I had something else in mind for this week’s morning devotion, but the Lord had different plans. As I was trying to write I was having some writers block. I was unsure of how to word what I was trying to say, not happy with the flow of it, and just overall not feeling it. So I took a break, said a prayer, and opened my Bible. The Lord brought this passage to my remembrance and I believe He wants me to study this out with you. I’m going to go line by line and break down 2 Timothy 2:11-13, which says “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
Let’s jump right in. Verse 11 (NKJV) says “For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.” But what does it mean to die with Jesus? Thankfully, there are other verses in the Bible that explain it. One verse that helped me understand is 2 Corinthians 4:10 which says, “ always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” If we identify with Jesus in His death, we can also identify with Him in His resurrected life.
Romans 6:4-11 really digs in to what Paul means in this passage. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It’s my understanding, then, that if we are baptized we identify with Jesus’ death. That death breaks the chains of slavery to sin. Then, because we are with Jesus in His death, we are also with Him in His resurrected life. We now exist in the glory of the Father and we live for Him. So Paul is telling us in verse 11 to live out the gospel message! He wants us to always remember and walk in what Jesus did for us.
Verse 12 says, “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us.” The dictionary.com definition of endure is to sustain without impairment, to bear with patience, or to tolerate. I believe one event Paul is referring to when he tells us to endure is in Matthew 24 where Jesus tells us about the end times. Jesus was laying out some of the terrible things that we are going to go through in the end times, and tells us “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” If we can get through the hard things in life, maintaining our faith in our savior and being patient through it all until the end of our life here on earth, we will join Christ in His inheritance.
Here when Paul speaks of denying us, he is also referring to something Jesus said. Matthew 10:32-33 says, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” This scripture really speaks for itself. If anyone denies knowing Jesus in this life, Jesus will deny knowing them when we face the Father.
Verse 13 is one that really stands out to me and captures my heart. Paul writes, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” Faithful is part of who He is. It’s one of the attributes of God, part of His holy nature. He simply can’t be anything other than who He is. He really cannot deny himself, He is incapable of being anything else. The Hebrew name for the faithful God is El Hanne’eman. There are numerous places in the Bible God shows himself to be faithful. He was with Joshua wherever he went, just as He promised He would be. God gave Joseph dreams of his future when he was a child, brought them to fruition when he was grown, and was with him every moment in between. Jesus was faithful to forgive the thief on the cross next to Him when he confessed his faith in who Jesus is. Over and over we see the Lord being faithful to His creation, even when we have not been faithful to Him.
How many times have I been faithless? Could I even try to number the times doubt and worry have made themselves bigger than God in my thoughts? How many times have I disobeyed or rebelled? How many times have I misrepresented Him? More times than I can count, I’m sure. Yet He remains faithful. Faithful to forgive, to comfort, to redeem and to love. He simply cannot deny Himself. God is who He is, regardless of who we are or any circumstances of life. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Faithful to the end.