Four Spiritual Laws: 2 Timothy 2:11-13
“11) It is a trustworthy statement: For if we 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.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:11-13‬
We now come to three verses that appear to be a New Testament Proverb. It reads like a quote, but it appears no place else in the Bible. Yet Paul refers to it as a commonly held belief. It may have been used by the early Christians to admonish and encourage one another in midst of suffering. They were four spiritual laws embraced by the early believers.
This quote is made up of four “if-then” theorems. They stand as self validating statements. It is the idea that “if” this true; “then” this is also true. Paul was laying down four cause and affect sequences
Let’s briefly look at each of them.
Sequence #1: “If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.” This concept is developed at length in Romans 6 and Galatians 2:20. It is the doctrine that by faith we were crucified with Christ that our sin might be paid for, forgiven and disarmed so that we might also enter into resurrection life with Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin. We have new life in Christ.
Sequence #2: “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.” This sets up the idea of the perseverance of the saints. True believers endure to the end and will reign with Christ. Jesus talked about this reign with Him in Scriptures like Matthew 19:28-30.
Sequence #3: “If we deny Him, He will also deny us.” It is confession of faith in Jesus that brings salvation. (See Romans 10:9) Jesus laid out clearly the contrast between confession and denial in Mathew 10:32-33 when speaking of coming persecution. Suffering for the cause of Christ will either strengthen us or expose us.
Sequence #4: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.” The truth of Gods existence is not dependent on your belief system. The God of Creation exists despite the views of the atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or other religious views. Your lack of belief in Him or your twisted views of Him does not change the fact that one day you will stand before Him as Judge.
These four sequences were like “The Four Spiritual Laws” of the early church. They were a simple memory tool for sharing the gospel and motivation for living the Christian life.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global