AND INDEED ALL WHO DESIRE: kai pantes de oi thelontes (PAPMPN):
are determined (Amp)
(pas) means everyone without exception -- with the caveat
that they must fulfill certain
qualifications in order to receive the "promise" of persecution! What
are the conditions one must meet? There must first be the right attitude
- a desire and this desire must have God-ward direction. And lastly, and
most important, they must be the right "energy". Paul says a godly,
Christlike life is only possible by abiding in Him, in Christ, in the
Vine, the Ark of our salvation. See related discussion of the phrases
in Christ Jesus.
It follows that from a practical
standpoint every saint desiring to live godly should not regard the
resulting experience as peculiar, but only as part of the price of loyal
service to Christ. Jesus made it very clear to His disciples
If the world hates (present
tense = their
continual reaction to) you, you know that it has hated Me before
it hated you. If you were of the world (note He does not say "in"
the world but "of" the world), the world would love its own; but because
you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world,
therefore the world hates (present
tense = their
continual reaction to) you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A
slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me,
they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will
keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's
sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. (John 15:18-21)
In the sermon on the mount
Jesus said there was a beatitude in store for those who suffered in
- word study) are those who have been
persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and
falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. "Rejoice
your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the
prophets who were before you. (See notes
Paul explained to the
saints at Philippi that...
to you it has been granted
charis = grace -- a gift of grace!) for Christ's
sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Php
Peter has a parallel
Beloved, do not be
imperative + a
negative = stop an action or reaction that is already in progress; i.e.,
they were being surprised by the trials!) at the fiery ordeal among you,
which comes upon you for your testing (note carefully the trials God
sends or allows are not without a high and holy purpose, cp Dt 8:2
Moses to Israel "testing you, to know what was in your heart"), as
though some strange thing were happening to you but to the degree that
you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at
the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation (agalliao).
If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the
Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you." (see notes
Paul encouraged the Thessalonians
with words about the inevitability of their suffering reminding them
we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel of
Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith,
so that no man may be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves
know that we have been destined for this. (see notes
(thelo) refers to a desire that comes from one’s emotions
and indicates an active decision of the will, thus implying volition and
These men and women are
tense) desiring to
pursue godliness and it reflects an active decision (active
voice) of their
expresses not simply a desire but a determined and
constant exercise of the will.
Vincent translates this as all
Whose will is to live, or who are bent on living.
points to those whose who
have an abiding determination to live a godly life. Notice that desire in
indicates this is not an occasional desire to choose to live godly,
but a persistent passion which manifests itself in their lifestyle. They
recognize that they are not in a religious
"100 meter dash" but a spiritual "marathon". And so Paul
exhorted Timothy to...
command to make this his lifestyle) yourself for the purpose of
godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but
godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the
present life and also for the life to come. 9 It is a trustworthy
statement deserving full acceptance. 10 For it is for this we labor (kopiao
= to the point of weariness and exhaustion) and strive (agonizomai
= agonize), because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the
Savior of all men, especially of believers. (See notes
Yes, pursuit of godliness is costly
now but eternity will show it to be worth the cost of
If anyone proposes to introduce into his life a loyalty
which surpasses all earthly loyalties, there will be clashes with this
"present evil age" (Gal 1:4) that loves self rather than the
Savior. And that is precisely the loyalty that Christ demands of a
disciple. (Matthew 6:24-note)
In sum, it is vital for every
young "Timothy" to remember that persecution is an integral part of
the godly life in Christ Jesus. Otherwise, when we
encounter persecution, we might be tempted to think that he has
failed the Lord or that the Lord is displeased.
As Steven Cole observes
this "promise of persecution" means that...
spiritual faithfulness requires
recognizing and following godly examples who follow the Scriptures. You
can recognize them by their teaching, their character, and their godly
demeanor under trials. But, once you recognize them, you need to follow
William Hendricksen has
Scars are the price which every
believer pays for his loyalty to Christ.
(continually) LIVE GODLY IN
eusebos zen (PAN) en Christo Iesou: (2Co1:12; 1Ti 2:2; 3:16; 6:3;
Titus 1:1; 2:12; 2Pe 3:11)
in union with Christ Jesus (GWT)
united with the Messiah Yeshua (Jewish NT)
a godly life in union
Vance Havner said...
If you are under any illusions about
the attitude of this world towards Jesus Christ, try really living for
him for a week and you will find out!
