Summary: God’s Son, our Lord Jesus, is the firm foundation, the solid Rock, upon which our faith is built.
TWO ASSURANCES AND ONE COMMAND
Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
Paul warns Timothy of false teachings that were common in the early history of the church. He pointed out the false teachings of Hymenaeus and Philetus who taught that the resurrection of the dead had already occurred. This is the background for verse 19.
NEVERTHELESS, THE FOUNDATION OF GOD STAND SURE
After instructing Timothy to avoid the vain babblings and errant teachings that were hindering the early church, Paul says that, in spite of all this, the foundation of God stands firm. False doctrines will not shake the foundation of God. God’s Son, our Lord Jesus, is the firm foundation, the solid Rock, upon which our faith is built.
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth saying, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 3:11)
Samuel J. Stone penned these lines that beautifully convey this truth. His poem, set to music by Samuel S. Wesley, comprise one of the truly great hymns of the Church.
“The church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation,
By Spirit and the Word:
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride,
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.”
HAVING THIS SEAL: THE LORD KNOWS THOSE WHO ARE HIS.
This provides great strength and enormous comfort to us. We do not have to introduce ourselves to God at any point in our relationship. He knew us before the foundation of the world and He knows us now. Several wonderful Scriptures justify our confidence. Consider:
“The Lord is good. A stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” (Hosea 1:7)
Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and they know Me.” (John 10:14)
“Just as He [the Father] chose us in Him [the Son] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Ephesians 1:4-5
“God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13b)
"LET EVERYONE WHO NAMES THE NAME OF CHRIST DEPART FROM INIQUITY." (2 Timothy 2:19c)
Living a righteous, holy and separated life is a command that we can and must obey if we are to be pleasing unto God. Paul clearly states this. "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:17)
This is an awesome and difficult command. Paul found it to be so as he so boldly declared in Romans 7:19-24. There we read:
“For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
I will never forget in 1945, as a student in Baylor University, I took a course in “The Life and Writings of the Apostle Paul”. When the professor came to the Romans 7:14-25 passage, he paused and asked “How many of you, starting from the time you were saved, can live without ever sinning against God? We all had to admit that we could not do that, that we encountered the same struggle as did Paul.
He paused once and re-phrased his question. “If you tried really hard, could you live a year without sinning?” All of us thought for a moment and then decided that a year was a long time and that we could not make it through an entire year without sinning at one time or the other.
The professor continued this line of questioning asking if we could live sinless lives for a month; then a week; then a day. At the point of “a day” several hands were hesitantly lifted, but most hands were not.