2 Timothy 2:11-13 ESV
“The statement is trustworthy:
“For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He will also deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
I don’t know how many of us have really examined the words written here in light of other Scriptures in the New Testament, and I am not aware of how many of us truly grasp what these words are saying to us. I know that it took me a long while before I grasped the meaning here, largely due to needing to overcome things I had been taught from childhood on up.
Notice with me that all of these above statements begin with the word “if,” meaning that they are conditional statements. If the first thing is true, then this is what follows. And when we study the Scriptures further, we will learn that there are many “if” verses which teach conditional salvation.
[Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 1 Jn 2:24-25]
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him
So, when it says, “If we died with Him, we will also live with Him,” it means what it says. If we want to live with Christ for eternity, we must die with him to sin. If we have not died with him to sin, we can’t live with him for eternity. But is this taught anywhere else in the Scriptures? Yes!
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life… Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Rom 6:4, 8).
“And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it’” (Lu 9:23-24).
“So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — for if you are living in accord with the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:12-13).
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit” (Gal 6:7-8; cf. Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10).
If we endure, we will also reign with Him
So, what does it mean to endure? It means to persevere, to stand your ground, to remain, to suffer, to continue. It has to do with this death with Christ to sin, dying with Christ to sin and self daily, and following him in obedience, which involves suffering for the sake of his name.
“And you will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved” (Matt 10:22).
“But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved” (Matt 24:13).
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain” (1 Co 15:2)
“… And we are his house, IF we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast… We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first” (Heb 3).
“See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—even eternal life” (1 John 2:24-25).
If we deny Him, He will also deny us
Denying Jesus Christ is not just a verbal denial of him. In fact, many false teachers publicly claim to know him, but they are wolves in sheep’s clothing who are Satan’s servants masquerading themselves as servants of righteousness. For, many hypocritical liars make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ in order to deceive others.
So, denying Christ may or may not include a verbal denial of him, denying his existence and his sacrifice for our sins, etc. For the primary way in which we deny Christ is by how we live, not by what we say with our lips.
“But whoever denies Me before people, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt 10:33).
“They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed” (Tit 1:16).
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Matt 15:8-9).
“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Lu 9:26).
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself
This is not an encouragement to the faithless that God will be faithful to them in doing for them what they have imagined that he should do for them, which they base on a false gospel and a false Jesus they had been taught.
It is saying that if we are faithless, God is still going to be faithful to do all that he said he would do, for he cannot be less than who he is. And he promised that if we are faithless, and if we deny him, and if we do not die with him to sin, and therefore we can’t endure with him, that he will deny us. We won’t live with him for eternity, but we will die in our sins.
So, please take this Scripture to heart, and please study what these other Scriptures teach, too, for the Scriptures are consistent. We don’t just pray a prayer or make some profession of faith in Jesus Christ and now we are welcomed into God’s family and heaven is now secured for us.
We must die with Christ to sin and we must live to Christ and to his righteousness if we want to be saved and have eternal life with God, for this is why Jesus died, to free us from our slavery to sin that we might now be slaves of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Jn 6:35-58; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
So, if you want to live with Christ for eternity and have your sins forgiven, you must die to sin and live to God and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24).
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.