2 Timothy 2:8-13
8. Remember that Jesus Christ, the seed of David, was raised from the dead, according to my gospel:
8. Memonto Iesum Christum excitatum a mortuis, ex semine David, secundum evangelium meum,
9. Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil -- doer, even unto bonds, but the word of God is not bound.
9. In quo laboro usque ad vincula, tanquam maleficus; sed sermo Dei non est vinctus.
10. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
10. Quamobrem omnia tolero propter electos, ut ipsi quoque salutem consequantur, quae est in Christo Iesu, cum gloria aeterna.
11. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
11. Fidelis sermo: si enim commortui sumus, etiam simul cum ipso vivemus:
12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
12. Si sufferimus, etiam simul regnabimus; si negamus, ille quoque negabit nos:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.
13. Si increduli sumus, ille fidelis manet; negare se ipsum non potest.
How necessary this admonition of Paul was, the ancient histories shew; for Satan put forth all his strength, in order to destroy this article of our faith. There being two parts of it, that Christ was born "of the seed of David," and that he rose from the dead; immediately after the time of the Apostles, arose Marcion, who labored to destroy the truth of the human nature in Christ; and afterwards he was followed by the Manichaeans; and even, in the present day, this plague is still spreading.
So far as relates to the resurrection, how many have been employed, and with what diversified schemes, in laboring to overthrow the hope of it! This attestation, therefore, means as much as if Paul had said, "Let no one corrupt or falsify my gospel by slanders; I have thus taught, I have thus preached, that Christ, Who was born a man of the seed of David, rose from the dead."
Moreover, all godly persons ought to strengthen themselves with this consideration, when they see the ministers of the gospel attacked and outraged by adversaries, that they may not, on that account, cherish less reverence for doctrine, but may give glory to God, by whose power they see it burst through all the hindrances of the world. And, indeed, if we were not excessively devoted to the flesh, this consolation alone must have been sufficient for us in the midst of persecutions, that, if we are oppressed by the cruelty of the wicked, the gospel is nevertheless extended and more widely diffused; for, whatever they may attempt, so far are they from obscuring or extinguishing the light of the gospel, that it burns the more brightly. Let us therefore bear cheerfully, or at least patiently, to have both our body and our reputation Shut up in prison, provided that the truth of God breaks through those fetters, and is spread far and wide.
In this passage Paul teaches the same doctrine as in Colossians 1:24, where he says, that he
"fills up what is wanting in the sufferings of Christ, for his body, which is the Church."
Hence the impudence of the Papists is abundantly refuted, who infer from these words that the death of Paul was a satisfaction for our sins; as if he claimed anything else for his death, than that it would confirm the faith of the godly, for he immediately adds an exposition, by affirming that the salvation of believers is found in Christ alone. But if any of my readers wishes to see a more extended illustration of this subject, let him consult my Commentary on the chapter which I have just now quoted -- the first of the Epistle to the Colossians.
"predestinated that they might be conformed to his image." (Romans 8:29.)
This is said both for exhorting and comforting believers. Who is not excited by this exhortation, that we ought not to be distressed on account of our afflictions, which shall have so happy a result? The same consideration abates and sweetens all that is bitter in the cross; because neither pains, nor tortures, nor reproaches, nor death ought to be received by us with horror, since in these we share with Christ; more especially seeing that all these things are the forerunners of a triumph.
By his example, therefore, Paul encourages all believers to receive joyfully, for the name of Christ, those afflictions in which they already have a taste of future glory. If this shocks our belief, and if the cross itself so overpowers and dazzles our eyes, that we do not perceive Christ in them, let us remember to present this shield, "It is a faithful saying." And, indeed, where Christ is present, we must acknowledge that life and happiness are there. We ought, therefore, to believe firmly, and to impress deeply on our hearts, this fellowship, that we do not die apart, but along with Christ, in order that we may afterwards have life in common with him; that we suffer with him, in order that we may be partakers of his glory. By death he means all that outward mortification of which he speaks in 2 Corinthians 4:10. 4
"Whoever shall deny me, him will I also deny."
It remains that every one consider with himself, that this is no childish terror, but the judge seriously pronounces what will be found, at the appointed time, to be true.
1 "Que seulement il y avoit en luy une apparence d'homme, et non pas une vraye nature humaine." "That there was in him only an appearance of man, and not a real human nature."
2 "If we wish to be victorious over all the temptations of Satan, we must have great steadfastness, and must know that it is not at random that we believe in Jesus Christ, that this is not a doubtful matter, but that he came to us from God to be our Redeemer. And for this reason Paul here points out that he is of the lineage of David, and of his seed, for we know the promises that are contained in the Holy Scriptures, namely, that the whole world should be blessed in the seed of Abraham. Now, God confirmed this to David, by shewing that from him the Redeemer should proceed, that is, from the tribe of Judah, and from the house of David. Thus, the reason why Paul claims for him this title is, that, having the promises which God had formerly made to the fathers, concerning that Redeemer who hath been given to us, we may not doubt that we ought to receive him with full conviction, and have no reason to doubt whether he is, or is not, the Messiah. Why? He is descended from the house of David; and, although at that time, it had no royal dignity, yet that defect could not lessen the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, but, on the contrary, was fitted to confirm more fully our belief that it was he who should be sent. And why? The Prophet Isaiah did not say that he would be born in a palace, or that he would be brought up in great splendor; but he said, that he would grow as a small twig (Isaiah 11:1) from the root of Jesse; as if he had said, that, although Jesus Christ was of royal lineage, nevertheless his parents were poor, and were held of no account in worldly matters, having no rank or grandeur." -- Fr. Ser.
3 "It might be replied, that it is superfluous that Paul should 'endure for the elect.' 'Cannot God save those whom he elected and adopted before the creation of the world, without the assistance of men? Has the immutable decree of God any need of human help, or of creatures? Why then does Paul say that he endures on account of the elect?' Now, it us true that God will conduct his people to the inheritance which is prepared for them but yet he is pleased to make use of the labor of men. Not that he is under a necessity of borrowing anything from us, but he confers on us this honor by his undeserved goodness, and wishes that we should be instruments of his power. Thus Paul does not boast that the salvation of the children of God depends on his steadfastness or on the afflictions which he had to endure; but he only means that God wishes to conduct his people by means of the word, and that he employs men whom he has chosen for that purpose, as for his own work, and makes them instruments of the power of his Holy Spirit." -- Fr. Ser.
5 "On ne gaigne rien yci de se defendre et excuser, en alleguant son infirmite." "Here nothing is gained by defending and excusing ourselves on the ground of our weakness."