May 25th, 2021 – Tuesday Afternoon
“If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us…” ~2 Timothy 2:12
This verse might seem too harsh for some, but it’s true; it may seem to put too much emphasis on human ability, but it doesn’t; we may try to finagle it to fit into our presuppositional theology, but we must be careful to be tender to the Lord instead of forcing Him into our frame. Remember, this is His Word, empowered by His Spirit, and under His dominion; if He says it, it’s true, it’s good, and it’s beneficial for His children.
Ok, so we got that. Now, what is this verse saying? Let’s break it down line by line. First, “if we endure”: This is the same word Paul used in verse 10 when he spoke of enduring all things for the sake of the elect; it has the idea of persevering, absolutely and emphatically, through trials for the sake of Christ. This isn’t a new idea, since even Jesus said that those who follow Him will suffer persecution (a form of trials/suffering), and enduring is the only way to trust Him (Matthew 24:13). This naturally leads to the second part of this first line “we will also reign with Him”: The word “reign” in this line is used metaphorically “to possess supreme honor, liberty, blessedness, with one in the kingdom of God”; it is the idea of reigning together with Christ. Remember, our life is hidden with Christ and when He is revealed, we will also appear in glory with Him. What a return on investment! Enduring (through His power, FYI) the short trials and sufferings of this life is nothing compared to enjoying the blessedness of eternal glory with Him!
“If we deny Him”: The word “deny” carries with it the idea of disownment; it “is used of follower[s] of Jesus who, for fear of death or persecution, deny that Jesus is their master, and desert His cause”. Thus, to deny Jesus is to turn one’s back on Him and to walk away. Interestingly enough, this same Greek word is used of believers who deny themselves for the cause of Christ (Luke 9:23); it is as though it is, in part, a matter of denying the right object (ourselves versus Him). “He also will deny us”: The same word is repeated from the first line and brings to mind Jesus’ words of warning in Matthew 10:33. He will not defend those who desert Him for themselves and the world; it is a reminder that the high cost of following Jesus is nothing compared to the cost of denying Him.
Following Jesus is not easy because we are called to deny ourselves; yet, the joy, wonder, glory, and reward of doing so far outweighs the disownment of self. He supplies the power of His Spirit and His all-sufficient grace while we are to simply trust and obey; our trusting obedience unleashes His grace and power (2 Corinthians 9:7-8) The question, then, is this: Are we enduring (trusting Him) or are we denying (trusting ourselves)? The stakes are high and the cost is great, but the reward is even better! Let us press on for His glory and for our good, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.