Confidence In Christ

Confidence in Christ

“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.” (2Timothy 1:12)

Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-12


As we read this chapter, you would have to say that the overriding impression that we get from Paul in our reading today is one of confidence. 

Such is his confidence in Christ and who he is in Christ…that he has no hesitation in declaring the credentials of his apostleship and calling; stating that he was appointed to be a preacher, an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles. 

The one thing that he makes perfectly clear…and that is the fact that everything he is and everything that has been bestowed on him, has come directly from Christ. And everything that he does is a result of this.

This is where his confidence lay. It is the Lord Jesus who is the foundation of his ministry. And this is who Paul points to when he encourages and exhorts Timothy in his own ministry. 

Likewise, this is where our confidence ought to be…in Christ also.

Hence I have titled today’s message: Confidence in Christ

The focus of today’s message is verse 12:

“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.” (2Timothy 1:12)

As we will see in today’s message, there are a number of roadblocks along the way. I pray that the message is a blessing to you

Let’s Pray 

Confidence in the Cause of Christ:

“For the which cause…”

People devote themselves to many and various causes for many and varied reasons. Some noble, some not so noble. Of the more noble causes, they hope to make the world a better place. They see a need and attempt to fill it. In this, they see the value and are thus confident that the cause is worthwhile and worth the cost of their time and personal sacrifice. 

This automatically begs the question…how do you measure worth? 

Linked to this is a sense or a belief that life has meaning and purpose. This of course is absurd from a secular viewpoint in which the universe supposedly originated from a cosmic accident. 

For the believer, this sense of purpose is often heightened when he is born again. It is understood by the fact that God has a plan for his life and that life does indeed have meaning and purpose.

In our text, Paul commences verse 12 with these words: “for the which cause” which immediately tells us that his life had a very particular focus or “calling”.

Of course, we know that the cause to which he is referring is the cause of Christ…and more specifically the gospel of Christ. 

It’s always good to remember why Jesus came..which was to seek and to save that which was lost. 

Paul describes this cause a few verses earlier in verse 9 [Read]:

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2Timothy 1:9)

In light of this we need to recognize:

Firstly, he describes this cause as a calling and specifically “an holy calling”. 

It’s worth noting that the bible is a book demonstrating how opposites help define meaning, and the opposite of holy is profane or common. 

Therefore our calling is not your everyday run-of-the-mill activity. Neither is it “just a hobby” or something that you do to entertain yourself or do in your spare time. It is serious business with eternal consequences…both for the gospel messenger and the listener. This is why we are admonished to walk worthy of our calling [Ephesians 4:1]

Secondly, we see that we are called not according to our own works but according to the Lord’s purpose. THIS IS OUR LIFE’S PURPOSE. 

As gospel workers [and we have to see ourselves as just that] we are doing his work…and not our own. Therefore we should desire his will and not our own. And ultimately we should desire his glory and not our own. 

This should therefore govern our motives each and every minute of the day. 

Paul further speaks of this calling:

[Turn to]

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

We see here that Paul also refers to his ministry as an “high calling” to which there is a prize associated. That prize is Christ himself, which in itself ought to place an invaluable worth on preaching the gospel. As a direct response to this,  Paul says: “I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Philippians 3:8)

*Note: Paul suffered the loss of all things [not just some things]

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: WHAT AM I PREPARED TO LOSE FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST?

Material possessions and creature comforts…?

What does Jesus say:

“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Mat 8:20)


What did Christ say?

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” 

(John 15:18)

Paul also had his share of rejection:

“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” (2Timothy 1:15)

Your life…?

What does Paul say?

“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Act 20:22-24)

Looking at Paul’s example, shouldn’t we have confidence in the cause of Christ? I’ve often thought…why should we be so committed to Christ? The simple answer is, because he was so committed to us.

If there’s any doubt in regards to our calling: 

Remember, we are COMMANDED to go into all the world and preach the gospel. 

One of the greatest dangers to this cause is complacency. We either..somehow believe that the cause of Christ is less important than it is, or we believe that it’s somebody else’s cause.

But in answering the question posed at the beginning of this point

The worthiness and therefore our confidence in the cause of Christ can be summed up in 25 words:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 

(John 3:16)

If the Lord placed such importance and value on lost sinners that he gave his only begotten Son, then we can be sure that there is nothing else that matters. The value of the cause is eternal.

