2Co 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 2Co 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 2Co 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 2Co 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 6:8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 6:10As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Here in 2 Cor. 6, the greater context to this series of topics was suffering. Remember, in these passages, we have three lists. In the first list, Paul went through the different types of sufferings and this list was punctuated by the preposition IN. Then we have the second list - HOW he got through those hard times, and this list is punctuated by the preposition BY. The third list is about the blessed results, which we’ll get to. But we are still in this second list, how Paul got through suffering, and you might remember that we’ve been careful to make the point that Paul’s strategy for how to get through suffering was to focus upon excelling at specific aspects of his spiritual life. When Paul suffered, he focused his mind upon excelling at pureness, then knowledge, then longsuffering, and kindness. By focusing upon excelling at these qualities in your walk, you’re not as worried and upset about the suffering – why? Because you’re more concerned about service to God. By focusing upon excelling at, say, kindness, you’re lessening your worries and keeping yourself in the game of advancing the cause of Christ rather then fretting and worrying yourself to death about “how do I get through all this suffering?” Because the question for all of us should be, “how do I excel while I’m suffering?”
Suffering is the time in which we all have to put into practice everything we’ve learned in His Word. I’m convinced that there is no greater testimony than the suffering servant glorifying God while we are going through some of the most difficult circumstances in our lives. That’s the kind of demonstration of God’s power that should make anyone look at that suffering servant and think, “I want what he or she has.” We looked at what we called PKLK, excelling at pureness, knowledge, longsuffering, and kindness when we suffer. Then we arrived at the expression by the Holy Ghost, and we did a thorough examination of the Holy Spirit from the OT to the NT, which we concluded with a list of 250 Things the Holy Spirit Does for Us. Then we arrived at this next expression. “By love unfeigned,” which we covered in about 3 or 4 messages, and now we’ve arrived at “by the word of truth.”
Let’s start with a question I posed at the end of a podcast on this verse. We’ve arrived at “by the word of truth.” Everyone looks at that and thinks “Oh, the Bible!” Is that what Paul is talking about here? Consider the fact that the Bible hadn’t been completed yet. We’re still in 2 Corinthians. The prison epistles haven’t even been written yet. They don’t have a Bible. So what, exactly, is Paul referring to when he says “the word of truth?” And on the podcast we explored every possibility. One person had pointed out the Greek word logos, which is always an interesting study. At times, Paul uses logos and at other times Paul uses the Greek word rhema, both of which are translated as “word” in his epistles. And there is a lot said about the nuances between logos and rhema which is a whole rabbit trail you can study, and I don’t want to get into that too deeply. And there are those not too keen on studying the Greek. But how can you not love studying logos? Logos means “the word (spoken, as a means or instrument, not as a product); the expression (both of sayings and of longer speeches); hence, an account.” Rhema denotes a word, saying, or sentence in its outward form, whereas logos denotes a word or saying as the expression of thought: hence, the thing spoken or written, the account given.
Here’s a quote I liked: “A mind led by the Holy Spirit is what the Bible refers to as discernment (Rom 12:2). Discernment is the ability, through the Holy Spirit, to recognize the meanings of the Bible beyond the mere historical text. It is to understand the rhema, the word of God which undergirds but begins with the logos word of God. The logos is what is written, the rhema is what it means and why.”
And, of course, when you think of logos you cannot help but think of John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the big point to be made here, when comparing the expression “the word of truth” to John 1:1 is that we can never separate the living word from Christ Himself. The living word and Christ are utterly inseparable concepts. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot have Christ without the living word, and you cannot have the living word without Christ. Bullinger: “As the spoken word reveals the invisible thought, so the Living Word reveals the invisible God.” I love that thought. “As the spoken word reveals the invisible thought, so the Living Word reveals the invisible God.” Just as words reveal hidden thoughts, Christ came into this world to reveal the hidden God, and Christ Himself is the living word of God, the one who speaks the words of the Father, revealing to us the very hidden thoughts of the Father for us.
