Handle Accurately the Word

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2 Timothy Handle Accurately the Word of Truth

Life Hid and Not Hid by Alexander Maclaren

2 Timothy Commentaries

APPROVED UNTO GOD:
HANDLING ACCURATELY THE WORD OF TRUTH:
"A TRUSTWORTHY STATEMENT"
2 Timothy 2:11-13

  "The Faithful" "The Unfaithful"
THE
CONTEXT
DIED
LIVE
ENDURE
REIGN
DENY
DENY
FAITHLESS
FAITHFUL

The Goal: Accurately Handle (interpret) 2Timothy 2:11-13

What is the most important "tool" the diligent student has at his or her disposal to facilitate accurate handling of the word of truth?

Context

Reading the text with careful attention to the text that is before and after - paying closest attention to the immediate verses but also attempting to understand the emphasis of the book as a whole (key words) as well as the purpose for writing the book

What other "tool" do we all have access to aid accurate interpretation?

We can all compare Scripture with Scripture

Note:
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is the best source of cross references - better than the marginal references in your Bible - they are more "relevant" and usually in greater number, but they must be read in context

What should the diligent student "diligently" avoid as he or she begins to study a specific passage, the interpretation of which might be difficult or controversial?

Avoid commentaries (this includes your "study Bible" notes) so you are not biased. Once you have read someone else's interpretation, you will have a certain degree of bias.

How would you characterize the two contrasting groups of people in 2 Timothy (click)?
Faithful and Unfaithful

Who are the faithful men?

Paul

Timothy

Onesiphorus

Luke

Who are the unfaithful men (specifically named)?

Phygelus & Hermogenes

Hymenaeus & Philetus

Demas

How does the "trustworthy statement" correlate with the theme of "faithful and unfaithful" men that runs through the letter?

1st two lines describe faithful

2nd two lines describe unfaithful

Now let's establish the context of
2 Timothy 2:11-13

What is the main theme of the section just before the "trustworthy statement" according to? (2Ti 2:2)

Entrusting the gospel to faithful men

What do we learn from metaphor of a soldier? (2Ti 2:3-4)

Suffer hardship
Don't entangle with everyday affairs
Please Jesus

What do we learn from metaphor of a athlete? (2Ti 2:5)

Compete according to the rules
Win the prize

What do we learn from metaphor of a farmer? (2Ti 2:6)
Hard work
Receive our share of the crops

How can we practically understand what Paul is saying? (2Ti 2:7)

Our Part: consider what Paul says

God's Part: Will give us understanding

What is Timothy to constantly be mindful of (2Ti 2:8)?

Remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead, descendant of David

Explanatory Note: Remembering is a great "faith booster" when the times are difficult. When your trust in God is threatened, retreat and remember. Then let remembrance lead you into praise.

What is Paul experiencing because of the gospel (2Ti 2:9)?

Suffers hardship: imprisonment as criminal

What does Paul remind Timothy of in order to encourage him to endure hardship (2Ti 2:9)?

Word of God (gospel) not imprisoned

What motivates Paul to endure even imprisonment (2Ti 2:10)?

That the chosen may obtain salvation

What will it "cost" to fulfill the goal of entrusting the gospel to faithful men? (2Ti 2:8-10)
Suffering
Endurance

What instructions immediate follow the trustworthy statement?
Remind of these things - not wrangle about words = useless & leads to ruin of hearers

Explanatory note: Don't wrangle about matters that don't profit the main msg of the gospel and could take focus off the goal of our responsibility

What should we focus on? (2Ti 2:15)
Be diligent to handle accurately the Word
Study of God's Word takes effort! Don't forget!

What should we avoid?
(2Ti 2:16-17 2:18)
Avoid worldly & empty chatter

Why avoid?
(2Ti 2:16-17 2:18)

Resurrection speculation upset faith

What should we cleanse ourselves from and why?
(
2Ti 2:20-21)

From vessels of dishonor from those who espouse worldly & empty chatter and false teaching so that we might be vessels of honor - sanctified, useful, prepared for good deeds

How can we remain in a state of readiness or prepared for every good work? (2Ti 2:22-23)

Flee youthful lusts

Pursuing +R, faith, love, peace

Refuse foolish & ignorant speculations

How are we to behave as bondservants? (2Ti 2:24-26)

Not quarrel, be kind, able to teach, patient when wronged, gently correcting those who oppose

What is the main theme of the instructions (context) following this trustworthy statement?

