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…
What a noble picture have we here! Elsewhere we are told that the apostle was "in presence weak, and in speech contemptible"; but he does not appear so now. We see in him a courage and calmness more than human. "What though my departure from this world be marked by infamy, and violence, and scorn — what though friends forsake, and the world revile, and foes pursue me with unresting hatred, I have one treasure of which they cannot rob me, one refuge to which I can always fly, one Friend who 'having loved me, will love me unto the end.'"
I. THE TERMS IN WHICH THE APOSTLE MAKES THIS NOBLE DECLARATION OF HIS CONFIDENCE. The apostle does not say, "what I have believed," as if his hope stood in his creed, which might be very exact — or in his Church, which might be Very true — or in his labours, which were incessant and self-denying — or in his life, which was without reproach and blameless; but he says, "The proper object of my confidence is a Person; my religion consists in having found a Friend — A Friend with whom all my interests for time and for eternity may be entrusted. I cleave to a living, infallible, Divine Protector. 'I know whom I have believed.'" The expression, as you perceive, is in true keeping with the entire spirit of New Testament theology. When a sinner awakes to the first sight of his danger, the first words to be addressed to him are, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." This is a principle of the Divine procedure which would commend itself were it only for its beautiful and pure simplicity. When pressed with the terrors of a guilty conscience, when despair and fear seem to be coming in upon me like a flood, I want something to fly to at once; I want to he directed immediately to an altar of safety. Tell me not of things to be believed, or learned, or sought for, or done, but tell me of one simple act which shall bring me within reach of mercy. Do not lose time in considering how "life and immortality are to be brought to light" — take Him as "the life." A convinced sinner cannot do better than embrace a theology of one article — "I know whom I bare believed." Again, let us look at the word "believed." In the writings of St. Paul the expression stands for the highest form of moral persuasion. It implies the strength of an all-pervading practical conviction — the reposing of a loving, perfect, and confiding trust. The advance of this upon a mere intellectual faith you will perceive — for not only is it believed that Christ came for man's salvation, but that this salvation has become individually applied to ourselves. "I know whom I have believed." My faith rests upon my knowledge, just as my knowledge reacts upon my faith. I am not making a plunge into eternity in the dark. I have looked to the soundness of my Rock to see whether it will bear me; I have "tasted that the Lord is gracious," and therefore am "confident of this very thing, that He that hath begun a good work in me, will perform it unto the day of Christ." The word points out to us the danger of taking our religion on trust; the duty of subjecting our opinions to a diligent and inquiring search. An uninvestigated faith can never be a happy faith. Christ's work for us must be believed, but Christ's work in us must be proved. Let us take the next words, showing to us the nature of the Christian's deposit — "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." To the trust here spoken of we can place no limit. How great the privilege of having this treasure locked up in safe Custody, feeling that whatever else is taken from us, our souls are enclosed in the sanctuary of heaven — that our Jesus puts His hand upon these and says, "These souls are Mine" — "Mine to be kept, Mine to be watched over, Mine to be purged from all dross and defilement, and to be rendered back each to his own," at that day!" And the apostle mentions this day, in preference to the day of his death, because although the earlier period would abundantly vindicate the Saviour's faithfulness, yet the other is the day when Christ shall formally give up His great trust — when, in the presence of all the intelligences of heaven, He shall show how carefully He has watched over souls, through the conflicts of life, through the terrors of death, through the tong repose of the grave, now to hold them up as His jewels, and reward, and crown at "that day."
II. THE GROUNDS ON WHICH THE APOSTLE RESTS HIS CONFIDENCE. These, as we should suppose, must consist in the personal qualifications of Him who was the subject of such trust, in the attributes of His holy nature, in the efficacy of His atoning work, in the virtue of His meritorious obedience, in the continued exertions of His resumed Divinity now that He is seated at the right hand of God. Thus, let us look at the attributes of His nature — at His power, for example; does He not say, "All things are delivered into My hand"; "all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth"; "I open, and no man shutteth; I shut, and no man openeth!" Who, then, can harm us, if we have secured such a Friend as this? But, further, we know Paul would have a ground of persuasion in the work of Christ, in the sufficiency of His obedience, in the infinite reach of His atonement. The apostle was one who felt painfully the greatness of his own deficiencies. His language ever was "'In the Lord Jehovah have I righteousness and strength' My only trust is 'that I may be found in Him.'" But once more, the apostle would find a comforting ground of persuasion in the thought that the Saviour in whom he believed, lived for ever. It is a sad reflection with regard to our earthly friends, that however cherished or however tried, death will soon take them away.
(D. Moore, M. 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.