2 Timothy 2:11-13 ESV
“The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.”
These “if” statements are all throughout the New Testament Scriptures, because our faith in Jesus Christ has God-given requirements. God doesn’t just hand us our salvation on a silver platter and then we are good to go for eternity regardless of how we live our lives on this earth. Although that does appear to be the popular teaching in America today, and perhaps in other countries, too, it is not the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are conditions to be met by us for us to have eternal life with God.
The first one is that if we have died with Christ, we will also live with him. And by dying with Christ, it means that we have died with him to sin, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life in him. For our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For if sin is what we obey, it leads to death, not to life eternal with God (see Romans 6:1-23).
For the Scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might now live for him and no longer for ourselves. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God, to redeem us out of our lives of sin, so that we would now honor Jesus Christ with our lives. For God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, teaches us to renounce (say “No” to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return.
[1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Titus 2:11-14]
The second one is that if we endure, we will also reign with him. And the Scriptures have much to say on the subject of endurance and continuing steadfast in our faith until the very end in order for us to have the hope of eternal life with God. For it is the one who endures to the end who will be saved. And it is the one who continues in the grace of God, and who holds firmly to the truth of the gospel, and who continues in the faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope of the gospel who has salvation from sin.
And what is that faith and that gospel that we must continue in? It is what Jesus said when he said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose our lives for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die with him to sin and live to his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life. For if we are ashamed of Jesus and his word, he will be ashamed of us when he returns.
[Matthew 10:22; 1 Corinthians 15:2; 2 Timothy 2:12; Romans 11:22; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 3:6,14-15; 2 Peter 1:5-11; 1 John 2:24-25; John 15:1-12; Luke 9:23-26]
The third one is that if we deny (disown) Jesus Christ, that he will also deny (disown) us, which is what he said also in Luke 9:26. And he said that in Matthew 7:21-23 when he said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. For many will stand before the Lord one day claiming him as Lord and declaring all the things they did in his name, and he is going to say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness,” for they did not obey our Lord’s commands.
And denying Jesus is not just with our lips. In fact, it is possible to proclaim him with our lips as Lord of our lives but then to deny him by our actions. For many people give only lip service to the Lord, professing to know him as their Lord and Savior, but then they continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and they will not obey him and his commands. And they will not bow the knee to him in submission to him as Lord. For they want their sins more than they desire a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus.
[Matthew 10:33; 2 Timothy 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 1:15-16; Jude 1:4; 1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 3:4-10]
And the fourth one is that if we are faithless, our Lord remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. But this is not saying that if we are faithless that the Lord will be faithful to us in still securing for us salvation from sin and eternal life with God. It just means that regardless of what we do, he will not change who he is. For if we are faithless, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven, but our portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death (see Revelation 21:8).
So, we need to take all of this to heart. For if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and not in holiness and righteousness and in obedience to our Lord Jesus, as our practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God regardless of what faith in Jesus Christ we profess with our lips. For we are all going to reap what we sow, and if we sow to the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. But if we sow to the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption, destruction, death, and not life eternal with God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Near the Cross
Hymn lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby, 1869
Music by William H. Doane, 1869
Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
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See also: https://walkingwounded.blog/2023/03/28/are-gods-promises-conditional/