Thursday in the Twenty-Second Week of Ordinary Time

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.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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