2 Timothy 2

2 Timothy 2:1

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

The grace that is in Christ Jesus. God gives us his grace through his Son (1 Cor 1:4, Eph 1:6).

Jesus is the embodiment of the Father’s grace. Consequently, we can say that the gospel of grace is the gospel of Jesus (Acts 20:24, 2 Th. 1:8). There is no difference.

Further reading: “Is Grace a Person?

2 Timothy 2:10

For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

(a) Those who are chosen; see entry for Eph. 1:4.

(b) The salvation which is in Christ Jesus. Salvation is not a lifeboat or ticket to heaven. Salvation is being put into Jesus. This is why those in Christ are eternally unpunishable (1 John 4:18). One with the Lord, his future is ours. We are as secure as the Savior himself.

Further reading: “The many benefits of union

2 Timothy 2:11

It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;

(a) We died with Him. The Christian life begins at death. This is what makes the gospel unique. Every manmade religion preaches self-denial and dying to self, but the gospel simply declares, “You died.”

Many Christians are trying to crucify the flesh or their old self, but the sinful person you used to be was crucified with Christ, and no longer lives. You are a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). See entry for Gal. 2:20.

(b) We will also live with Him. We died with Christ, so that Christ might live his resurrected life through us. It’s an if-then statement. If A, then B. “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). You have been raised to new life and given a brand new nature. You are not a dead-in-your-sins sinner but a living saint because Jesus makes you so.

2 Timothy 2:12

If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;

(a) We will also reign with Him. The new life we have in Christ is one of enduring and reigning with him (Rom. 5:17). We don’t endure to earn this new life, for everything comes to us by grace. We endure because Christ has endured and the One who overcame the world lives in you (John 16:33).

There are three parts to this trustworthy saying: Because you died with Christ and now live with Christ, you can reign with Christ. Many Christians are looking forward to a future life with Christ but they are not ruling and reigning with him here and now. They don’t know they can. They’ve been told life is one big test and maybe, if they are careful, they’ll get a crown at the end. But the abundant life Christ promised is experienced by those who know and trust him now.

(b) If we deny Him, He also will deny us. Paul is talking about unbelievers. He is echoing what Jesus says in Matthew 10:33. He is not talking about those who are one with the Lord and who stand by grace.

We who have died with Christ cannot un-die. We who have been born again cannot be unborn. If you were to deny him, as Peter did three times, Jesus won’t disown you, for he cannot disown himself (see next verse).

2 Timothy 2:13

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Since Christ cannot deny or disown himself, Christ cannot disown you. One with the Lord, his future is your future. No one can snatch you from his hand (John 10:28).

The unbeliever falls on account of his faithlessness, but we stand on account of Christ’s faithfulness. Even if you have a bad day, or a moment of faithlessness, he remains utterly faithful, for he cannot disown himself. This is a trustworthy saying!

Further reading: “What if I deny Jesus?

2 Timothy 2:14

Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.

Remind them of these things. We need to be often reminded that we have died with Christ (2 Tim. 2:11), lest we be tempted to crucify the flesh or reform the old man. We need to be reminded that we live with Christ and are seated with him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6), lest we lose hope and succumb to our circumstances. And we need to be reminded that Jesus will never disown us, lest we become anxious, fearful and insecure.

2 Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

(a) Accurately handling the word of truth. There is a right way and a wrong way to read the Bible, and the right way is to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We read it to connect with the Author himself. Jesus is the Living Word who gives meaning to the written word.

The Bible is no mere book; it is the revelation of God through his Son Jesus Christ. In essence there are two questions we should ask when reading any scripture: (i) What does this passage mean in light of Jesus and his finished work on the cross? And (ii) who is the writer writing to or about? Ignore the cross, and you could end up reading about a covenant that is obsolete and no longer applies to you. Ignore the audience, and you could end up taking somebody else’s medicine.

Further reading: “How to read your Bible without getting confused

(b) The word of truth. Jesus is the word of life (1 John 1:1) and truth personified (John 14:6), so the word of truth is the revelation of Jesus Christ. By implication, Paul is talking about the Bible (see 2 Tim. 3:16).

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