[SW269] 02/10/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
“Faith and Denial”
What is it to be faithful? What is it to deny the Lord? Why should you care? Paul shows us!
Text: 2Timothy 2:1-13
I was prayerfully looking for the common thread in these verses, and the Lord showed me that they are all about faithfulness.
Verses 1-7 (note that I am using the original Greek to English to keep us from erring in interpretation) —
To be faithful means —
— To be empowered to be able to remain in a fixed position, through the grace which is in Christ Jesus.
There are two Greek words commonly used for grace. Paul specifically uses the Greek charis for “grace” in this verse, defined as “the divine influence (of Christ Jesus) on the heart, and the reflection in the life.” He does not use the Greek charisma, which means “unmerited favor.”
— To appoint faithful teachers. Paul was faithful to teach Timothy. Then Timothy was faithful to teach others. Now, appoint those who heard and heeded to go and faithfully teach others!
— To suffer for Christ, who is your Commanding Officer in the army of God.
— To please God the Father, who enlisted you in His army, by NOT becoming involved in the affairs of everyday life. Faithfully be in the world, but not of it (John 15:19).
— To compete with total obedience to Christ’s commands, so you may reach the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).
— To work hard, Him working in you. That is, don’t just sit there! Go out and preach the gospel, by the power of God that is in you! Lift up your eyes! The fields are white for harvest (John 4:35)!
AND NOW, PAUL GIVES US A PRAISE BREAK . . .
He will show you the truth of these things! Hallelujah!
Remember . . .
— God’s faithfulness, in sending Jesus Christ. Remember Christ’s faithfulness to go to the cross, having done everything the Father sent Him to do, so He could cry, “It is finished!” (See John 19:30.) Remember God’s faithfulness to raise Him from the dead, just as He promised in the Old Testament, and just as His Son promised in the New Testament.
— Paul’s faithfulness, to suffer, even to be in prison as he wrote to Timothy, and nearing his execution, though he had done no wrong.
— The faithfulness of God’s Word! It cannot be imprisoned!
— Paul’s unwavering faithfulness, enduring all things for the sake of the chosen who will hear and heed and believe and obtain the salvation in Christ, and eternal glory!
And remember that we DIED with Him. The commentators agree with me. This is death to self (Galatians 2:20). If you’re dead, you don’t care how you are persecuted for the sake of the gospel.
Here are the rewards to the faithful:
— God promises that if we endure, if we are faithful as Paul has described to us in this passage, we will reign with Christ!
But there are consequences for those who deny Him —
— From Verse 12, if you deny Him (contradict and refuse Him, in the original Greek), He will deny you (see Mt. 10:33). He will refuse you.
— From Verse 13, if you are faithless (disobedient and disbelieving), He will remain faithful.
What does that mean? He will be faithful to judge those who contradict and refuse, who disobey and disbelieve. Acts 5:1-11’s Ananias and Saphhira, and also Joshua 23:14-15, are among the many examples of God’s faithfulness to judge.
God does not change. He cannot deny that He is just and righteous. He CANNOT, this verse says, contradict and reject Himself!
So this begs the question, “What is it to deny and be faithless?”
It is to do the opposite of the faithfulness the Lord has just shown to you! It is to disobey and disbelieve, to reject and contradict the Lord. It is to rebel against Him by the way you choose to live, to rebel against His Word that says He is able to cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1John 1:9), if you confess your sin. You rebel against His truth.
And so He cannot deny Himself. You will be judged.
I tell you, it is a false and misleading and downright devilish interpretation of, “He remains faithful,” as “You are free to rebel and He will still love you.”
But here is the good news. I believe there is still time to repent. But seek Him while He may be found. Call on Him while He is near. This is a limited time offer!
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, He will have mercy on Him, and He will freely pardon (Isaiah 55:6-7).
To the faithful, be ENCOURAGED! Be empowered, so you remain in a fixed position through the divine influence of Christ Jesus on your heart! Amen.