Confidence in the Sufferings of Christ:

As I alluded to in the previous point…the cause of Christ or our calling in Christ will naturally result in suffering for Christ. Scripture makes it quite clear that suffering and persecution are indeed the natural consequence of our faith. 

Our text today says

“…I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed…”

Paul explains these sufferings, calling them “the afflictions of the gospel”

“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” (2Timothy 1:8)

In a natural sense, it might seem strange, Paul encourages Timothy to be a partaker of these sufferings. Paul also alludes to the fact that even being associated with him would attract negative attention. 

Yet it shouldn’t seem strange because we know that all who would live godly in Christ WILL suffer persecution. (2 Tim 3:12)

It stands to reason that there is a correlation between godliness and the suffering that we experience, provided they line up with the word of God.

I feel I should qualify this;

These are not to be confused with God’s chastening for disobedience. Hopefully, you are able to discern the difference. 

Notwithstanding, both the chastening of the Lord and suffering for him are designed to bring the believer into a closer relationship with the Lord.  

The apostle Peter further illuminates not only the purpose of suffering but he also explains the difference between suffering for righteousness’ sake [godly suffering] and suffering because of our own faults. 

[Turn to]:

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” (1Peter 2:13-21)

Not only do we see the reality of suffering for Christ’s sake in the apostle’s writings but also from Christ himself. 

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

No doubt the apostles were minded of this as they began to preach in the synagogues and risked their lives in the process. We see this example in the book of Acts as they were imprisoned and interrogated by the council then beaten, and released upon the recommendation of Gamaliel.

“And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” (Act 5:40-41)

What is significant about this account is that they left REJOICING…which is a perfect and godly response. 

There are more than enough references in scripture [both in the Old Testament and the New Testament] to tell us that suffering for righteousness’ sake should be considered the norm…

Therefore if anyone tells you that as a Christian you are exempt from suffering, it’s a blatant lie.

The important thing is to understand the purpose of suffering, which in turn SHOULD give us confidence 

Firstly [as we just read]we were called to suffer…

Secondly, we follow Christ’s example of suffering for us…

When it came to suffering, what example did Christ leave for us?:

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

Thirdly it glorifies God and therefore there is a reward for those that suffer.

There’s another lesson or reality that we ought to draw on in regards to Christ’s example of suffering. We find it in Hebrews chapter 5: 

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” (Hebrews 5:8-9)

We wouldn’t automatically think that Christ would need to learn obedience and that he was perfected thereby…


And so lastly it is through our suffering that we also learn obedience and are likewise perfected thereby. 

Of course, it’s one thing to be confident in the sufferings of Christ but it is another thing to endure those sufferings as a good soldier of Christ. How do we do it…?

We get a clue in our reading today:

“…be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” (2Timothy 1:8)

The Lord is deliberate in telling us that we fight this battle, not in our own power but in his. 


We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities…

Our battle is a spiritual one and therefore must be fought in the Spirit. 

We put on the armour of God and especially the word of God, knowing that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds.


In this world we will have trials and tribulations BUT we can be of good cheer because Christ overcame the world. Without him we can do nothing. 


The victory through which we overcome the world is our faith [1 John 5:4]…and actually not even our faith because the life that we live in this flesh we live by the faith of Christ [Galatians 2:20]

Again…if suffering is directly proportional to godliness then the opposite is true. There are those who might choose not to live godly lives in order to avoid suffering.

But it doesn’t have to be that way

To put it simply…

Knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ. Not even death…in fact death is considered gain and to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. 

Therefore, we have every reason to be confident in the sufferings of Christ because he works in and through us…he did it all and will do it all. 

This leads perfectly into our next point:

Confidence in the Person of Christ:

“….for I know whom I have believed,…”

The first thing that should strike us about this part of the text is that GOD IS KNOWABLE…

And in this case it is through the Lord Jesus Christ. Without going into a complete and exhaustive apologetic, we know that God does and has reveal himself to us…

He has revealed himself to us through his creation

He reveals himself to us through his word

And he has revealed himself to us through the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Paul’s case we also see that Jesus revealed himself to him by way of his Damascus Road experience. 

The promise that we have is that when we do seek him we will find him; when we seek him with all our heart. 

In the context of our passage there is a definite connection between the knowledge of Christ and the preparedness to suffer for him. That connection is dependent upon the person of Christ himself and our relationship with him. 

The word “know” is such a concrete word and conveys a sense of absoluteness. It also conveys a sense of relationship and intimacy. 

