It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him.—The last sentence ended with the words “eternal glory”—the goal, the end of the salvation which is in Christ. This it is which the Apostle will help others to win, regardless of any suffering it may cost him; then, with his mind full of the thoughts of the “eternal glory,” once more he addressed himself to Timothy. “Faithful is the saying, namely, if we be dead with him,” &c. It was as though he said, “Do you not remember that well-known watchword of our own faith, so often repeated among us in our solemn assemblies when the brotherhood meet together?” Many have supposed, from the rhythmical character of the clauses of 2Timothy 2:11-13, that this “saying” was taken from some most ancient Christian hymns, composed and used in the very earliest days of the faith; but whether or no this be the case, there is high probability that the words formed part of a liturgy in common use in the days of Timothy. If not as a hymn—which seems, on the whole, the most likely supposition—we can well conceive them as part of the tapestry of a primitive Christian liturgy, woven in like the introductory sentences in our morning and evening prayer, or like the “comfortable words” of the Communion Service. The expression “If we be dead with Him”—more accurately, If we died with Him—is well explained by 1Corinthians 15:31 : “I die daily.” The Apostle died when he embraced the lot of daily death. The meaning is still further illustrated in 2Corinthians 4:10, where we read how St. Paul and his companions were “always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.” “He and his faithful companions (was Timothy, to whom he was then writing, to be ranked in this blessed company? ) had given themselves up to a life that involved exposure to sufferings, bitter enmity, cruel persecutions, even death; but if we be thus dead with Him, what matters it? How can we fear even that last agony man can inflict on us—physical death?—for death with Him involves, surely, life with Him too: that life endless, fadeless, full of glory, we know He is now enjoying, in the possession of which I, Paul, and some of us have even seen Him, face to face, eye to eye. In that life of His we shall share; we shall be partakers in this life of His there, but only if we have shared in the life of suffering which was His life here.”2 Timothy 2:11-14. It is a faithful saying — A saying as important as it is true. If we be dead — Greek, συναπεθανομεν, die, or have died, with him — To the world and sin, and be ready to die for him; we shall live with him — In that everlasting happiness which he hath prepared for all his people. If we suffer with him — Persecution, or whatever he may be pleased to appoint or permit to happen to us, with faith and patience becoming a Christian; we shall also reign with him — In heavenly glory: see on Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 4:13. If — Intimidated with these transitory evils, we desert his cause, and deny him — Before men, that we may escape suffering for him; he also will deny us — In the great day, before his Father and the holy angels, Matthew 10:33; Luke 12:9. If we believe not — That he will deny us, presuming upon his mercy; yet he abideth faithful — And will fulfil his threatenings on such as expose themselves to them; he cannot deny himself — Cannot falsify his word, or fail to make it good. Or the verse may be interpreted in a more general sense thus: If we believe not the truths and promises of his gospel, or if we are unfaithful, (as some render απιστουμεν, considering it as opposed to πιστος, faithful,) yet he abideth faithful, and will steadily adhere to those rules of judgment, and distribution of rewards and punishments, which he hath so solemnly laid down in his word: for it is certain he cannot deny himself, or frustrate his own public declarations. Therefore be diligent, as if the apostle had said, in the discharge of thy duty, and shrink not from it for fear of suffering. Of these things put them in remembrance — Remind those who are under thy charge of these powerful motives to persevere in patiently suffering ill, and diligently doing well; charging them before the Lord — As in his presence, and as they will answer it to him; not to strive — Greek, μη λογομαχειν, not to contend, or quarrel, about words — An evil to which they are prone; to no profit — Such a contention is altogether unprofitable, and even tends to the subverting of the hearers — The diverting their attention from true, vital religion, and the important truths on which it is built, and filling their minds with pride and passion, and numberless other disorders and vices. There is an awful solemnity, as Doddridge justly observes, in this charge, which plainly shows the great folly and mischief of striving about little controversies. Indeed, consequences such as those here referred to, are wont to flow from most religious disputes as they are commonly managed; so that they tend to nothing out to the subverting of the faith and morals of those who engage keenly in them. They ought therefore to be carefully avoided by all who desire to promote true piety and virtue, agreeably to the apostle’s direction.1 Timothy 1:15. The object is to encourage Timothy to bear trials by the hope of salvation.