Live (zao) can refer to living a natural physical life, to the general
idea how one conducts themselves or behaves (as in this verse) and to
the supernatural, spiritual life, resurrected eternal life which is
available to believers now. The
present tense depicts one who is making
it a habit to daily determine to die to
self (Mk 8:34), to present one's self as a living sacrifice
(Romans 12:1-note), daily making the
choice that Christ is Lord of every area of my life. And so we see a
godly life is not native to the human heart but can only be lived "in
Christ Jesus". The only way to live godly is
in vital spiritual union with Christ Jesus (cf Galatians 2:20-note
abiding in the Vine (John 15:5)
and living in obedience to Him in the grace He provides.
He is the only source and sphere of a truly godly life. The believer experiences fellowship with Christ in suffering as a part
of the mystical union with Him. On the other hand, it is
possible to be persecuted for being obnoxious, rather than for being
obedient. Disciples are not called to go looking for trouble but simply
to obey Christ and when you do trouble is not far behind!
Paul writing to Titus explains that it is possible to
because "the grace of God has appeared...instructing ("child
training" - in context what trains us?)
us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live
sensibly, righteously and
in the present age (continuously,
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing
of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (what should
motivate us to "live godly"?). (Titus 2:11; 12; 13; 2:14-see notes
Hugh Latimer has an
interesting thought postulating that...
Wherever you see persecution, there
is more than a probability that truth is on the persecuted side.
from eu = well + sebomai = reverence <> Sebomai is
from root "seb" = sacred awe ) is an attitude of reverence
exhibited in one's actions. In secular Greek use eusebos
described practical piety towards one's parents. The Greek root was also
commonly used in the Greco-Roman world of Paul to describe respect for
the pagan gods. For example in one ancient text we read
Can there be any better or more
reverent (godly) way to honor the gods than by doing what they command?
summary, eusebos means reverence or awe that is well directed. It
is not talking "godly" but living "godly".
The godly person lives a life characterized by a "Godward" attitude
leading to actions that are well-pleasing to Him.
Spurgeon "qualifies" the persecution Paul is referring to
admonishing the disciple to...
Take care if the world does hate you
that it hates you without cause.
Pope writes that...
indicates the Christian life on its ethical side in the life of conduct;
the words 'in Christ' give the other aspect of the Christian life--its
inner, mystic fellowship with Christ.
Hiebert writes that
There is an intimate connection between truth and godliness. A vital
possession of truth is inconsistent with irreverence…. Real truth never
deviates from the path of piety. A profession of the truth which allows
an individual to live in ungodliness is a spurious profession
Webster's 1828 dictionary defines "godly" as
"living in obedience to God's
commands, from a principle of love to him and reverence of his character
is not sanctimoniousness ('hypocritical holiness", cf note
2 Timothy 3:5).
It cannot be exercised except in communion with Christ; hence the phrase
“in Christ Jesus;
hence the phrase “in Christ
Jesus.” The order of the
titles points to the living person, Christ, who became man, Jesus, in
order to be our Savior. Not the simple phrase “in Christ” is here used,
expressing our position in Him, but the double title, indicating His
power as the Lord and sustainer of our life in all its vicissitudes."
Paul is careful to point out that his persecution was
not anything out of the ordinary. It is in fact, an absolute promise for
any believer "who desires to live godly in Christ Jesus." Though there
are not many believers standing in line to claim this promise, it is
nevertheless a sure promise from God's word. The word for "desire" (thelo)
can also be translated "wish" or "want'. The thought seems to be that
any believer with the slightest inkling to break ranks with the world
and walk in line behind Christ will feel the heat of this world's rage.
If we find that we seldom, if ever, are being persecuted for our faith,
then certainly we must question whether we genuinely are "living godly
in Christ Jesus." (Call
As H T Mahan said...
Persecution and opposition ought to
encourage rather than discourage us, for we are faithfully warned by our
Lord that the natural man and the religionist will not receive the
gospel of the grace of God.
