2 Timothy 2:8-13
The Word of God Is Not Bound
The Apostle continues to encourage Timothy and us. He points to our Lord and Savior, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel.” “Keep your focus on Christ,” Paul is saying, “and don’t be afraid to suffer.” There is no need to despair. Why? Because “the word of God is not bound.” Therefore, even if we are chained, the elect will be saved as the gospel conquers the hearts of those who are his. Be encouraged, Timothy; we can’t lose! Our Lord has conquered.
This is a message that Americans need to hear. As our nation travels further down the path of paganism, we know that God has His people—He knows those who are His (John 10:27). He knows those whom He has chosen and He will call them out of darkness and bring them home (Romans 8:29-39). And He does this through His word which is not and cannot be bound by any man. So take your eyes off your country and keep them fixed on Jesus Christ, risen and victorious over death and the grave and any enemy.
It is my belief that beginning with verse eleven, Paul inserts part of an ancient church hymn which he introduces with, “The saying is trustworthy” (see WBC, 501-502). The hymn includes beautiful promises but also with a word of warning. “If we have died with him, we will also live with him,” reminds us of what the Apostle said in another place, “I die every day,” referring to the sacrificial life the Christian lives for the sake of the Kingdom, both by serving others and sloughing off sin (Mark 8:34-35; 1 Corinthians 15:31). The next promise tells us that “if we endure, we will also reign with him.” We are hereby reminded that the Christian life, far from a cake walk, is a difficult journey with obstacles and even enemies along the way, for the devil ever prowls about (1 Peter 5:8). The Christian must be vigilant in the spiritual disciplines. I would recommend Bunyan’s classic, The Pilgrim’s Progress, as a primer on facing temptation and enduring. Then comes the warning, “If we deny him, he will also deny us.” Pictured here is the apostate who turns his back on Christ and renounces the faith due to fear or the love of the world for which Paul will soon mention Demas (4:10); and even Christ said as much (Matthew 10:32-33).
“But I am so faithless,” you say, “forever falling, always failing.” So Paul offers the word of comfort, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself,” meaning, the faithful One never ceases to be faithful even though we fail. He will never let us down.