There are two takeaways from this chapter. The first is the lovely poem (or verse from a hymn) in vv.11-13
- If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
- 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
- if we deny him, he will also deny us;
- 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful-
- – for he cannot deny himself.
The other is the apparent contradiction between Paul’s advice to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:14) “avoid wrangling over words”, suggesting that there are details that do not matter, and him then going on to correct someone teaching nutty stuff, in the strongest terms (2 Timothy 2:16-18).
There is a tension here, how do we distinguish “wrangling over words” (v.14) from the sort of false teaching that needs calling gangrene (v.17)? There’s a double answer…