Saved by Grace, But Not Without War

2 Timothy 2:8–13

Nobody who has been saved by Jesus will ever lose their salvation. That truth has wrongly led many to relax and live passively. There’s a war still being waged for your soul, and you must fight to make it to glory. In this lab, John Piper teaches us how to love each other until the end.

Principle for Bible Reading

Theological truth is often deeper and more complex than we are willing to make it. The doctrine of unconditional election is a mysterious and wonderful truth, but it is not simple. Instead of relying on theological systems or answers, we need to do our best to take every word in the Bible seriously and strive to see how they all might work together.

Study Questions

  1. When Paul says he would do anything, “that they may also obtain salvation” (2 Timothy 2:8), what does he mean? Is this salvation conversion (initial salvation) or glorification (final salvation)? How would you argue for your answer from 2 Timothy 2:8–13?
  2. Read Romans 8:30–37. How do the promises in these eight verses help you understand the dynamics in 2 Timothy 2:8?
  3. After seeing the role Paul plays in these believers’ perseverance, what should we do for one another in the church? Use Hebrews 3:13–14 in your answer.

Introduction/Prayer (00:00–02:40)

Saved Today or on the Last Day? (02:40–05:17)

  • When Paul says, “I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they may also obtain salvation,” what does he mean? (2 Timothy 2:8)
  • Is he saying he serves the elect in order that they might come to salvation (conversion) or is it in order that they might obtain final salvation?
  • I think it is the latter because of 2 Timothy 2:12–13, where Paul describes how God will respond to us on the last day. “If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he also will deny us.”

The War Still Being Fought for You (05:17–07:38)

  • Between justification and glorification in God’s act of saving his people, nobody drops out. (Romans 8:30)
  • Even though nobody drops out, does anything absolutely have to happen between justification and glorification for a person to be glorified?
  • Yes, because Christ Jesus continues to intercede for you right now (Romans 8:34). He prays because there’s a war still being waged for your soul (Romans 8:33–34).
  • For example, Jesus prayed for Peter’s perseverance when Satan demanded to have him. (Luke 22:32)
  • A war must be fought in heaven and on earth to get us to final glorification.

Paul’s Role in Perseverance (07:38–09:18)

  • Paul plays a part as a minister of the word in these believers’ final glorification. (2 Timothy 2:10)
  • Jesus is praying for them, and he is also sending messengers like Paul to teach, encourage, and exhort them to keep them from ever denying God. (2 Timothy 2:8)
  • Even though Paul was in prison, he continued to do everything he could for the elect, including writing to them in letters. (2 Timothy 2:9)

Our Role in Perseverance (09:18–11:06)

  • What then should we do for each other in this war?
  • We must exhort one another every day against the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)
  • Our endurance to the end is the evidence that we have truly known Christ and been saved by him. (Hebrews 3:14)
  • Nobody loses their salvation, but means are necessary to get the elect to their place in glory.