This artistic passage concludes with a section of church literature. For Paul’s third and final example, found in 2 Timothy 2:11-13, he quotes an early church creed. Your Bible may indicate the uniqueness of these words. The hint that this is a creed comes in the phrase, “The saying is trustworthy,” which appears all the way back in 1 Timothy 1:15.
So, what does the creed say and how does it relate to the suffering believer? The overall theme is of this creed is perseverance and glory. Look at verse 11. Paul says, “If we die with Jesus, we will also live with Him.” Glory comes for those who suffer for Jesus. If we are killed for our faith, we know that we will live with Jesus. If we live long and die, we know that we will live with Jesus. No matter what kind of death you face, you will live. Talk about glory! Glory comes for those who suffer.
Paul then continues in verse 12 with hope – and, indeed, we should take hope in what he says. If you persevere through ridicule, persecution, and hardships, you will reign with Jesus. Though you face numerous hardships and suffering, you will sit on a throne. Do you feel the hope that this offers?
However, there is also a warning for us. As Paul says at the end of verse 12, “if we deny Jesus, He will deny us.” If we fall away from the faith, if we deny being a Christian, if we deny biblical doctrine, if we deny Jesus by our actions, if we do these things, He will deny us. We do not want the Lord Jesus to tell us, “I never knew you.” Right? So, let us persevere.
Finally, Paul concludes the final example by highlighting God’s faithfulness. Look at verse 13. Paul says that even if we are unfaithful, God remains faithful. This is also encouraging. Brothers and Sisters, know that Jesus never changes. He will always remain faithful to you. He will never leave you or forsake you. You belong to Him so He will always be with you, and He is faithful because of His own nature. He cannot be untrue to Himself. His nature will not let Him be unfaithful.
Here is why that is good for us: it is impossible for Jesus to be unfaithful. So, in the midst of your suffering, Jesus is with you by His Spirit. You are never alone in your suffering. You are never alone in your perseverance. Jesus is with you. He is Emmanuel – God with us. Our response should be simple: cling to Him; thank God for his faithfulness and then cling to Him all the more.