Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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I know Whom I have Believed!

Meditation for the week of October 1, 2011

(2 Timothy 1:12) For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Paul does not say that he knows WHAT he has believed or trusted.  He says He knows WHOM he has trusted.  He had turned his back on his professional career and had committed Himself to serving the Lord whom he had persecuted before meeting Him on the Damascus road.  In Galatians 2:20, he likens the change to a crucifixion.  He says that he has been crucified with Christ.  Now as he comes to the end of the road knowing that the time of his departure is at hand (2 Timothy 4:6), he still has complete confidence in the Lord.  What has he committed to Him and what day is he anticipating?

He had committed his life, his ministry, and his well-being to the Lord.  He had written inspired letters to Christians that he loved and wanted to see encouraged and preserved, and those letters had been committed to the Lord.  However, here I think he might be thinking about his well-being.  He knows that he is about to be executed and does not shrink back from that.  But I think he wants a quick merciful execution, not only for himself but for Onesiphorus for whom he pleads for mercy in “that day”.  Some think “that day” in this book refers to the judgment seat of Christ and it might.  But if you were about to be executed, what day would be on your mind?  I think it would be the day of your execution.  I believe Paul was not only thinking about his own execution but about the execution of Onesiphorus who had sought Paul out in prison and was likely now himself about to be martyred for his faith.  We don’t need mercy at the judgment seat of Christ, particularly for the selfless act of befriending one who is about to be martyred for his faith since that means you yourself may be martyred.   But we all want a merciful quick triumphal entry into the presence of the Lord.  Beyond death it is “far better,” but death itself is the last great enemy.  Paul had been shown mercy, he had been delivered from the lion.  But he was still going to be “depart” and I suspect Onesiphorus was paying with his life for befriending Paul. 

What I really like about this statement is that he knew Whom and not what he had believed.  People often wonder if they have really believed in the Lord and some wonder how to really believe in Hm.  The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  When we believe what a person says, we are believing the person who says it.  So to be saved, we must be convinced that the Bible is the Word of God and that God has the right and the authority to make promises to us that He, because of His character, will keep.  As we become convinced that the Bible is actually the Word of God, when we understand that God through His Word promises us that Christ died for us, then our faith in Christ results because we have believed His Word.  We who have believed in the Lord have believed what He says.   However, sometimes we get sidetracked after we are saved.  We get so taken up with “knowing the Word” that we become proud about WHAT we know and forget that we really need to be occupied with WHOM we know.  When we are occupied with Him, we are not occupied with ourselves.  We do not become proud of what we know.

Most of us probably wouldn’t really know the Lord if life were always a calm sea with with a breeze behind us and a blue sky with a few fluffy clouds above us.  But life isn’t like that, and it is in the storms of life that the sufferings of Christ become real to us; and it is then that we really seem to understand something of the sufferings of the Lord.  As we enter into His suffering, we begin to appreciate what it cost the Lord to love us and give Himself for us.   

When we study the Bible, it really isn’t to get to know our Bibles better, but it is to get to know the Lord better so that when the storms come, we can say like Paul, “I know Whom I have believed!”

Bruce Collins

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