“For which cause I also suffer these things, nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
Paul continues with the subject matter of the power and majesty of God as he presents quite a paradox to Timothy. Paul had been ordained to be a preacher of the power of God. He had been set apart from his mother’s womb, sanctified by the Spirit and kept as a chosen vessel until the time when it pleased God to reveal Himself in him. The he was isolated for three years from the church at Jerusalem and secluded in the wilderness for 14 more years as the Spirit instructed him in the truth. Then he was taught to sit still in Antioch until such time as the Spirit set him apart for the work of the ministry. He was appointed a preacher, made an apostle by the will of God and empowered to be a teacher to the nations by that same Spirit of power within. And for this he was not ashamed because, he knew whom he believed in. He did not say he knew that he believed as many today would claim as proof of their eternal abode and peace with God, but rather, he said he knew WHOM he had believed in. He was speaking of the same One who had saved him by the power of His will, called him with an heavenly invitation, which is intended for those unto whom it is sent and to those who have been given ears to hear it, and the One who had blessed him with a singularity of mind. He was not constantly checking the commentaries of the Rabbi down through the ages to find the proper interpretation, he did not consult with the oral law to ascertain the correct application and he did not care what other men thought. He knew that the One in whom he believed was the King of the universe who was seated in the heavens and did the pleasure of His Most Holy Will. This is the One who spoke and it came to pass, the One who called those things which were not yet as thought they had already been saying, ‘MY counsel shall stand’ and the One who performed all the intent of His heart. (Notice he did not believe on Him but rather, being one with Him in the eternal unity of the generation of Jesus Christ, he believed IN Him.) Paul knew that the Word of God was certain and sure and that no man could stay His hand or even intimate that God was not doing all things as it seemed good in His sight. He knew that the One in whom he believed was ‘Adoni El Shaddah’, the Lord God Almighty.
Belief that is of the flesh is as steadfast as the sands of the seas and as permanent as the clouds of the sky. Adam will and does believe almost anything and, from the proof of history, the more outlandish, bizarre and preposterous the premise may be the more readily it is believed. This is not the singularity of mind that Paul spoke of that has been given by God to His people. The belief he spoke of is because of faith. Faith is a gift of God by which His grace is revealed unto salvation. It is the peaceable fruit of righteousness because of the presence of the Spirit. The Spirit within is One with the Father and the Word and has been sent from above. It is the that Spirit of power and love which God has given. Therefore if the power of God, through the Spirit of God produces faith of God in the children of God, then those children believe in Him. Since that belief is because of faith and faith is the evidence of things unseen and the substance of things hoped for, belief in Him is not proved by the things of this world which can be seen; “For we are saved by hope; for what a man sees why then does he yet hope?”
Paul then states that he has great confidence and trust that this One in whom he believes is the power that guards the commitment of him against that day. He did not say that God was some kind of safety deposit box that Paul could commit things unto that would be brought forth in the final day when the books were opened and he needed a reference or referral. (When the books were opened, God did not ‘call to remembrance’ the sin of His people for He had already removed that sin as far as the east is from the west and He will ‘call them into remembrance no more’.) Paul said that the Lord God Omnipotent was the power of that which had been committed unto him against that day and that which had been committed unto him was the preaching of the gospel (the power of God unto deliverance), the ministry of reconciliation (whereby God had reconciled the world unto Himself) and the teaching of the nations (those of every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue whom the Lord had redeemed). This had been deposited unto him by the power of Him that worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. It was kept by the power of His might, accomplished as the Spirit gave him liberty according to the purpose of His own will and would endure to the end because it is of God and not man.
Therefore he said to Timothy, ‘this pattern of healing (well-pleasing) words which you have heard from me, in faith (from faith to faith) and (eternal) love in Christ Jesus; that excellent thing which has been deposited in you is kept by the Holy Ghost which dwells in us’. This has not been procured by man, it is not sustained by man and it is not of this world. This is the Word which dwells in His children in all richness and glory. That most excellent thing that has been deposited in those chosen vessels is the testimony of Jesus Christ. The life they live is by the faith of the Son of God and they love one another. God has given His children the Spirit of power and love. He has made them willing in the day of His power and because He first loved them, they are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. Since the love of the Father abides in them, they love Him and each other member of the fold. This is a most marvelous work which is unto all the household of the redeemed that have been sealed with their Father’s name in their foreheads. They are His vineyard and He is the husbandman. He has granted unto them every good and precious gift which comes down from above and as they produce the fruit that He has ordained should come forth, He prunes them to bring forth even more. The paradox is that the more the love of God shines forth in the heart of the child of grace as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will the more intense the warfare within becomes and the more they long for home.
“Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
May 22, 2011