“…But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”
(2 Timothy 1:12)
One of the most beautiful hymns sung in many churches on Sundays is Daniel Whittle’s “I Know Whom I Have Believed.” Whittle’s first verse reads, “I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me He hath made known, nor why, unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for His own.” It then leads into the chorus, which basically quotes what Paul wrote to Timothy above. Each succeeding verse expresses Whittle’s admitted lack of knowledge or understanding about various facets of God’s plan to save us or how He works in our lives, but each time he brings us back to the chorus and agrees with Paul in saying, “But I know Whom I have believed…”
Paul had complete confidence in Jesus Christ. That’s why he died for Christ, with his last words being, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Christians also have confidence in Christ. They have confidence that He is their Savior, because He said, “…I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We have confidence that he is our Lord (Romans 10:9), and submit to his authority because he said, “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am” (John 13:13). They believe he is coming back because He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Yet how do Christians show their confidence in Christ? It’s easy to say that you trust Jesus, but how do you prove it? Christians prove their faith when they submit to His commandments. God’s Word says that Christ is the source of eternal salvation to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9). Jesus himself said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). If Christians did not truly believe Christ when He said those things, we would not obey Him. Our obedience not only shows our love for Him (John 14:15), but also our confidence and trust in Him.
So when He says that we are to treat others the way we would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12), Christians obey because we have confidence in Him, confidence that doing so will not only be profitable for us now but also for eternity (1 Timothy 4:8). When He commands us to believe in Him (John 3:16), repent of our sins (Acts 2:38), and be immersed in water for salvation and the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21), Christians show that they trust Him by obeying Him. When He prays that all of his followers be united through being sanctified by the truth which is his Word (John 17:20-23; cf. 17:17), those who have confidence in him will go to His Word and His Word alone for guidance for every good work (1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). When He through the writings of his apostles declares that there is only one body or church (Ephesians 4:4; cf. 1:22-23) and that He is the Savior of that body or church (Ephesians 5:23), Christians show their confidence in Him by deciding to be a part of that church by being baptized into it (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Do you know whom you have believed? Do you have confidence in Jesus Christ? Your obedience – or lack of it – will show it.