Remain faithful to task - responsibility to the gospel

This trustworthy statement is placed in midst of instructions & warnings about how to be faithful or unfaithful.

It is into this context that Paul records a trustworthy statement. Let's look at that in the next column.

If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him

What "death" is Paul referring to? spiritual or physical? Let's use context and cross references to arrive at our interpretation.

Explanatory Note:
"If" is what is referred to as a "first class condition" which indicates the information that follows is assumed to be fact. The truth of what is assumed is determined by the context. One can usually substitute the word "since" or "in view of the fact" for "if" when it is a first class condition, e.g., "since we died with Him..." Remember the contrasts in 2 Timothy between faithful and unfaithful.

What kind of death does (Ro 6:4-10) refer to - spiritual or physical?

Spiritual death = identification with Christ's death, burial, resurrection

This became a reality at salvation.

When He died on the Cross, we died with Him to the power of sin

What kind of death does (2Cor 5:6-8) refer to - spiritual or physical?
Physical death -

What kind of death could this verse signify - spiritual or physical?

This death could be either spiritual or physical

What kind of death is Paul facing? 2Ti 4:6
Paul was soon to be martyred

What does Col 3:3-4 teach that helps understand "live with Him"?

1) When we died with Him spiritually our life was hidden with Christ in God - our life is secure no matter what we suffer now

2) Christ is now our life

3) Christ is our life in the future - "then you also will be revealed with Him in glory"

So "live with Him" can refer to our present earthly life as well as our life to come.

If we endure we shall also reign with Him
Explanatory Note:
"Endure" is in the present tense
which speaks of continuous action and reflects one's lifestyle. The Greek verb endure means to abide under or to bear up courageously under suffering.

What does 2 Timothy 2:10 teach about enduring?

Paul was convinced of the power of the gospel ("word of God is not imprisoned") and was willing to accept suffering even as a prisoner if that is what he had to do to see the chosen (elect) obtain salvation.

What does Hebrews 10:32-39 teach about enduring?

32 Endure great conflict of sufferings

The Hebrew readers had need of endurance (noun form of "endure"), so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

If we shrink back God has no pleasure in us and the result is destruction (v38-39)

What does James 1:12 teach about enduring trials?

He will be blessed

Will be approved

Receive crown of life

Why does this man
endure?

Because he loves God

Who should we take as our example of suffering and patience in (James 5:10-11)

1) Prophets spoke in name of Lord

2) Job

What is the reward for enduring?

Blessed

What encouraging truth can we be assured of when we suffer?

Lord is full of compassion and mercy

How should we endure according to Hebrews 12:1-3?

Eyes fixed on Jesus

(cf remember Jesus Christ 2Ti2:8)

Look toward Him Who has run the race - Jesus the Author & Finisher, endured the cross, despised the shame

Why did he endure and despise?

For the joy set before

What was
His joy?

Set down at right hand of throne of God (pleasing to His Father)

What else are we to think about carefully and completely as we run?

Consider Jesus - endured hostility by sinners against Him

Why should we keep thinking about the endurance of Jesus?

So that we may not grow weary and lose heart

WE SHALL REIGN

What does Rev 3:21 teach about who will reign?

Overcomers will sit with Jesus on His throne

Who is an overcomer? 1Jn5:4-5

One born of by faith.

Believes Jesus = Son

What does Rev 5:9-10 teach about how and where we will reign?

We will reign as...

-- Kings (KJV)

-- Priests

Where?

-- Upon the earth

What does Rev 20:4-6 teach about this reign - who, their state, how long?

Souls beheaded

1st resurrection

(1C15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming)

Blessed - how?

1) 2nd death has no power

2) Priests

3) 1000 years

What does 1 Cor 6:2-3 imply?

