The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 124 of 181
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verses teaches, but initial salvation cannot be lost, for "He abides faithful, He cannot
deny Himself", or take back what He has given as a free gift, for the `gifts and calling of
God are without repentance', that is, change of mind on His part (Rom. 11: 29). The
reader should carefully ponder I Cor. 3: 10-15 where a sharp distinction is made
between reward for service and salvation by grace.
Since all believers died with Christ in God's reckoning, they will all live with Him in
resurrection somewhere in that new heaven and earth that He is yet to create when the
present universe passes away. Their dying with Christ does not depend upon their
faithfulness or unfaithfulness in service; it is solely God's doing. Likewise their living
with Him by being raised from the dead and changed into His likeness does not depend
on them either. It is the consummation of the glorious work of salvation wrought by the
Lord Jesus and will be brought about by Him `that quickeneth the dead'. He said
"Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14: 19).
But in II Tim. 2: 12 we step out of the realm of free grace into the realm of
responsibility and service. We are saved to "work out our salvation" (not work for it)
which God has worked within us (Phil. 2: 12, 13). If we do this faithfully, then this
context assures us that we shall not only live with Christ, but also reign with Him. The
word `also' shows this is something additional to salvation. We have millions of people
living in Great Britain, but only one, our Queen, is reigning on the throne. There is a vast
difference between living and reigning, even in human affairs.  It is the reigning,
symbolized by the crown, that the Lord will deny His children if they are counted by Him
as being disloyal or unfaithful. The passage may be set out as follows:
A | "Faithful is the saying, for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
B | "If we patiently endure, we shall also reign with Him.
B | "If we deny Him, He will also deny us
(the reigning with Him, sharing His throne).
A | If we are faithless, He abideth faithful, He cannot deny Himself"
(that is, He cannot deprive such of their resurrection life with Him).
Living with Christ does not depend upon the faithfulness of the believer, for
resurrection to eternal life is the culmination of salvation by grace. The believer is
eternally linked with the One Who said "I am the resurrection and the life; he that
believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11: 25). The believer's
subsequent failures after salvation cannot alter the initial fact of his future life with Him.
But when we come to the question of sharing Christ's throne and His reign over the
whole creation in heaven and earth, we are dealing with something additional to
salvation. Whether we are considered by God worthy as good servants, for a `crown',
obtaining a `prize', receiving a reward or in other words reigning with Christ, depends
upon our response to the claims of His Truth here and now.
When we study the word translated `deny', we find it to be equivalent with the words
`to be ashamed':