“If we endure”
“my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2:1-2).
And we should be able to say, as a comparison,
‘all that we have diligently read and prayerfully absorbed into our thinking’
– and heard faithful believers talk about has “strengthened” us “by the grace that is in Christ Jesus”. As a result we are now “faithful” and ready and “able to teach others also”.
This first generation of believers had no gospels to read, they were not yet in circulation. Few would have been able to read anyway. If they could, it is very unlikely they had access to scrolls of Old Testament books in a Jewish synagogue. But they memorised ‘trustworthy sayings’ that were in circulation, Paul referred to three of them in his first epistle to Timothy (1:5; 3:1; 4:9). Paul includes a large one in today’s chapter (verses 11-13).
“The saying is trustworthy, for: if we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.”
Can you memorise that saying – and let it permeate your thinking? How significant that little word “if”! How awesome “if we have died with him” – can you imagine Tyndale, the first to translate the Bible into English, saying that to himself as they burnt him to death?
Our world is creating situations in which we are challenged to “endure”. This is especially true in certain countries, Iran is an awesome example. But it could well become true in most, even all countries, at the time when our Lord’s “glory is revealed”?
Look at the context of these words of Peter!
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12,13).
“If we endure” then we will also – wonderfully, beyond our present comprehension –
“rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed”.