Believers will judge the world and angels

Who else will reign with Christ Mt 19:28?

12 disciples will reign with Him

Who else will reign with Christ according to Daniel 7:27?

OT Saints

When do OT saints arise (resurrection) and reign with Christ Da 12:13?

At end of the age

What do we learn about our reign with Christ from Rev 22:5?

Context = new heaven and new earth, after the 1000 year reign

Saints reign forever

If we deny Him, He also will deny us
Explanatory Note:
"Deny" = arneomai = literally means "to say no", to say one does not know about or is in any way related to some person or some thing, to strongly repudiate or disown. Here in 2 Timothy 2:12 deny is in the future tense and can be more clearly rendered "If in the future we deny Him"

What is Jesus' warning about denying Him in Mt 10:33?

If we deny Jesus now

He will deny him before His Father

What does Paul teach about those who deny God? (Titus 1:16)

They profess to know God, but by their deeds they (continually) deny Him

Being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.

How does Jude describe those who deny Jesus? (Jude 4)

Crept in unnoticed

Long beforehand marked out for condemnation

Ungodly persons Turn grace of our God > licentiousness

Deny our Master and Lord Jesus Christ

What does John describe those who deny Jesus? (1Jn 2:23)

Whoever denies (present tense) the Son does not have the Father

In sum, what does Paul mean by "if we deny Him"?

Are there not two possibilities - a momentary denial like Peter or a permanent denial like Judas. It is the latter who will be denied by Jesus before the Father and like Judas will be condemned to perdition, away from the presence of the One Whom he denied.

Was Demas' "denial" permanent?

The honest observer will be forced to conclude that ultimately only God knows contingent upon whether he ever repented. If he never repented, he was always an unbeliever or professor and in no case did he "lose his salvation".

What then does "He will deny us" mean?

The most straightforward reading of this verse and one which fits well with the context is that He will deny us stating He does not know us and is not related to us.

Explanatory Note:

Some try to "soften" the gravity of this pithy statement by saying "He will deny us rewards". The text does not say anything about rewards. Chapter 4 is the only mention of rewards in the letter and it states the reward is for those who "have loved (present tense) His appearing"

The Net Bible makes a pertinent observation noting that "It is important to note that the object of Christ’s denial is “us.” The text does not contain an implied object complement (“he will deny us [x]”), which would mean that Christ was withholding something from us." In other words the sentence construction itself weighs against the interpretation "He will deny us rewards".

What did Jesus say in Mt 7:21-23 that conveys a similar somber warning to that found in this trustworthy statement?

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you;DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE (present tense) LAWLESSNESS.'

In light of these sobering statements we need to take heed to Paul's advice to the Corinthians...

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Cor 13:5)

Ryrie commenting on this passage writes that "fail the test" means "they failed to pass the test and were not members of the household of faith"

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself
Explanatory Note:
"Are faithless" is in present tense
which speaks of continuous, habitual action and reflects one's lifestyle of continually "not trusting". "Remains" is also in the present tense.

How are two ways one might interpret "if we are faithless" ?

(1) Believers who are not walking with the Lord

(2) Unbelievers

How does the fact that that the verb "are faithless" is in the present tense help us interpret this passage?

(1) Since the present tense speaks of continuous or habitual action (as a lifestyle) one could paraphrase the passages as...

"If we continually unfaithful" or "if we habitually demonstrate unfaithfulness"

(2) This tense would support the interpretation that these are professors of faith but who demonstrate by their lifestyle that they are not possessors of genuine saving faith

Now let's look at two of the uses of the verb "are faithless" (apisteo) which is used only 6 times in the NT.

How does Peter use apisteo in (1 Peter 2:8)?

"This precious value (Jesus Christ, our precious Cornerstone), then, is for you who (continually) believe (present tense). But for those who (continually) disbelieve (apisteo in the present tense) "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone," 8 and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed." (1 Peter 2:7-8)

Clearly Peter uses apisteo to contrast believers with unbelievers

What do you observe from Paul's only other NT use of apisteo in (Romans 3:3)?

