Summary: Certainties from the Word of God.
A man and his ten-year-old son were on a fishing trip miles from home. At the boy’s insistence, they decided to attend the Sunday worship service at a small rural church. The father forgot to bring any cash, so he reached in his pocket and gave his son a quarter to drop in the offering plate as it was passed.
As they walked back to their car after the service, the father complained. "The service was too long, the sermon was boring, and the singing was off key."
Finally the boy said, "Daddy, what did you expect for a quarter?
“A Bunch of Everlastings”
Verse 12 - “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
Second Timothy could be called Paul’s last will and testament for he is in his last imprisonment and the signs of his impending death are everywhere around him, but there is no note of regret, on the contrary, there is one of the greatest statements of faith found anywhere in the Bible. It stands along side Job’s “my redeemer liveth…”as an expression of a heart that has settled the great issues of life. In life as in death Paul trusted in certainties, not speculations, to borrow from F. W. Boreham, Paul trusted in a, “Bunch of Everlastings.” Thankfully for us, Paul tells what those “everlastings” are!
I. The Simplicity of Paul’s Faith – “I know whom I have believed…”
Paul proceeds to explain both the cause and the willingness of his suffering in v. 12. He says “For the which cause I also suffer these things…” The cause mentioned here includes:
a. His past experience – This would include his persecution of the early church, his arrest by the Lord on the Damascus Road and his life of pain and hardship as he preached the faith that he once hated.
Acts 26:9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
b. His present experience – In particular this would refer to his most recent discouragement and suffering in the Roman prison but in spite of all the suffering he has experienced he has no regrets. He still firmly believes that the cause is worth the pain, and he confidently recommends the same journey through life for Timothy and all others who would read his words.
c. His personal experience – “I have believed…” in the original, indicates a completed action accompanied by a continuing result (Greek perfect tense). There is no struggle in Paul’s faith at this point in his life and ministry. Christ has proved himself too many times; his faith is settled, sure, firm. Robert Picirilli in “The FWB Commentary”
ILL - Someone asked Melvin Trotter, who was a hopeless alcoholic before his conversion, "How do you know you are a Christian?" Trotter replied, "I was there when it happened!"
ILL - F. W. Boreham writes of a man who lay dying, and was being comforted by a friend. Seeking to fortify the dying man’s faith he read this passage, “I know in whom I have believed, and— but the sick man stopped him and exclaimed, “It is not I know in whom” but “I know whom” I cannot have even the little word “in” between me and Christ.”
John Oxenham’s poem – “Credo”
Not what, but WHOM, I do believe,
That, in my darkest hour of need,
Hath comfort that no mortal creed
To mortal man may give;--
Not what, but WHOM!
For Christ is more than all the creeds,
And His full life of gentle deeds
Shall all the creeds outlive.
Not what I do believe, but WHOM!
WHO walks beside me in the gloom?
WHO shares the burden wearisome?
WHO all the dim way doth illume,
And bids me look beyond the tomb
The larger life to live?--
Not what I do believe,
II. The Security of Paul’s Faith – “…that He is able to keep…”
a. He trusted God’s way in salvation – Paul trusts implicitly in the love of God.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?