Milner phrased it similarly
Persecution often does in this life
what the last great day will do completely—separate the wheat from the
Bishop Ryle agrees writing
Persecution is like the goldsmith's
hallmark on real silver and gold; it is one of the marks of a converted
Realize also that "suffering for Christ" is not
only physical abuse but can include social ostracism and verbal insults:
Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and cast insults
at you, and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. (Lk
"A good man a good
mark for the arrow: — The better the man, the sooner persecuted; the
devil shoots his arrows at the whitest marks." Hall writes "It is a miracle of mercy
to consider how the lily subsists in the midst of so many briars and
thorns, how the Lord’s wheat grows in the midst of so many tares, how
His doves live in the midst of so many birds of prey, and His lambs in
the midst of so many roaring lions. Were not the Almighty her defence,
those bands of ungodliness would soon destroy her...God
is pleased to reserve the sweetest manifestations from the bitterest
afflictions. The fountain runs most sweetly when the cistern is broken.
When comforts are most needed they will be most prized. The traveler in
summer, when the sun shines, casts off his cloak, but in winter, or when
the wind blows hard, he wraps it closer to him.
So when we bathe ourselves in creature comforts we value not the
promises of God, but when we are stripped of all then we look after God.
When the salt waters are dried up, then there are fresh springs in God."
WILL BE PERSECUTED: diocthesontai (3PFPI):
(Jos 17:14; Ps 37:12, 13;37:14, 37:15 Mt 5:10, 5:11, 5:12; 10:22;10:23,
24, 25, 16:24; 23:34; Mk 10:30; Lk 14:26; 27 Jn 15:19;20, 21, 16:2; 33;
17:14; Acts 14:22; Ro 8:17 1Co 15:19; 1Th 3:3; 4 Heb 11:32, 33; 34, 35,
36, 37, 38 1Pe 2:20; 21, 3:14; 4:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 5:9; 10 Rev 1:9;
10, 7:14; 12:4, 7, 8, 9, 10)
See sermon by the
great revival preacher George Whitfield
Steven Cole (Spiritual
While the type and intensity of the
persecution will vary from ridicule or rejection to physical violence or
even death, every true Christian who lives a godly life in this evil
world will experience persecution. If you are honest at work, your
honesty will convict those who cheat, and they will try to get you. If
you speak out about injustice or evil, you will be ridiculed and
attacked. Calvin (Calvin's Commentaries [Baker], on 2 Ti 3:12, p.
244) put it plainly:
they who wish to be exempt from
persecutions must necessarily renounce Christ.
Calvin also said...
Persecutions are in a way seals of
adoption to the children of God.
B E Fernando echoes the
Persecution is one of the surest
signs of the genuineness of our Christianity.
Or as Billy Graham
It is unnatural for Christianity to
[word study]) means literally to be hunted, and then to be followed or pressed hard after,
pursued with earnestness and diligence with
repeated acts of enmity (See
J C Ryle's sermon esp part III
The picture of the verb dioko is of a fox being chased and hunted
by the bloodhounds. Samuel Rutherford in fact wrote that...
If you were not strangers here the
hounds of the world would not bark at you.
Paul is reminding Timothy, as well
as us, that persecutions and afflictions are required courses in
Christ's school of discipleship, not electives!
William Barclay wrote that
Anyone proposes to introduce into his
life a loyalty which surpasses all earthly loyalties, then there are
bound to be clashes and collisions.
Opposition will come when we
attempt to bring the light of Christ into a world that loves darkness.
Jesus described this same principle in His nighttime conversation
with the Jewish teacher Nicodemus declaring that...
this is the judgment, that the light
is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the
light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates
the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be
exposed. (John 3:19-20)
As Paul wrote to the Galatians he
did not shrink back from proclaiming the truth because of fear of
But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still
Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished."
Or as stated in paraphrase:
Dear friends, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised--as
some say I do--why would the Jews
me? The fact that I am still being
proves that I am still preaching salvation through the cross of Christ
alone. (NLT) (Gal 5:11)
This antagonism is something to be expected but not to be feared. Nay,
rather it is the believer’s glory....Faithfulness to the Lord draws the
hostility of the foe but makes the faithful one safe in His keeping.
Because of the abiding
antagonism of the world to genuine godliness, persecution is the natural
lot of the godly. Persecution and suffering
for sake of Christ is a truth interwoven all through the NT in stark
contrast to the paucity of preaching on persecution from pulpits in
pampered American Christianity.
Jesus emphasized that His disciples
be hated by all on account of My name ...a disciple is
not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master (Mt 10:22,24)
In Acts Paul forewarned the new converts that God had a wonderful plan
for their life and it included the truth that
Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)
Hiebert adds that
may vary in degree and take different forms in different countries and
in different ages, but the basic hostility of the world to the godly man
Indeed some persecution may be
overt but some persecution is subtle coming in the form of rejection,
including being ignored, being patronized, being mocked (by word or a
look), condescension, etc. And we can be sure that whatever form it
takes the persecution will hurt for as Augustine once said it will be
even when no one molests or vexes
their body; for they suffer this persecution, not in their bodies, but
in their hearts.
