The passage from 2 Timothy 2:11-13 begins with “This is a faithful saying” and ends with this: “If we believe not, yet He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (KJV).
The previous verse says, “if we deny Him, He also will deny us.” Surprisingly, perhaps, is this truth that it is not our faith that is the true foundation of our relationship with the Lord, but it is His faithfulness! In other words, the strength of my faith is not the key, but the strength of His faithfulness is the key to my eternal security.
Note 1 Peter 1:5, which says we believers are “kept by the power of God for salvation through faith, ready to be revealed in the last time.” Our faith, then, links to His faithfulness. The writer of Hebrews 12:2 backs that up with this: “Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….”
Further establishing that truth is 1 Corinthians 3:11 where Paul writes, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” He goes on to discuss what we build on that foundation, what will endure, or what will not, like wood, straw and stubble. Even so, with fruitlessness, one is still saved because of that single foundation of Jesus Christ. And that seems to wrap it up tightly.
Consider again the article’s title, that He cannot deny Himself, as the verse above states. Simply put, it says God never changes. Jesus said, in Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away!” He is the Creator of all things—all things.
When Paul wrote of Christ, the Creator, in Colossians 1:16-17, it was all-inclusive: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” It is truly breathtaking—He holds all things together!
It is clear that a false prophet is one who does not proclaim that Jesus, the Christ, has come in the flesh, just as John declares in 1 John 4:1-3: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
It is historical fact that Jesus Christ has been on the earth and is easily documented; just look at our calendar. But the issue is believing who He really is. He is the Christ, the promised One from God.
Let’s look even deeper into that very thing. He declares that He is one with God and tells Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9b).
Now, look at Paul’s description of the Father to those philosophers at Mars Hill in Athens. He was identifying their “unknown god,” which was the label on one of their idols:
“Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
“Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:23b-31).
It is a long quotation that is filled with the knowledge of God. Think of that description of God, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” It leads us to another revelation about this God. Look what the psalmist David wrote of Him in Psalm 139. He is all-knowing, ever-present, and all-powerful:
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high, I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:1-6).
This penetrating knowledge of a person is beyond our imagination. This God is truly God! May we carefully guard our thoughts, for purity is one of His attributes.
He is also everywhere at all times, in keeping with His description that “in Him we live and move and have our being,” as Psalm 139:7-12 makes Him known:
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me, indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.”
God’s power is shown in His creative ability—to speak and it is done, whether it is a universe or the tiniest particle thereof. Or, more intricately conceived, such as mankind, made in His own image. This is revealed in Psalm 139:13-18:
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”
We can only follow this grand acclaim with David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:10b-13 to somehow approach this level of praise:
“Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty, for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.”
Finally, then, we come to acknowledge this that Paul declares in 1 Timothy 3:16: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.”
It leaves us with this reminder in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
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