Summary: In this exhortation to Timothy, Paul is admonishing him and us (as believers) to confess our Lord, to be convicted of His gospel, and to be committed to serving Him. To be able to say, "I know in whom I have believed ..."
I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED
I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for His own.
I know not how this saving faith to me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word wrought peace with in my heart.
I know not how the Spirit moves, convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus thro’ the Word, creating faith in Him.
I know not what of good or ill may be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days, before His face I see.
I know not when my Lord may come, at night or noon-day fair,
Nor if I’ll walk the vale with Him, or meet Him in the air.
“But I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.” [KJV]
D. W. Whittle (1840-1901)
Just like D. W. Whittle, in this hymn, we too may “know not” the “why” as to God’s grace. Yet, despite this lack of knowledge or understanding in Godly things when we look at our salvation in Christ we too declare with confidence; it doesn’t matter that I know not “WHY” because I know “WHOM” I have believed.
Paul was in a Roman prison, very near the end of his life. In this epistle he writes to the younger Timothy encouraging him to be “not ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, nor of Paul being in prison” – instead he [Timothy] should be willing to suffer for the “Gospel’s” sake, because the gospel was about our Savior, Jesus Christ.
In this exhortation to Timothy, Paul is admonishing him and us (as believers in Christ) to confess confidently Jesus as our Lord, to be convinced of His gospel’s saving power, and to be committed to serving Him to the end. [vv. 8-9]
I. CONFESSION – “For I know whom I have believed”
** Knowledge - is based on information.
** Information - can be classified either as general or intimate.
General - usually means common knowledge, which is normally received from someone else.
*** A man was once asked what he believed about God. He replied, “I believe what my church believes.” [Well] “What does your church believe?’ He said, “My church believes what I believe.” [Then] “What do you and your church believe?’ He said, “We both believe the same thing.” - [S. Shepherd – SermonCentral.com, 7/02]
Is this a description of you or the church?
Why do you believe what you believe?
Do you believe in a “historical Jesus” - which is a general knowledge - of whom others have told you about? - Or, do you truly “know” Him in an intimate way?
Intimate – is that which is experienced or comes from having closeness in what you know. This is the type of knowledge spoken of here in our text.
Know – Greek: oida, (# 1492) - means: to have seen or perceived - to have knowledge of something in completeness [Vine’s Exp. Dict. of NT Words, 1996, 346].
*** I know my wife intimately, as most of you should be able to say concerning your spouse or a loved one in your family). I know her as my friend, who walks beside me and shares her love and life with me – she is the one I have entrusted my affections with. - This is what it means to know someone intimately!