A brother recently commented on an earlier post regarding this very passage, and I thought it would be wise to look into it. It is one of the passages that made me consider conditional security many many years ago.
It bugged me then, being an avowed OSAS (once saved always saved) believer, but as is the case, when you see something you don’t like (or won’t try to understand) denial is bliss!
This passage, specifically verses 11 – 13 are full of if’s. Jam packed. Let’s consider the meaning of “if”
In English “if” can be defined as a word…
- used to talk about the result or effect of something that may happen or be true
- used to say that a particular thing can or will happen only after something else happens or becomes true
- used for introducing a situation or condition that must exist before something else happens
The English “if” is now understood. (snicker snicker)
The wrinkle in this is that the Greek used in the New Testament has four conditional “if’s”.
As if “if” wasn’t conditional enough, eh?
Granted, all four of the conditional clauses in this passage below are of the First Class “Simple Condition” and could easily be translated as a fulfilled condition.
So for example, the first clause could read “If, as is the case we have died with him…”
So before we dig in, lets take a few moments to simply read the text under consideration.
2 Timothy 2:11-14
11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful– for he cannot deny himself.
14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.
As you can see, as an avowed OSAS follower, these verses were difficult to find comfort in. Verse 12 was simply to be glossed over.
Let’s consider each of the conditional clauses in the following posts and and try to figger out what Paul is getting at. Lets look at our final clause in this post.
2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, he remains faithful– for he cannot deny himself.
Let’s remember that the conditional clause could be translated as If, as is the case we are faithless, he remains faithful
This portion of the passage, for both the OSAS follower and those of the other persuasion, may be used to justify thier position in the following way
An OSAS follower might argue…
If you are truly saved years back, but have slipped on slid away somewhat, God remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself and will keep the promise of takiing you home based on your initial faith.
Those other believers might argue…
This phrase is a description of the faithfulness of the Master to His own nature. If the servant abandons the Master, the Master will not change His nature to allow a denier to be in fellowship with Him.
No matter the perspective you take in looking at this final clause, it is comforting to know that He remains faithful, or true to His own nature.
Our faithlessness cannot affect His faithfulness. He is God and we are not. He is true to His own nature in the present, has been true to His own nature prior to creation, and will continue to be true to His own nature after the consummation of all things.
He is faithful.
How ’bout us?
Let us be faithful to the Only One who deserves our trust.
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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.
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