When it comes to knowing Christ, both of these are vitally important in regards to our faith….because both the heart and mind need to be transformed and renewed. 

We know from reading our bibles that sometimes there are parallels between the natural and the spiritual. For example: light and darkness

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Corinthians 4:6)

And in the case of knowledge, we see from the book of Genesis that Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she produced Cain and Abel [the fruit of her body]. 

Similarly the fruit of the believer is another believer. Just as Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, we are also commanded to be fruitful and multiply. This comes from knowing God…and the more we know God, the more fruitful we will be. 

This is the whole purpose of the Great Commission. And just as a mother desires children, the believer should desire to win souls to Christ. 

Needless to say that intimacy with God makes us more fruitful. 

There is certainly an emphasis in this chapter with regards to confidence in the face of affliction. However we also see that the gospel [and the spreading thereof] is still front and centre. 

Therefore it is important to note another interesting correlation and that is the relationship between the growth [especially of the early church] and the persecution of the church. 

A second century quote from church father Tertullian highlights this fact: 

He said: “The Blood of the Martyrs is the Seed of the Church”

Certainly, the early church experienced rapid growth due to persecution, firstly from the Jews and then from the Romans.  

The spread of Christianity is generally attributed to the dispersal of Christians throughout the Roman Empire. Notwithstanding, the persecution which draws you closer to the Lord and creates a greater intimacy with him, is ALWAYS going to bear fruit. You’d have to say that both of these factors contributed significantly. 

When it comes to knowing Christ and having confidence in him we should remember that this epistle is written to Timothy; recalling also that he was experiencing certain struggles…fear for one thing. 

Thus Paul reminds Timothy of certain things…

He affirms his love for Timothy addressing him as his “dearly beloved son”. 

He confirms Timothy’s faith in Christ describing it as “unfeigned”

He reminds him of the “gift of God” and of “the Holy Ghost which dwelleth” in him. This is an important consideration because it is the Spirit of God which bears witness with our spirits that we are indeed children of God [Romans 8:16] And without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we “are none of his”.  

He admonishes him in regards to doctrine and to “hold fast the form of sound words” because doctrine matters. 

He points to the “testimony” of our Lord as something that we needn’t be ashamed of. 

There is nothing embarrassing about the life and ministry of our Lord and specifically his death, burial and resurrection. 

This is the foundation of our faith to which Paul pens this creed: 

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” (1Corinthians 15:3-6)

But Paul especially he tells him this:

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Timothy 1:7)

1 John also tells us that perfect love casts out fear. 

And in the midst of our trials and tribulations we also know this:

[Turn to]

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:1-5)

The key here is that by virtue of our faith and the hope that we have in Christ we are able to overcome trials and tribulations through the love of God and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. 

This is the Christ that Paul had come to know; not to mention the testimony of 40+ penmen of the bible and the great cloud of witnesses [Hebrews 12] that have gone before us.

And this is the Christ in whom he has believed and has placed his trust.

We also have the opportunity to know Christ this way by reading his word and spending time in prayer. Needless to say, our knowledge of Christ will be hindered if we don’t.

Well might we also say: “…be thou not ashamed of the testimony of the Lord”

“…who hath abolished death , and hath brought life and immortality to light  through the gospel…:” 

Confidence in the Day of Christ:

“….and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

Knowing all who Christ is [and we saw this in the previous point], it was easy for Paul to believe that he was able to do the things that he said he would do. 

As believers, we should also know that: 

God doesn’t lie and therefore his promises are sure.

God is omniscient and therefore knows the end from the beginning which includes his will for our lives.  

God is omnipotent and therefore able to empower us to accomplish his will 

God is immutable and therefore doesn’t change. He is the constant in our lives in an ever changing world. 

God is omni-benevolent and therefore only desires our good. And despite our suffering [all things work together for good]…the eternal outcome is ALWAYS GOOD.


The committing of our faith is an act of our will and in doing so, the Lord honours and rewards our faith according to the things which are done in faith.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

However, Paul alludes to something specific here: “…that which I have committed unto him against that day”

“That which I have committed unto him”…what is it that he has committed unto him” and “against” which day? These are both questions that need to be answered…but if we deal with the specific day then we will have a greater understanding of the commitment.

Certainly, Paul has committed his life to Christ and with it, the salvation of his soul… [this may be partly true]…but I believe that it runs deeper than that. 

