Daily Reading: (2 Timothy 2:8-13):
“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 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. Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
When it comes to the attributes of God, especially God’s faithfulness, think of God’s faithfulness first and foremost by remembering Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:8).
“Remember” (mnēmoneuō) means: “Call to your mind Jesus.”
It is so important that we develop the habit of calling to our mind Jesus. Think back to those times when circumstances looked one way but turned out to be something else entirely. Remember when you saw God’s will unfold in surprising ways and look for an opportunity to share your insight with a friend or loved one.
Paul tells Timothy to remember Jesus (2 Timothy 2:8) who overcame sin and death and who offers life, and as you do, you can and will be able to endure everything (2 Timothy 2:10) for the sake of the Gospel going forth.
The question in this text becomes: “What exactly is the basis for your salvation?” Paul’s answer is that it is your union with Christ. You are not saved because you said the magic words of a sinner’s prayer. You are saved because you are one with the Lord and his saving life is your life. Paul said he endured all things so others may “obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:10).
Salvation is not just the golden ticket to heaven. It’s not about being put into a lifeboat but being put into Jesus (Ephesians 1:13). Those who are in lifeboats aren’t guaranteed of salvation, they still need to be rescued. This is why Christians with a lifeboat mentality are anxious and fearful. The waves of life toss them to and fro in the ocean of their insecurity, where they have no assurance that they are actually saved.
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him.”
“If we died with him.” What makes the Gospel unique is that the Christian life begins at death. Most religions teach self-denial and some form of dying to self, but the gospel simply declares, “You died.”
The message of the Gospel is so glorious in that we don’t merely live, we also endure and reign.” This new life we have in Christ, this union life (2 Timothy 2:11) is a new kind of life characterized by supernatural endurance and reigning in all things (2 Timothy 2:12). If Paul had said, “Work hard and endure and maybe you will get to reign,” that would be nothing special or trustworthy. That’s how the world works. But it’s not how the kingdom works. “This life we have in Christ is an enduring and reigning life,” says Paul. It’s like nothing on earth and “since Christ cannot disown himself, Christ cannot disown you” (2 Timothy 2:13)!
“This is my Gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8) Paul says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).