2 Timothy 1:1-2:13, the first main section of the letter from the apostle Paul to the pastor Timothy, is a sustained and personal appeal to be faithful and suffer for the apostolic gospel. Paul concludes each section with one of the “trustworthy sayings” that appear from time to time in the pastoral letters. This “trustworthy saying” has four parts. The first three are relatively straightforward:
“If we have died with [Christ], we will also live with him”. This is clearly positive, both in its condition (if we died with Christ, a good thing to do) and in its outcome (we will live with him).
“...if we endure, we will also reign with him”. This also is positive. We endure (a good and necessary thing) and as a result we reign with Christ.
“...if we deny him, he also will deny us”. This is negative, both in its condition (we deny him, a bad thing) and in its outcome (he will deny us).