"What then? If some did not believe (apisteo), their unbelief (apistia) will not nullify the faithfulness (pistis) of God, will it? (The New Living Translation renders it "True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they broke their promises, does that mean God will break his promises?") (Romans 3:3)

Paul also clearly uses similar combination of apisteo to describe unbelievers.

What do you learn about God in (Romans 3:3) that parallels 2Ti 2:13?

The disbelief or unfaithfulness of some does not make ineffective the power or force of God's faithfulness - He remains faithful

How would you interpret "if we are faithless" based on the context, and the above observations?

The weight of evidence would seem to support the interpretation that Paul is warning about having a profession of faith but lacking saving faith. This warning would speak to those who had departed in chapter 1, those who have gone astray in chapter 2, those who oppose in chapter 3 and Demas who loved this present world in chapter 4. Were they all lost? Were some saved and others lost? Ultimately only God knows, but if they claimed to be born again and yet spent the rest of their life living like the devil one would have to conclude they were never saved in the first place. Note that this verse is categorically not teaching one can lose their salvation!

What does it mean that "He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself"?

Nu 23:19 says "19 "God is not a man, that He should lie".

Paul characterizes Him as (literally) the "non-lying God" (Titus 1:2)

He is continually (forever) trustworthy and can be counted upon to keep His word to

Reward the faithful with co-regency

Deny He ever knew those who were continually unfaithful.

Now let's establish the immediate context of 2 Ti 2:11-13

What is the main theme of the section just before the "trustworthy statement" according to? (2Ti 2:2)

Entrusting the gospel to faithful men

What will it take to fulfill the charge to entrust the gospel to faithful men?

What do we learn from the metaphor of a soldier? (2Ti 2:3-4)

Suffer hardship

Don't entangle with everyday affairs

Please Jesus

What do we learn from metaphor of a athlete? (2Ti 2:5)

Compete according to the rules

Win the prize

What do we learn from metaphor of a farmer? (2Ti 2:6)

Hard work

Receive our share of the crops

How can we practically understand what Paul is saying? (2Ti 2:7)

Our Part: consider what Paul says

God's Part: Will give us understanding

What is Timothy to constantly be mindful of (2Ti 2:8)?

Remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead, descendant of David

What is Paul experiencing because of the gospel (2Ti 2:9)?

Suffers hardship: imprisonment as criminal

What does Paul remind Timothy of in order to encourage him to endure hardship (2Ti 2:9)?

Word of God (gospel) not imprisoned

What motivates Paul to endure even imprisonment (2Ti 2:10)?

That the chosen may obtain salvation

What will it "cost" to fulfill the goal of entrusting the gospel to faithful men? (2Ti 2:8-10)

Suffering

Endurance

What instructions immediate follow the trustworthy statement?

Remind of these things - not wrangle about words = useless & leads to ruin of hearers

Explanatory note: Don't wrangle about matters that don't profit the main msg of the gospel and could take focus off the goal of our responsibility

What should we focus on? (2Ti 2:15)

Be diligent to handle accurately the Word

Study of God's Word takes effort! Don't forget!

What should we avoid?

(2Ti 2:16-17 2:18)

Avoid worldly & empty chatter

Why avoid?

(2Ti 2:16-17 2:18)

Resurrection speculation upset faith

What should we cleanse ourselves from and why?

(2Ti 2:20-21)

From vessels of dishonor from those who espouse worldly & empty chatter and false teaching so that we might be vessels of honor - sanctified, useful, prepared for good deeds

How can we remain in a state of readiness or prepared for every good work? (2Ti 2:22-23)

Flee youthful lusts

Pursuing +R, faith, love, peace

Refuse foolish & ignorant speculations

How are we to behave as bondservants? (2Ti 2:24-26)

Not quarrel, be kind, able to teach, patient when wronged, gently correcting those who oppose

What is the main theme of the instructions (context) following this trustworthy statement?

Remain faithful to task - responsibility to the gospel

This trustworthy statement is placed in midst of instructions & warnings about how to be faithful or unfaithful.

