2 Timothy 2:11-13
God is Faithful to Himself Above All
πιστὸς ὁ λόγος•
This saying is trustworthy:
Ground: of God's faithfulness
Content and ground for the saying
How God's Faithfulness is Shown
εἰ γὰρ συναπεθάνομεν,
If . . . we died with him,
Explanation: How God is faithful when we value Him. Positive statement. Progressive statements in a pair
we will also live with him.
If . . .we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If . . . we deny him,
Explanation: How God is faithful when we reject, are unbelieving of Him. Negative statement. Progressive statement.
κἀκεῖνος ἀρνήσεται ἡμᾶς•
he will also deny us.
If . . . we are unfaithful,
ἐκεῖνος πιστὸς μένει, ἀρνήσασθαι
he remains faithful,
God's Ultimate Commitment to Himself
Ground of God's Faithfulness
ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται.
he cannot deny himself.
πιστὸς ὁ λόγος• εἰ γὰρ συναπεθάνομεν, καὶ συζήσομεν•
εἰ ὑπομένομεν, καὶ συμβασιλεύσομεν• εἰ ἀρνησόμεθα, κἀκεῖνος ἀρνήσεται ἡμᾶς•
εἰ ἀπιστοῦμεν, ἐκεῖνος πιστὸς μένει, ἀρνήσασθαι γὰρ ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται.
Dr Piper's Questions Why would Paul say that 2 Timothy 2:11–13 is “trustworthy”? It means that are sayings that are circulating, some are trustworthy, and some are not. The common expression which Paul quotes happens to be trustworthy. The saying is that God is faithful. Paul is agreeing with that. Trustworthy also means faithful (as in the Greek root) What does that say (or not say) about the rest of his letter? The rest of his letter is trustworthy. Paul is not implying this. He is implying that other sayings circulating in society are not trustworthy. What structure, if any, do you see in the saying in 2 Timothy 2:11–13? Content of the saying is the ground (for) of its trustworthiness. A pair of positive statements in 2 Tim 2:11 increased in 2 Tim 2:12 Another pair in 12b and 13 : negative statements, if we deny. . .if we are faithless How do the four lines of the saying seem to relate to one another, and what would that suggest about the meaning of the first half 2 Timothy 2:13? The two pairs are contrasted with each other. Each pair is an intensification of the first part. In both pairs, God is faithful in His right response to what we do. So God is faithful: - if we trust Him and value him enough to die with Christ, He will be faithful to have us live with Him - if we endure through, He will be faithful to have us reign with Him HOWEVER - if we deny Him, i.e. do not value Him but refuse to have Him as our God, God will be faithful to deny us - If we do not consider Him trustworthy, and do not trust and have faith in Him, believing how He is God in our lives, God will remain faithful to Himself, and He will not have us life with Him or reign with Him. If the beginning of 2 Timothy 2:13 is a warning after all, why would it be good news that God will not deny himself? Because God is faithful to Himself first, He will be rightly respond to us whether we trust, believe, delight and treasure Him. Or whether we will deny, be faithless to, reject and not value Him above all. That God does not indulge us, or pervert justice with us, not rightly respond to us will ultimately make Him less of a God, makes us gods instead. At the end of it all, we will come to not regard highly this God. What makes the faithfulness of God to himself good news for a believer? All our goal and desires and purpose and wanting to follow Christ, to trust God, to value God above all else, to die with Christ and endure the Christian life in Christ for God, is all worth it! God will be faithful to reward us by having us live with Him and reign with Him. Takeaway It is an appropriate fearsome, awesome and right thing that God is ultimately for His own glory. God will rightly, justly, honorably, trustworthy to respond faithfully to Himself, and to me if I die, endure for Him, or if I deny and am faithless to Him.