The bible speaks about a number of different “days” and giving them specific names:

There is of course “judgement day”…which is rather generic

But there is also 2 other days which the bible mentions specifically.

Another is “the day of the Lord” which is also called “the day of vengeance of our God” [Isaiah 61:2]

And another is “the day of Christ”.

In understanding the answer we know that we will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. 

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2Corinthians 5:10) 

This is the key here: “that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 

There is punishment for the bad…the bible teaches that the wages of sin is death


There is a reward for the good.

Since we can be 100% confident of Paul’s salvation we also know that his sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west and that the Lord remembers them NO MORE…!!!

Therefore the only logical conclusion is that Paul is referring to an eternal reward. This sits perfectly with the words of Christ who said:

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Certainly the Lord desires for us to know that there is no safer place to store treasure than in heaven…despite suffering and no matter what we have to endure on earth.

And this is surely the reason why Paul is confident of the commitment that he has made. 

The question to be answered now is…when is that reward realized? And again by process of elimination the answer must be THE DAY OF CHRIST.

Scripture certainly indicates this; particularly when we examine passages dealing with reward.

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

In this passage Paul hopes to rejoice on the day of Christ as his life’s work is revealed…was it in vain or was it profitable? 

But how do we measure the profitability of our work? What is the standard or measure?

[Turn to]

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1Corinthians 3:11-15)

The things that matter to God are eternal. These are the things that will pass the test of fire. Certainly these are things that glorify God and which are directly connected to gospel. Ironically whilst man has removed the gold standard from the value of money God has retained it eternally. 


Knowing that there is an eternal reward…

And knowing that our work will be judged

And knowing that there is a criteria by which our work will be judged…


I think one of the greatest sins is that of time wasting…[we’ve spoken a bit about time lately…in that it is a physical dimension]. But for the sake of this message we need to realize that it is a finite commodity and once it has gone…IT’S GONE

Anything that we do which has the potential of changing someone’s eternity is counted as Gold in God’s eyes. 

The question is…are we going to hide our lights under a bushel..or

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

How important is our witness…?

When it comes to works, the bible tells us that these have already been foreordained.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

And just as time is finite…I dare say these are finite also. Since [and sadly] we are unlikely to complete the list of tasks allocated to us [I’m not advocating ticking boxes] …is it any wonder the Lord refers to us as unprofitable servants.

Think about it…if even Paul pressed forward to apprehend that for which he was apprehended of God…are we likely to exceed God’s expectations?

Notwithstanding….he was persuaded [even confident] that God was able to keep those things which he did commit to him unto the day of Christ. 

And so should we be…


In regards to our faith, confidence is everything just as fear and doubt is crippling. And as we have seen, it has nothing to do with self-confidence but confidence in Christ.

There is much in this world which would undermine that confidence in Christ. 

And of course[remembering that we wrestle not against flesh and blood]:

Our adversary the devil roams and seeks who he might devour. He loves nothing better than to make us ineffective. 

Again, as we saw Paul is writing to Timothy. The principle causes for a potential lack of confidence was fear and and especially because of his relative youth. 

Certainly fear and anxiety can also cause us to lose confidence. And this is the reason that Paul exhorts Timothy and encourages with those words:

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Timothy 1:7)

It only when we realize the importance of this work, that all else becomes irrelevant and we become single-minded in this endeavour. 

It is then that our trials and tribulations become as Paul says. “Light afflictions”.

It is then that we should take hold of the mission for which Christ has taken hold of us and“… press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

Of course we see from this verse and indeed the entire bible, there is nothing to excuse us from accomplishing the work that the Lord has for us…which ultimately is the preaching of the gospel.

Certainly my desire is that as a church Hope Baptist would be single minded in this endeavour. 

As always the bible and indeed this message speaks to two groups of individuals:

Those who know Christ and whose confidence is in him

And those who don’t know Christ and whose confidence is in themselves.

As individuals who know the Lord I pray that we would all grow in that grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This can only be achieved through spending time with the Lord in prayer and time in the word. Without him we can do nothing.

For those who don’t know Christ and whose confidence is in themselves…I truly fear for you. Rather than having confidence in the day of Christ, your expected end will be the day of the Lord. A day which the bible describes as a day of darkness and gloominess. A day which the bible describes as a day of wrath, trouble and distress.

My prayer is that you seriously consider where you will spend eternity.


Leave a Reply