2 Timothy 1:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed…
In the style of these apostolic words there is a positiveness most refreshing in this age of doubt. "I know," says he. And that is not enough — "I am persuaded." He speaks like one who cannot tolerate a doubt. There is no question about whether he has believed or not. "I know whom I have believed." There is no question as to whether he was right in so believing. "I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." There is no suspicion as to the future; he is as positive for years to come as he is for this present moment. "He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day." Where positiveness is the result of knowledge and of meditation, it becomes sublime, as it was in the apostle's case; and being sublime it becomes influential; in this case, it certainly must have been influential over the heart of Timothy, and over the minds of the tens of thousands who have during these nineteen centuries perused this epistle. It encourages the timid when they see others preserved; it confirms the wavering when they see others steadfast. The apostle's confidence was that Christ was an able guardian.
1. So he meant that Jesus is able to keep the soul from falling into damning sin.
2. But the apostle did not merely trust Christ thus to keep him from sin, he relied upon the same arm to preserve him from despair.
3. Doubtless the apostle meant, too, that Christ was able to keep him from the power of death.
4. The apostle is also certain that Christ is able to preserve his soul in another world.
5. Paul believed, lastly, that Christ was able to preserve his body. "I cannot talk like that," saith one; "I cannot say, 'I know and I am persuaded,' I am very thankful that I can say, I hope, I trust, I think.'"In order to help you to advance, we will notice how the apostle Paul attained to such assurance.
1. One main help to him was his habit, as seen in this text, of always making faith the most prominent point of consideration. Faith is twice mentioned in the few lines before us. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." Paul knew what faith was, namely, a committal of his precious things into the custody of Christ. He does not say, "I have served Christ." No; he does not say, "I am growing like Christ, therefore I am persuaded I shall be kept." No; he makes most prominent in his thought the fact that he believed, and so had committed himself to Christ.
2. The next help to assurance, as I gather from the text, is this; the apostle maintained most clearly his view of a personal Christ. Observe how three times he mentioned his Lord. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." He does not say, "I know the doctrines I believe." Surely he did, but this was not the main point. No mere doctrines can ever be the stay of the soul. What can a dogma do? These are like medicines, but you need a hand to give you them; you want the physician to administer them to you; otherwise you may die with all these precious medicines close at hand. We want a person to trust to.
3. The apostle attained this full assurance through growing knowledge. He did not say "I am persuaded that Christ will save me, apart from anything I know about Him"; but he begins by saying, "I know." Let no Christian among us neglect the means provided for obtaining a fuller knowledge of the gospel of Christ. I would that this age produced more thoughtful and studious Christians.
4. Once, again, the apostle, it appears from the text, gained his assurance from close consideration as well as from knowledge. "I know and am persuaded." As I have already said, persuasion is the result of argument. The apostle had turned this matter over in his mind; he had meditated on the pros and cons; he had carefully weighed each difficulty, and he felt the preponderating force of truth which swept each difficulty nut of the way. How many Christians are like the miser who never feels sure about the safety of his money, even though he has locked up the iron safe, and secured the room in which he keeps it, and locked up the house, and bolted and barred every door! In the dead of night he thinks he hears a footstep, and tremblingly he goes down to inspect his strong-room. Having searched the room, and tested all the iron bars in the window, and discovered no thief, he fears that the robber may have come and gone, and stolen his precious charge. So he opens the door of his iron safe, he looks and pries, he finds his bag of gold all safe. and those deeds, those bonds, they are safe too. He puts them away, shuts the door, locks it, bolts and bars the room in which is the safe and all its contents; but even as he goes to bed, he fancies that a thief has just now broken in. So he scarcely ever enjoys sound, refreshing sleep. The safety of the Christian's treasure is of quite another sort. His soul, not under bolt and bar, or under lock and key of his own securing, but he has transferred his all to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, our Saviour — and such is his security that he enjoys the sleep of the beloved, calmly resting, for all is welt. Now to close, what is the influence of this assurance when it penetrates the mind? It enables us to bear all the obloquy which we may incur in serving the Lord. They said Paul was a fool. "Well," replied the apostle, "I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed; I am willing to be thought a fool."
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the which cause 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 that which I have committed unto him against that day.
WEB: For this cause I also suffer these things. Yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him against that day.