He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. – 2 Timothy 2:13
This is one of the more controversial verses in the Bible. Many people believe it is a promise to believers that if we turn away, we still keep our salvation. Others believe that this verse means that God will not tolerate an unfaithful believer because He cannot be joined with that which is sinful. This begs the question, “Does God remain faithful even when we are faithless?”
Here is the verse in context:
This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
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;
He cannot deny Himself.
I cannot answer that which theologians have been debating for two thousand years, but I will say this. The question is moot if we die with Him. Put to death the carnal nature by surrendering to Christ.
Brother Lawrence said this (paraphrased) –
“Now that I see God by faith, here is what comforts me: I feel what faith teaches us. I see what it teaches us. And, in that assurance… in that practice of faith, I will live and die with him.
Brother Lawrence taught that to have faith was to “live and die with Christ.” Continually. If he faltered for a brief moment, forgetting for just a while about his Savior, Jesus Christ, the he felt he had sinned and immediately confessed it to God. He puts it this way (paraphrased):
I know my weaknesses. I God let’s me alone for one moment, I would be the most wretched man alive. I don’t see how He could ever let me alone, though. Faith gives me as strong of a conviction as sense can do. I am convinced of this: He never forsakes us unless we first forsake Him.
We should fear to leave Him. We should always be with Him. We should live and die with Him, in His presence. You pray for me and I will pray for you.
Did you catch that? He never forsakes us unless we first forsake Him. I think that is what Paul is telling Timothy in the verses above. It fits right in:
If we die with Him, we will live with Him. If we deny Him, He will deny us. He will never forsake us unless we forsake Him.
Fear not, He will never forsake us unless we first forsake Him. Just keep the faith.