Text -2 Tim 1 v12, READING v1-14
Preached in Markethill FPC by Rev James Porter
In describing true Biblical Christianity it has been said, that it originates from heaven and is completely different from the false religions of men. Also it has been said of those who possess it that they are exposed top trouble from the persecution from the ungodly. And then it has also been said of the true Christian that such have confidence in the midst of earth's troubles.
Such marks of true Christianity were all to be found in the life of the apostle Paul. His Christian faith meant that his life was different from the ungodly ways of this world. Also his Christian faith meant that he suffered persecution. Then His Christian faith meant that he had he had great confidence in the midst of trying situations. This confidence was all because of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And Paul speaks of this confidence in 2 Tim 1 v12 when he says, "…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
At this point in his life Paul was a prisoner for the sake of the gospel. Soon he was to be martyred for his faith. Yet despite such adverse circumstances he still had a wonderful confidence in Christ.
He speaks of this confidence in this verse so that Timothy himself would be encouraged to go on with the Lord. Well just as Timothy needed encouragement so all of Gods people need to be encouraged to go on with God. It's for such a valid reason that I want us to look a this verse which highlights Paul's confidence in the Lord.
1. Paul's confidence involved the knowledge of Christ. .
Speaking of Christ Paul says, "…for I know whom I have believed…."Paul had a personal knowledge and acquaintance with Christ. This is why he had great confidence in the day of trial.
Believer in Christ, it is only through Knowing the Lord, and being acquainted with him that you will continue serving the Lord in the midst of trial
Well if a person is to know Christ he must first of all know Him as his saviour from sin. This is how it was with Paul. Speaking about Christ he could say in 1 Tim 1 v15, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. " In realising his need as a lost sinner before God, Paul repented of his sin and trusted in Christ and in his finished work for salvation He trusted in Christ so that he could be saved from the consequence and awful ruin of his sin in a lost sinner's hell.
Speaking of Christ to the Ephesisan church he could say, " In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;." Paul was saved., his sins were pardoned through faith in the precious blood of Christ. -This is where his acquaintance with Christ commenced.
Likewise if you are to know Christ then you must start by trusting in Him as our personal saviour..
This is how it was with the hymn writer for they could say of Christ, "my faith has found a resting place , Not in device or creed, I trust the ever living one ,His wounds for me shall plead." I trust that this is how it is with you.
There is only one way that you can be right with God, there is only one way that you can know fellowship with the lord. That way is not through anything of self or of man. Rather it is by you coming as a sinner to Christ for salvation. . If you come to Christ as a repentant sinner trusting in him alone to cleanse away your sin by his precious blood. Then you shall be saved, ROM 10 v13, " For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Being saved you will be brought into a position of blessed fellowship with the Lord.
The bible says, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far of are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Ephesians 2 v13. Calvary is the place were all of us must begin on the pathway of fellowship with the lord.
But then once you are saved, your acquaintance with the Lord can be nurtured and enhanced through prayer and feeding your soul upon Gods word. This is how it was with Paul . In Acts 9 v11 we read of Paul shortly after his conversion and it says, "behold he prayeth.". His life was marked by prayer.
Then in 2 Tim 3 v16 we have him speaking about the word of God and he says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:…" From those words it is obvious that Paul had a great regard for the word of God
In all this his knowledge of the Lord was increased.
Child of god it will be the same in your life and mine when there is a giving of your self to prayer and to the word of God. James 4 v8 says, " draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh unto you.
In John 5 v39, Christ himself is speaking and he says, "search the scriptures for they are they, which testify of me." It was M Luther who said, " just as we go to cradle only to find the baby so we go to the scriptures only to find the Christ. " Yes Paul's confidence in the day of trial was built upon him knowing Christ. Likewise you too can only have confidence in the day of adversity by knowing Christ.
2. Paul's Confidence involved faith in Christ.
Paul says, "… for I know whom I have believed…. ." That word "believed …" speaks of faith & trust.
Paul's confidence in the Lord began by him trusting Christ as saviour. That confidence in Christ was to continue by a life of faith. Paul was a man of faith, As he neared the end of this life he could say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.".
Speaking to the Galatian church he could say in Galatians 2 v20," I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Faith in the Lord is the mark of all who confide in the Lord. The Bible says, "The just shall live by faith."
Study the life of Paul and you will see that he trusted in the Lord for strength to do the will and work of God. He could say in Philippians 4 v13 , " I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
When you are saved you can trust the Lord for grace to do his will. The Lord says, "… my grace is sufficient for thee…."
Then we can say that Paul trusted in the lord to supply his needs. For he could say to the church at Phillipii, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. " Philippians 4 v19 , Likewise child of God when you put the Lord first you can trust in the Lord to supply your every need. . In deed Christ has said, " …seek ye first the kingdom of god and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.."
George Muller was famous for taking care of thousands of children in orphanages in Bristol. These children had to be fed, clothed & educated. In doing this Muller did not publicly ask for a single penny rather he prayed and trusted the lord to meet every need .
Also Paul was one who trusted in the lord for wisdom and guidance. This is evident from the counsel he gives to Timothy in 2 timothy 2 v7, there he says, "The Lord give thee understanding in all things…. "
Believer, whenever it comes to making decisions in your life. You can trust the Lord to guide you aright as you pray and read his word. The Bible says, "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3 v6
Speaking of the Bible the hymnriter could say, "How wonderful that book divine, by inspiration given, bright as a lamp its doctrines shine, to guide our souls to heaven. " In the crossroads of life you can trust the lord to guide you aright.
Yes through faith in the Lord Paul had confidence and in like manner you and I who are saved will have confidence when we learn to trust the Lord in every department of our lives.
3. Paul's confidence involved hope in Christ.
In 2 Timothy 1v 12 he says, "for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.." In committing his soul to Christ in salvation, Paul was fully persuaded that Christ would keep him secure unto eternal life in glory.
No matter what happened to him this side of eternity, Paul knew that he would never be punished for his sins in hell and that he would never loose his salvation. Paul had this hope because he knew that Christ was the eternal, sinless, almighty Son of God and being the sinless Son of God he knew that Christ sacrifice upon the cross-had satisfied gods justice against sin.
That being so Paul knew that all who trust in Christ as saviour will not experience Gods wrath upon then for that wrath was poured out upon Christ at Calvary. Rather they will experience Gods saving mercy forever. This hope is evident from the words of Paul in Romans 8v1,33,34, &35. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, …33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. V34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
On account of the finished work of Christ all of Gods people are free from the condemnation of their sin.
Then in V's 35, 38& 39, he says, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here he tells us how there is nothing that can separate the believer from Christ.
And back in v30 of the same chapter he says, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
Here he tells us how all of Gods people are sure of heaven and glory. This was Paul's hope and it is the same hope of every one of us who are saved. The reason for us having this hope is all because of what Christ done for us at the cross.
The Bible says, " For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. … ." 1 peter 3 v18 .Child of God no matter what comes your way in this scene of time, you can never loose your salvation. You will never be judged for your sins in hell.
And when you come to depart this scene of time it will be absent from the body, present with the lord in glory. In John 10v28 Christ says, " And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
When Bishop Hooper was being burned at the stake for his faith in Christ, his persecutors offered him life if he would recant of his faith. In making this offer they said, "Consider that life is sweet and death is bitter." Hooper replied by saying, " true, but death to come is more bitter, and life to come is more sweet." With hope and confidence in the midst of great trial he was looking forward to sweetness of heaven & life eternal.
And so it shall be for all of us who leave this world saved , for Christ will loose none of his sheep.
Therefore with confidence dear believer you too can say with the apostle, " for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."