When our will
is dedicated to God, Satan's will is to demolish our resolve with
that persecution means to oppress or harass persistently implying
a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering. Don't
get a "persecution complex" when you're persecuted for the sake of
Christ, for as the Puritan Thomas Watson wrote "The weight of glory
makes persecution light."
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia defines
"the suffering or pressure, mental, moral, or physical, which
authorities, individuals, or crowds inflict on others, especially for
opinions or beliefs, with a view to their subjection by recantation,
silencing, or, as a last resort, execution."
Gill writes that
persecution of the godly
the will of God, and the appointment of heaven; Christ has foretold it,
that so it shall be; and He the head has suffered it Himself, and it is
necessary that His members should, that they may be conformed unto Him;
it is the way Christ Himself went to glory, and through many
tribulations His people must enter the kingdom; and this is the common
lot and certain case of all the saints, in one shape or another; for
though all do not suffer confiscation of goods, beating, scourging,
imprisonment, or a violent death yet all are more or less afflicted and
distressed by wicked men, and are subject to their reproaches and
reviling, which are a branch of persecution; and that for professing
Christ, and living a godly life in Him and under His influence: and
since such suffer as Christians, and not as evildoers; and this is the
common condition of the people of God, in this world, it should not be
thought strange, but be cheerfully endured; to encourage to which is the
apostle's view in this passage."
Hast thou no scar?
by Amy Carmichael
Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star:
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent.
Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?
No wound? No scar?
Yes, as the master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole. Can he have followed far
Who has no wound? No scar?
So do you think you've been persecuted for the Lord's sake? Read a
few sequential entries from the diary of John Wesley a "vessel for
honor" used mightily by God for the "good work" of national spiritual
revival (The First Great Awakening). Notice the school that he had
to "graduate from" in preparation for his being used mightily! And then
= command to make continually be) steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the
Lord knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1Cor 15:58)
Wesley's diary entries...
Sunday, A.M., May 5 Preached in St. Anne's. Was asked not to come back
Sunday, P.M., May 5 Preached in St. John's. Deacons said "Get out and
Sunday, A.M., May 12 Preached in St. Jude's. Can't go back there,
Sunday, A.M., May 19 Preached in St. Somebody Else's. Deacons called
special meeting and said I couldn't return.
Sunday, P.M., May 19 Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday, A.M., May 26 Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull
was turned loose during service.
Sunday, A.M., June 2 Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the
Sunday, P.M., June 2 Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand
people came out to hear me.
MacArthur adds that
Self-centered Christians who serve the Lord halfheartedly seldom have to
pay a price for their faith. They are of little threat to Satan’s work
because they are of little benefit to Christ’s.
So opposite to the spirit and practice of the world is the whole of
Christianity, that he who gives himself entirely up to God, making the
Holy Scriptures the rule of his words and actions, will be less or more
reviled and persecuted.
“If you were arrested for being a Christian,
would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
The godly life is the evidence.
Don't be surprised and in fact even expect it when the world held fast
in the grip of "the evil one" (1Jn 5:19)
despises and hates you. We should be prepared for persecution in one form or
another and not be surprised by it or fearfully shrink from it to avoid it. Such forewarning
allows the thoughtful Christian to be armed with commitment and ready for
certain and incessant spiritual warfare. We
should consider that persecution may be one evidence that one indeed has
the spirit of Christ, and are His true friends. When one is treated as
the Master was they must recall that they are in good company with the
prophets, apostles, and martyrs who were all likewise persecuted. If we are persecuted,
we should carefully inquire, before we avail ourselves of this
consolation that our Master was also persecuted, whether we are
persecuted because we “live godly in Christ Jesus,” or for some other
reason. If we have never experienced persecution for the sake of
righteousness, we have cause to examine whether we are truly His
disciples or at the very least we should question the depth of
As John Wesley said
Either the truth of scripture fails, or those that think they are
religious, and are not persecuted, in some shape or other, on that very
account, deceive themselves.
Peter also encourages us to live godly in Christ Jesus for
you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO
NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED." (see note
1 Peter 3:14)