“if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
Does God disown His people when they are faithless?
I believe it is helpful to include 2:12 with 2:13.
if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
Paul informs Timothy he was imprisoned for preaching the gospel (2:9). Paul notes this fact about the gospel:
raised from the dead…
descended from David (2:8)
What took place when Jesus died and was raised?
Who died that day over 2,000 years ago?
One died for all, and therefore all died — 2 Corinthians 5:14
God reconciled the world to himself in Christ — 5:19
Because of this, He is not counting people’s sins against them — 5:19
We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all — Hebrews 10:10
By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy — 10:14
We were reconciled to God while we were still enemies — Romans 5:10
More took place on the cross than Jesus’ death. Jesus killed the false image of man that we have carried around since Adam’s sin. We were made to live in union with God. This union does not mean simply following what He says. This union mean we are connected as the Father is connected to the Son.
John 14:20 “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
John 17:20-21 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Just because this has been accomplished by Christ doesn’t mean we all enjoy it to its fullest. Many of us are still enemies of God in our minds, and reflect that in our lives (Colossians 1:20-21). We do not enjoy the many blessings of Christ because we are closed to it because we do not believe.
What is true and real from God’s perspective is not always true from our point of view. For example, God already considered Cornelius and his household clean even though Peter had been preaching the gospel for years. Peter’s application and understanding of the gospel was not the same as God’s at the time (Acts 10:15, 28).
Back to 2 Timothy 2: Paul preached the gospel. The gospel was one of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5). The work was done. We need to wake up to it. Under the law mentality, if we deny God, we are denied by God. There was no sacrifice for intentional sin under the law of Moses (cf. Hebrews 10:25; Numbers 15:22-31). Under the law sacrifice, a sin consciousness remained. It affected your approaching God freely and confidently. God found fault with the law because it could not make someone righteous.
The covenant made at Sinai was made between God and Israel. For the full benefits to be experienced, both parties had to be faithful. No matter how loyal and loving God was, man could never stand before God without a sin conscience, regardless of the offering of animals. It was a relationship of distance (Remember, God was not distant. He was as close as the air they breathed ~ Acts 17:28. But, due to the perspective of God defined by the law, they felt distance). Therefore, if they denied God, He would deny them (even though, ultimately, He never did ~ Romans 11:32).
God did not ultimately deny them due to any sufficiency on Israel’s part. God did this based on the sacrifice of Christ, intended before the creation of man in the flesh (Ephesians 1:4). The problem the old law had with making man righteous was man could never uphold his end of the covenant. If they were guilty on one part, they were guilty of all (James 2:10). God’s plan was to keep the covenant for man Himself (Hebrews 8:7-13)! Jesus came and represented mankind. Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-18). Jesus upheld man’s end of the covenant.
In man’s mind under a law based, performance driven acceptance by God, if he denies God, he will be denied by God (2 Timothy 2:12). Jesus made this known when addressing the implications of the law in Matthew 10:32-33. Is that true from God’s standpoint? No. We were reconciled while still enemies (Romans 5:8). God is still faithful to His new covenant with humanity. he rigged the results with Jesus’ faithfulness counting for mankind. Therefore,
if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
God cannot disown us without disowning Himself.
Truly, every spiritual blessing is found in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).