he could imagine. We serve a great God!

Verses eleven, twelve and thirteen are all one sentence with one thought, so we're going to do them together. :) I am going to make a list of what we can do and what the reward will be, it will help me get my thoughts straight and hopefully it will be easier to understand.
  • If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
  • If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:
  • If we deny him, he also will deny us:
  • If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
The first one says that "if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him." This is probably the easiest one to explain and understand. What does Paul mean "if we be dead with him?" Well, in Romans 6, verses five and eight Paul says, "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." And, "Now if we be dead with Christ we believe that we shall also live with him." So, if we are faithful unto death, as Christ was, we will get to live with him! Jesus Christ went back to heaven to be with the Father, and this verse says that we will "live with him!" We shall get to live in heaven, with Jesus Christ and God the Father! How awesome! That is exactly what Paul says here, for "if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him."

The next one says, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." Now what does that mean? Well, quite a few times in the New Testament, does it say that we will receive a crown. 2nd Timothy 4:28, James 1:12, 1st Peter 5:4, and Revelation 2:10, are some. But, receiving a crown, and what most people think of when thinking of "reign," is not what Paul means, I think. We will obviously not be "in charge" of heaven. We will be worshiping God before his throne! I can't think of the passage right now, but the Bible says that when we get our crowns that we will cast them at Jesus' feet, and give him our all. Another passage that talks about this same thing is Romans 8:17, it says, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." That's exactly what it says in 2nd Timothy! If we suffer with him, then we may also reign/be glorified together!

The next one should give you shivers! It does me! It says that if we deny him, then he will deny us. In Matthew 10:33 it says, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." That is a scary thought isn't it?! If we deny to follow Christ here on earth, if we tell others that we don't believe/trust/follow Jesus Christ; then he will deny us in front of God the Father on judgment day! He will say that he never knew us! We will go to hell, because we denied him! What could be more scary than that?! That is why tons of Christians all throughout history were martyrs, because they refused to deny Christ in the face of their troubles. Recall that Paul first tells us that the gospel brings sufferings, then he tells us that if we deny Christ, then we will also be denied.

The last one is not the same as the others. It says that "if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful." In the other version it is put, "if we are faithless, he remains faithful." So, even when we don't believe, he is still faithful. Even when we are faithless, he is faithful always. We can always trust God to do what he says, we can't always do that with people. God is perfect, we are not. There is a quote that I really like, it goes, "God is still God, and I am still not." God is so much greater than us! It is so humbling to read through a passage in the Bible and not understand it completely, even when we read it over and over and over again!

The second part of the verse says, "he cannot deny himself." What in the world does that mean? I did not really get it 'til I read what Barclay wrote on this verse, "These things are so because they are part of the very nature of God. A man may deny himself, but God cannot. 'God is not man that he should lie, or a son of man that he should repent' (Numbers 23:19). God will never fail the man who has tried to be true to him, but not even he can help the man who has refused to have anything to do with him."

What does it mean to deny yourself? Well, going back a little, what does it mean to deny something? According to the definition on, it means "to state that (something declared or believed to be true) is not true," or "to refuse to recognize or acknowledge." And, to deny yourself is "to refrain from satisfying one's desires or needs; practice self-denial." As human beings, we can deny ourselves. But Jesus cannot deny himself, because he is immortal, he cannot die, and he does not need anything.

Well, that was a big bite to swallow! I never really thought before about that last verse, verse 13, and what it meant. Really, I never spent much time thinking about any of those verses. I hope this helped you understand it better, as much as it helped me today. God bless, y'all! Buttercup :)

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