It is into this context that Paul records a trustworthy statement. Let's look at that in the next column.

TWO CONTRASTING
GROUPS OF PEOPLE

IN 2 TIMOTHY

  "THE UNFAITHFUL" "THE FAITHFUL"
Chapter 1 (1:15)
All in Asia
Phygelus & Hermogenes


ACTION:
Turned away from Paul
(1:12)
Paul

ACTION:

Not ashamed of the Gospel

Knew Jesus would keep what he had entrusted to Him

(1:16-18)

Onesiphorus

ACTION:

Not ashamed of Paul's chains

Often refreshed Paul

Searched and found me

Chapter 2 (2:16-18)
Hymenaeus & Philetus

ACTION:
Gone astray from the truth
Taught resurrection had occurred
Upset faith of some
 
Chapter 3 (3:5-9)
Men holding form of godliness but have denied its power

ACTION:
Captivate weak women
Oppose the truth

(3:5-9)

Evil men and impostors

ACTION:

Proceed from bad to worse

Deceive and are themselves deceived

(3:10)
Timothy

ACTION:

Followed (did not turn away or desert) Paul's teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings

Chapter 4 (4:3-4)
Those who do not endure sound doctrine
ACTION:
Accumulate teachers ~ own desires

Turn aside ears from the truth to Myths

(4:10)

Demas

ACTION:

Loved this present world

Deserted Paul

(4:14-15)

Alexander Coppersmith

ACTION

Did much harm

Vigorously opposed Paul's teaching

(4:11)
Luke

ACTION:

Stayed with Paul

Mark

ACTION: .

Mark had deserted on 1st missionary journey

Now he is useful to Paul for service

Summary UNFAITHFUL FAITHFUL

Supplementary Notes and Scriptures

ENDURE:

2 Ti 2:10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

Hebrews 10:32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly, by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners, and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one.

35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. 38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

James 5:10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

REIGN:

Rev 3:21 (Jesus promises) 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

OVERCOMER = 1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith. 5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 "And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which

1 Cor 6:2-3 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?

Mt 19:27-28 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?" 28 And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you (addressing the 12 disciples) also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Daniel 7:27 'Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.'

Da 12:13 "But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age."

Rev 22:5 And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever.

MacArthur comments that...

The eternal capital city of heaven, the New Jerusalem, will be a place of indescribable, unimaginable beauty. From the center of it the brilliant glory of God will shine forth through the gold and precious stones to illuminate the new heaven and the new earth. But the most glorious reality of all will be that sinful rebels will be made righteous, enjoy intimate fellowship with God and the Lamb, serve Them, and reign with Them forever in sheer joy and incessant praise. (MacArthur, J. . Revelation 12-22 Page 288. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press)

DENY:

Mt 10:33 "But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven"

Phillips paraphrases Jesus

"Every man who publicly acknowledges me I shall acknowledge in the presence of my Father in Heaven, but the man who disowns me before men I shall disown before my Father in Heaven"

Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they (continually) deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.

Jude 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ

1John 2:23 Whoever denies (present tense) the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses (present tense) the Son has the Father also.

Lu 9:26 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels

1Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even (continually) denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

Luke 12:8-9 "And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God 9 but he who denies (aorist tense = "having denied") Me before men shall be denied (aorist tense = "He will thoroughly deny") before the angels of God.

MacArthur commenting on this passage in Luke writes that

"This describes a soul-damning denial of Christ—not the sort of temporary wavering Peter was guilty of (Mt 22:56-62)—but the sin of those who through fear, shame, neglect, delay, or love of the world reject all evidence and revelation and decline to confess Christ as Savior and King, until it is too late. (MacArthur, J. J. MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word Pub)

Barclay writes that

"It is the plain fact of history that if there had not been men and women in the early Church who in face of death and agony refused to deny their Master, there would be no Christian Church today. The Church of today is built on the unbreakable loyalty of those who held fast to their faith. Pliny, the governor of Bithynia, writes to Trajan, the Roman Emperor, about how he treated the Christians within his province. Anonymous informers laid information that certain people were Christian. Pliny tells how he gave these men the opportunity to invoke the gods of Rome, to offer wine and frankincense to the image of the Emperor, and how he demanded that as a final test they should curse the name of Christ. And then he adds: “None of these acts, it is said, those who are really Christians can be compelled to do.” Even the Roman governor confesses his helplessness to shake the loyalty of those who are truly Christian." (Barclay, W: The Daily study Bible series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press)

COMMENTS ON MATTHEW 10:33

JESUS' DENIAL OF THOSE WHO DENY HIM:

Phillips renders this passage...