For if we be dead with him - see the notes at Romans 6:8.
For—"For" the fact is so that, "if we be dead with Him (the Greek aorist tense implies a state once for all entered into in past times at the moment of regeneration, Ro 6:3, 4, 8; Col 2:12), we shall also live with Him." The symmetrical form of "the saying," 2Ti 2:11-13, and the rhythmical balance of the parallel clauses, makes it likely, they formed part of a Church hymn (see on 1Ti 3:16), or accepted formula, perhaps first uttered by some of the Christian "prophets" in the public assembly (1Co 14:26). The phrase "faithful is the saying," which seems to have been the usual formula (compare 1Ti 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; Tit 3:8) in such cases, favors this.It is a faithful saying: see the notes on 1 Timothy 1:15, and 1 Timothy 4:9, where we had the same phrase.
For if we be dead with him: we are said to be dead with Christ two ways:
1. By our dying to sin, as he died for sin, Romans 6:5.
2. By our suffering in testimony of the truth, 2 Corinthians 4:10, which is that being dead with him which is here mentioned.
We shall also live with him: there is also a twofold living with him, by a rising again to a newness of life, Romans 6:5, and hereafter in glory, which latter is here intended.
For if we be dead with him; with Christ, as all his people are, by virtue of union to him; they are dead with him, he and they being one, in a legal sense; when he died, they died with him; being crucified with him, as their head and representative, their old man, their sins, were also crucified with him, being imputed to him, and laid upon him; and through the efficacy of his death, they became dead to sin, both to its damning and governing power, and so are planted together in the likeness of his death; so that as he died unto sin once, and lives again to die no more, they die unto sin, and are alive to God, and shall live for ever. Moreover, this, agreeably to what follows, may be understood of the saints dying for Christ's sake, and the Gospel, whereby they are conformed unto him, and feel the fellowship of his sufferings, and so may be said to be dead with him: and such may assure themselves of the truth of what follows,
we shall also live with him; as many as were crucified with Christ, and buried with him, rose with him from the dead, and were justified in him, as their head and representative; the free gift came on them to justification of life; and they that are dead to sin, through the efficacy of his death, live a life of sanctification, which they have from him, and is maintained and supported by him, and is to his glory; and they live a life of communion with him, in whose favour is life; and though they die, and for his sake, they shall rise again; and because he lives, they shall live also, even a life of glory, happiness, and endless pleasure. And this is part of the faithful saying, and to be believed, and is believed by the saints: see Romans 6:8. Moreover, since the word "him" is not in the original text, and the elect are spoken of in the preceding verse, what if the sense should be this, this is true doctrine, and a certain matter of fact, if we and the elect of God die together in the same cause, and for the sake of Christ, and the Gospel, we shall live together in everlasting bliss and glory?It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Timothy 2:11-13. In order to arouse the courage of faith, Paul has been directing attention to the resurrection of Christ and to His own example; he now proceeds, in a series of short antithetical clauses, to set forth the relation between our conduct here and our condition hereafter. This he introduces with the words πιστὸς ὁ λόγος. The γάρ following seems, indeed, to make the words a confirmation of the thought previously expressed, as in 1 Timothy 4:9 (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Flatt, de Wette, Wiesinger, Plitt); but Paul only uses this formula to confirm a general thought. There is, however, no general thought in the preceding words, where Paul is speaking only of his own personal circumstances. Hence the formula must, as in 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1, be referred here to what follows, and γάρ explained by “namely” (so, too, van Oosterzee).
We cannot say for certain whether the sentences following are really strophes from a Christian hymn (Münter, Ueber die älteste christliche Poesie, p. 29, and Paulus, Memorabilia, i. 109) or not; still it is not improbable that they are, all the more that the same may be said of 1 Timothy 3:16. The first sentence runs: εἰ συναπεθάνομεν, καὶ συζήσομεν] συν refers to Christ, expressing fellowship, and not merely similarity. De Wette points us to Romans 6:8 for an explanation of the thought; but the context shows that he is not speaking here of spiritual dying, the dying of the old man, which is the negative element of regeneration (against van Oosterzee), but of the actual (not merely ideal) dying with Christ. In other words, he is speaking of sharing in the same sufferings which Christ endured (so also Hofmann), and whose highest point is to undergo death. The meaning therefore is: “if we in the faith of Christ are slain for His sake;” comp. Php 3:10; also Romans 8:17; Matthew 5:11; John 15:20, and other passages. The aorist συναπεθάνομεν is either to be taken: “if we have entered into the fellowship of His death,” or it denotes the actual termination: “if we are dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.”
συζήσομεν, corresponding to συναπεθάνομεν, is not used of the present life in faith, but of the future participation in Christ’s glorified life (so, too, Hofmann); comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:10.—2 Timothy 2:12. The second sentence runs: εἰ ὑπομένομεν, καὶ συμβασιλεύσομεν] This sentence corresponds with the previous one in both members; comp. Romans 8:17, where συμπάσχειν and συνδοξασθῶμεν are opposed to one another. On συμβασ., comp. Romans 5:17 (ἐν ξωῇ βασιλεύσουσι); it denotes participation in the reign of the glorified Messiah. Like death and life, so are enduring and reigning placed in contrast.
The third sentence is a contrast with the two preceding: ΕἸ ἈΡΝΗΣΌΜΕΘΑ, sc. Χριστόν] comp. Matthew 10:33; 2 Peter 2:1; Judges 1:4; used here specially of the verbal denial of Christ, made through fear of suffering. ΚἈΚΕῖΝΟς ἈΡΝΉΣΕΤΑΙ ἩΜᾶς: “he will not recognise us as His own,” the result of which will be that we remain in a state without grace and without blessing. The meaning of this sentence is confirmed by 2 Timothy 2:13.
ΕἸ ἈΠΙΣΤΟῦΜΕΝ, ἘΚΕῖΝΟς ΠΙΣΤῸς ΜΈΝΕΙ] ἈΠΙΣΤΕῖΝ does not mean here: “not believe, be unbelieving” (Mark 16:11; Mark 16:16; Acts 28:24), but—in correspondence with ἀρνεῖσθαι—“be unfaithful,” which certainly implies lack of that genuine faith from which the faithful confession cannot be separated. In Romans 3:3 also, unbelief and unfaithfulness go together, since the people of Israel, to whom the λόγια Θεοῦ were given, showed themselves unfaithful to God by rejecting the promised Messiah, and this after God had chosen them for His people.
ἐκεῖνος πιστὸς μένει] πιστός can only mean “faithful.” The faithfulness of the Lord is shown in the realization of His decree—both in acknowledging and in rejecting; the context preceding shows that the latter reference predominates.
The next words confirm this truth: ἀρνήσασθαι γὰρ ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται, which declare the ἀπιστία of the Lord to be an impossibility, since it involves a contradiction of Himself, of His nature.
 The συζῆν begins for the believer immediately after his death (Php 1:23; comp. also Luke 23:43); the συμβασιλεύειν not till after Christ’s παρουσία; comp. Hofmann.
 Such is the explanation of Chrysostom, who gives Christ’s resurrection as the subject of unbelief: εἰ ἀπιστοῦμεν, ὅτι ἀνέστη, οὐδὲν ἀπὸ τούτου βλάπτεται ἐκεῖνος, and assigns to ἀρνήσασθαι γὰρ ἑαυτ. οὐ δύν. the strange signification of οὐκ ἔχει φύσιν μὴ εἶναι.2 Timothy 2:11. πιστὸς ὁ λόγος: The teaching or saying referred to is “the word of the cross” as set forth by simile and living example in the preceding verses, 4–11. So R.V.m. This is an exactly parallel case to 1 Timothy 4:9. Here, as there, γὰρ introduces a reinforcement of the teaching.
εἰ γὰρ συναπεθάνομεν, κ.τ.λ.: The presence of γάρ does not militate against the supposition that we have here a fragment of a Christian hymn. A quotation adduced in the course of an argument must be introduced by some inferential particle; See on 1 Timothy 4:10. On the other hand, it is questionable if εἰ ἀρνησόμεθα, κ.τ.λ. is suitable in tone to a hymn; and St. Paul’s prose constantly rises to rhythmical cadences, e.g., Romans 8:33 sqq., 1 Corinthians 13. We have here contrasted two crises, and two states in the spiritual life: συναπεθάνομεν and ἀρνησόμεθα point to definite acts at definite times; while ὑπομένομεν and ἀπιστοῦμεν indicate states of being, more or less prolonged.
εἰ συναπεθάνομεν καὶ συνζήσομεν: The two verbs are coupled also in 2 Corinthians 7:3; but the actual parallel in thought is found in Romans 6:4-5; Romans 6:8. We died (aor., R.V.) with Christ at our baptism (Romans 6:8; Colossians 3:3), which, as normally administered by immersion, symbolises our burial with Christ and our rising again with Him to newness of life (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). The future, συνζήσομεν, must not be projected altogether into the resurrection life; it includes and is completed by that; and no doubt the prominent notion here is of the life to come; but here, and in Romans 6:8, it is implied that there is a beginning of eternal life even while we are in the flesh, viz. in that newness of life to which we are called, and for which we are enabled, in our baptism.11. It is a faithful saying] Literally, Faithful is the saying, as in 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; Titus 3:8. See note on the first passage and Appendix, E. To close the argument, this rhythmical, perhaps liturgical, strain is quoted. It is introduced by ‘for,’ as is the quotation in Acts 17:28. The R.V. by printing ‘For’ in the text and ‘for’ in the margin thus incline to regarding the conjunction as part of the quotation. If it be not part, it will still have quite a fitting sense, as often in classical Greek ‘indeed’ or ‘in fact’ gives a better translation than ‘for’; cf. Donaldson’s Greek Grammar, p. 605.
For if we be dead with him] Read, For if we died with him. It is most natural to refer this to the dying with Christ in Baptism, Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:3, where the aorists are equally to be observed. This would be the thought in the original framing of such a Christian hymn as this may have been. But St Paul’s baptism was no old ceremony and out of date; he was ‘always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus’ 2 Corinthians 4:10; just as the English Prayer Book Service bids Christians after their baptism ‘die from sin, continually mortifying all evil and corrupt affections.’ Hence he can well use the phrase so as to cover his ‘hardship even unto bonds,’ and his ‘daily dying’ to ‘fill up the sufferings of Christ.’
we shall … live with him] in the ‘eternal glory.’2 Timothy 2:11. Συναπεθάνομεν) The σὺν occurs thrice in the compound verbs here: viz. with Christ: συναπεθάνομεν, in the sense of the preterite, having respect to them that hope for life.Verse 11. - Faithful is the saying for it is a faithful saying, A.V.; died for be dead, A.V. Died; i.e. in baptism (Romans 6:8), as denoted by the aorist. But the death with Christ in baptism is conceived of as carrying with it, as a consequence, the daily death of which St. Paul speaks so often (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:31; 2 Corinthians 4:10), as well as the death to sin.
Better, faithful is the saying. See on 1 Timothy 1:15. It refers to what precedes - the eternal glory of those who are raised with Christ (2 Timothy 2:8) which stimulates to endurance of sufferings for the gospel.
Faithful is the saying that the elect shall obtain salvation with eternal glory, for if we be dead, etc. The following words to the end of 2 Timothy 2:12 may be a fragment of a hymn or confession, founded on Romans 6:8; Romans 8:17.
If we be dead with him (εἰ συναπεθάνομεν)
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