Summary: Fourth sermon in series on Paul’s trustworthy truths from his letters to pastors.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 For which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s Word is not chained. 10 Therefore I ENDURE everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11 Here is a TRUSTWORTHY SAYING: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 If we ENDURE, we will also reign with him. If we disown him he will also disown us; 13 If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
This TRUSTWORTHY TRUTH arises in Paul’s comparison of the Christian life to that of a soldier’s. (He makes comparisons to the athlete and farmer as well, but it is the soldier analogy that applies to the scripture text under our consideration.)
A soldier must "ENDURE hardship". (Verse 3)
He must avoid entanglements with civilian affairs. (Verse 4)
He thinks of himself as part of the team. (Verse 10)
But the mark of a good soldier highlighted in Paul’s TRUSTWORTHY TRUTH is that he trusts his commanding officer. (Verses 11-13)
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN TRUST JESUS TO DO:
1. YOU CAN TRUST JESUS TO RAISE YOU FROM THE DEAD. "If we died with him we will also live with him."
Those who believe in Jesus died with Him on the cross.
Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Romans 6:4-7 - We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Christ died and we follow him in death by dying to sin.
Christ rose from the grave and we will follow him in this also.
1 Corinthians chapter 15 describes the resurrection of the believer in victorious and certain terms. The entire chapter is very inspiring, very uplifting, very confidence building.
Pauls says if the resurrection is not a certainty then our entire Christian profession is a farce. But it is a certainty and we can trust Jesus to bring it to pass.
If you believe in Christ your body is going to be resurrected.
2. YOU CAN TRUST JESUS TO ALLOW YOU TO REIGN WITH HIM. "If we ENDURE we will also reign with him."
Chronologically speaking Paul’s second letter to Timothy is his last installment in scripture. He writes this letter from prison under sentence of death. As a persecuted saint he talks openly about ENDURANCE. This is what his life was about at the time of the writing of these words.
His words are very victorious. The entire letter is written from a very positive posture.
How did he have such victory under such circumstances?
He knew that if he ENDURED he would reign with Christ!
Could he have compromised his teaching and preaching and worked out a political solution to his sentence? Knowing the politics of the Roman government that is quite a possibility. But instead he chose to endure. Why? Because he had no intention of disowning his Lord Jesus Christ. After all, Jesus endured for him on the cross. That’s why he told Timothy, "Remember Jesus Christ." (Verse 8)
In our lives we will all be called upon to endure different uncomfortable or unpleasant situations for Christ. What will be our motivation? Many do not ENDURE. Many call it quits. They find the price of perseverance too high. And honestly, the price sometimes is high - but the reward is great! "If we ENDURE we will also reign with him."
3. YOU CAN TRUST JESUS TO EXPECT YOUR LOYALTY. "If we disown him he will also disown us."
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith (KJV - depart) and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
Some Christians believe this warning is hypothetical. Some say the people who turn away (abandon, depart) from their faith are people who never sincerely believed in the first place. Others say these are bona fide believers who knew Christ but rejected their faith in him.