"Every man who publicly acknowledges me I shall acknowledge in the presence of my Father in Heaven, but the man who disowns me before men I shall disown before my Father in Heaven"

UBS Handbook writes that the thrust of Matthew 10:33 is that

"if anyone declares he is not My follower (or, does not belong to me), then on the Day of Judgment I will also declare to my Father that that person is not My follower (or, does not belong to me)" (UBS handbook series. Page 308. New York: United Bible Societies)

One act of unfaithfulness does not disqualify a disciple from Jesus’ commendation but a lifestyle of denial does!

A T Robertson writes

"Note accusative here (case of extension), saying “no” to Christ, complete breach. This is a solemn law, not a mere social breach, this cleavage by Christ of the man who repudiates him, public and final." (Word Pictures in the NT)

The New American Commentary notes that...

In close parallelism with v. 32, v. 33 maintains that God will deny or reject those people who reject Jesus and that he will exclude them from eternal life. (Blomberg, C. Vol. 22: Matthew The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)

People's Commentary writes that...

Those who receive him will be received; those who reject him will be rejected; those who confess him will be confessed, and those who deny him, denied. (Johnson, B. W. The People's New Testament)

Matthew Henry warns that Jesus

"will shortly, in the day of triumph, own those who now own him, in the day of trial, when those who deny him shall be for ever disowned and rejected by him, v. 32, 33 (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible)

Life Application Bible Commentary explains that...

"On the other hand, the person who denies their relationship to Jesus Christ would in turn face denial by Jesus before the Father. These words refer to those whose true allegiance would be revealed under pressure." (Barton, B. B. Matthew. Life application Bible commentary Page 212. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers)

KJV Bible Commentary writes that...

"The warning, Whosoever shall deny me, is in the aorist tense, referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to an entire lifelong resistance to Christ which shall never cease. Therefore, it is not a single act of denial which makes one unworthy of being a disciple, but a refusal to confess Christ at all that eliminates one from being a true follower of Jesus Christ. (KJV Bible commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

MacDonald

"Denial of Christ on earth will be repaid with denial before God in heaven. To deny Christ in this sense means to refuse to recognize His claims over one’s life. Those whose lives say, in effect, “I never knew You” will hear Him say at last, “I never knew you.” The Lord is not referring to a temporary denial of Him under pressure, as in Peter’s case, but to that kind of denial that is habitual and final. (MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

Adam Clarke warns that

"Whosoever prefers his worldly interest to his duty to God, sets a greater value on earthly than on heavenly things, and prefers the friendship of men to the approbation of God. Let it be remembered, that to be renounced by Christ is to have him neither for a Mediator nor Saviour. To appear before the tribunal of God without having Christ for our Advocate, and, on the contrary, to have him there as our Judge, and a witness against us,-how can a man think of this and not die with horror! (Clarke's Commentary)

The College Press NIV Commentary writes that

"To acknowledge Jesus “before men” is to openly and wholeheartedly express one’s solidarity and allegiance with him. Notice that one’s stance towards Jesus determines one’s acceptance by the Father. If in the midst of persecution the disciple fearlessly acknowledges his or her allegiance to Jesus, then Jesus will come to his or her defense on the day of judgment. However, if in the heat of public scrutiny one rejects Jesus by denying a commitment to him, the result will be rejection by God. Obviously, Jesus stands in a special place of authority, as the final arbiter of one’s eternal destiny." (Keener, C. S. Vol. 1: Matthew. The IVP New Testament commentary series Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP)