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…
Let us look, first of all, at this persuasion, which I want you to be the subject of; and then we will see the ground on which it rested; and then the consequences of which it was productive.
1. "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." You see, it amounts to a perfect persuasion of security here; here is absolute safety, and the experience of it. The word "persuaded" is as strong as possible. It was the deep inwrought conviction of his soul; it was not liable to be disturbed; it was a settled fact, as you dispose of a thing, and say, That is done, it is settled. It was the persuasion of his mind, that all was safe for eternity. Observe the remarkable use in this text of the word that by the apostle, which is very instructive. He says, "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." He uses the word, you see, twice, with no antecedent in either case exactly, and no specific object mentioned to which it refers. There is something very striking about that. He takes for granted, that all will understand it; that no mistake can possibly exist about it; that no man will read the verse, and not at once interpret to what the word "that" refers in both instances. "Keep that!" Why, no child here doubts what he means. "My soul." "Against that day!" No child can doubt what day — the great day of His own coming. They are the two things in comparison with which everything else sinks into absolute, utter insignificance. The beauty of this passage, I think, is in that word "commit." As expressive and explanatory of the meaning of the word faith, I do not know any more beautiful term. People seem at a less to understand what is meant at last by faith. The best interpretation, I think, is to be found in the idea which that word "commit" conveys. You commit your goods to a person you can trust; you commit your body, your life, all you have got, exactly in proportion as you have grounds for trusting a man — your welfare, your character, your reputation, your honour. You say, "I can leave my honour in your hands." That is exactly the meaning of the word here: "I have committed." There is something very beautiful in it, and it seems practically to be this. I have put the matter out of my hands into His." Now, I wish you would quietly enter into that idea, and thoroughly understand it. I do not know anything that could positively give real comfort to a man, like the certainty that he has put his soul's interests out of his own hands into safe keeping. I think this word "commit" implies not only the apostle's sense of the value of the soul, but a man's practical inability to keep his own soul. Why do you commit your property to some one to keep? Because you feel that you cannot keep it yourself, for some reason — never mind what. Why do you commit your health into the hands of a physician? Because you feel that you cannot cure yourself. And so on with regard to anything else. You commit your child to an instructor, because you feel that you have more confidence in the instructor. So that the fact of committing anything to another supposes some inability on our part to do the thing. Just so with the soul. I dwell on that with unspeakable comfort. There is a relief to my soul in this idea, that with its tremendous responsibilities, with the awful destinies before it, I can hand it over into Jesus Christ's keeping, and that He will keep that which I commit unto Him.
2. But on what ground did the apostle arrive at this supposition — because there must be some ground for it? For instance: if I were to say to you to-morrow, "Go and commit your property and your interests into the hands of some man," you would say, "Why that man? On what grounds? I know nothing about that man." But if I were to say, "That man that you know thoroughly well," and you were thoroughly alive to his capability and power, what would you say? You would say, "Yes, I know whom you call upon me to believe; I am persuaded that he is able to keep that, if I do commit it to him." You see, it would altogether depend upon the knowledge you have of the man. So Paul says here: "I know whom I believe; therefore I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." Now, then, what do we know about Him? What kind of knowledge is it that would warrant Paul, or that will warrant you and me, that we can commit all to Jesus Christ? There might be, of course, endless particulars specified. This is the reason why I call upon you so much to study the whole work and character of Christ. It is, depend upon it, being thoroughly acquainted with the work of Jesus Christ, it is having an intelligent understanding of all that He has done, that gives this kind of unqualified assurance and happy confidence. Therefore we read, "This is eternal life, to know Thee." It is not just a sort of glimpse; it is not merely saying, "I believed Christ died"; but it is understanding and knowing these things. I often tell you, and I am persuaded of it, that throughout eternity our study will be the cross of Christ. "Against that day" — that is, right on from the present moment till that day comes. You will observe, that implies the state after death, as well as our present state. I have nothing to suffer in the intermediate state — no purgatory — no difficulties of any kind. He has kept me through life; He will keep me afterwards, for He will keep that which I have committed unto Him to that day. It runs on from the moment a man commits his soul to Christ. The expression is very striking here. It seems to teach us, and to prove by implication, that after that day there is no danger. Then security will not be a matter merely of promise, but of circumstances. When I am perfected in body and soul, where will be my danger? When I am in mansions where there is a gulf betwixt the mansions and hell where Satan is, and he cannot ferry it, all will be perfectly safe. Therefore we are to be as pillars in the temple of God, and to go no more out for ever.
3. Now, then, what was the consequence of it? "I am not ashamed." Why was he not ashamed? Because he was the subject of that glorious persuasion that all was safe. And I want you to believe, that there is the closest connection between boldness in a Christian's career and assurance in a Christian's heart; that no man will take the walk of a Christian, and occupy the path as he ought to do, boldly and consistently and in a straightforward way, unless he feels that all is safe with regard to his everlasting state. He says, "For which cause I suffer." For what cause? Because "I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles; for the which cause I suffer." When Paul was first brought to God, what did the Lord say about him? He said, "I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake." It is very remarkable, He did not say, "I will show him what great things he shall do," but "what great things he shall suffer." If we are consistent followers of God, we must be sufferers. Having alluded to his sufferings, he says, "I suffer"; but he adds, "I am not ashamed." "I stand manfully forward and confess Him." Now, what is the ground? I have already mentioned it. It is because of that persuasion. That is the antidote.
(C. Molyneux, B. A.)
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.