So is the Living Word the Lord Jesus Christ Himself or the words He spoke? YES. Some commentaries make the point that when John says Word was with God, and the Word was God, he’s saying that Christ was with God the Father, that Christ was also an equal member of the Godhead, because the Father and the Son are one, just as they are one with the Spirit, but that Christ Himself is also the Word of God, because He verbally expressed the thoughts and will of His Father in Heaven. He was not only with God, but He always is to us the Word of God itself, because He expresses the thoughts and words and the will of God the Father. The Word of God is more than just the written Word. The Word of God are the words themselves spoken by Christ who is verbalizing the thoughts and will of the Father. Christ is the mouthpiece, if you will, of the Word of God the Father. The idea of the living word is inseparable from Christ because He was the one expressing the words of God the Father and those words are living not simply because they contain the life of God in the words but also because those words are the means by which we can obtain justification because it’s the Father who justifies the unbeliever. Turn to John 17. Here, we have the famous high priestly prayer of Christ to the Father. We find in vs. 14, the Lord says in prayer to the Father, “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Christ was and is the Word of God because He expresses the words of God the Father. It’s not that God the Father is incapable or unwilling to verbalize His own thoughts, but this is the process by which the Godhead chose to operate as one unit in how their will is expressed to us. The will of the Father, expressed by Christ, recorded, preserved and taught to us by the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures.
So the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the written word are all called by the same name. They are all called the Word of God. They are all inseparable concepts. They cannot exist without each other. Bullinger would identify the following three manifestations of the Word: 1) The Incarnate Word, 2) The Written Word, and 3) The Preached Word. He would write that “Christ reveals the Father. The Scripture reveals Christ. And the Spirit reveals both in the written and in the preached Word (1 Cor. 12:7, 8).” When we quote a Bible verse, we’re speaking the words of God Himself, the will of the Father, expressed by Jesus Christ, that’s been recorded, preserved, and taught to us by the Spirit. Bullinger would also write that “Thus, we see that the Living Word and the Written Word cannot be separated. And we can understand also why they cannot be separated in the preaching of the Word. To preach the Written Word without preaching Christ is not preaching at all. Neither is it done in the power of the Spirit… If the Living Word and the Written Word cannot be separated, we learn that in sitting down to the study of the Word and [the] Words of God, it is to hear His voice, to choose that ‘better part’; to sit at Jesus' feet, and hear HIS word...”
Turn to 1 Peter 1. Consider this verse. Peter here is talking about the conversion of the believing remnant in the kingdom program, the little flock. 1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word (logos) of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. Peter is writing to the little flock and when he talks about how they were converted by the incorruptible word of God, was he talking about the written word? How could he be when the gospel accounts weren’t even written when they got saved during the Lord’s earthly ministry. They got saved hearing the words of Christ verbally. So when Peter wrote about the incorruptibleword of God did he mean the gospel of the kingdom or the words they heard Christ speak? YES. The big point is that word of God, the logos of God, is more than just what’s written down. The expression, the word of God, goes to the very source of those words, which is Christ, and that expression is about the words themselves spoken by the sinless Son of God who abides forever, just as His Word abides forever. Some heard the Word of God verbally whereas we read them in His book, yet, both are still the living word of God. And brilliantly, you have this contrast. Whereas Peter heard the words verbally and got saved, believers during the Tribulation will read those same words Peter heard and be converted by that same gospel.
Consider when Paul says in Eph. 6:17, “And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” We see the sword of the Spirit and we say, “Oh, the Bible!” Again, you have a similar problem. When Paul wrote that verse, the Bible hadn’t been completed yet. And we know that back in those days, there were many who had the gift of prophesy, the supernatural ability to verbalize the will of the Father through the words of Christ until they had a completed Bible. So the sword of the Spirit is more than just your Bible. This is an expression that goes back to the very words of God themselves, whether those words are spoken or written. When someone hears us quote a verse, they are still hearing the Word of God, and when we’re on the spiritual battlefield, we don’t throw Bibles at our enemies. We use the words of God to combat the fiery darts of the wicked just as Christ used the written word to combat the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness by saying repeatedly, “It is written.” Consider. When the writer of Hebrews wrote, Heb. 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” he wasn’t merely talking about the written word. He’s talking about the very words themselves, the very words of God that is sharper than any two-edged sword, regardless of whether you hear them or read them. Because whether those words are spoken or read, the Holy Spirit is going to do the same work of convicting the heart of that person.
The Word of Truth
This brings us back to the question where we started. What did Paul mean in 2 Cor. 6:7 when he said that “the word of truth” helped him get through all that suffering? What did he mean by that expression? Would this not be one of these moments when you study that, to get a clarification on something, one must compare Scripture with Scripture? And what other verse would you use to help explain this expression that we find here? Turn to Eph. 1. Eph_1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise… Well, that seems to be pretty much a slam dunk. The word of truth is the gospel of your salvation. But, wait a minute. If the word of truth is the gospel of your salvation, how do you explain 2 Tim. 2:15? 2Ti_2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Is Paul saying here that we’re to divide the gospel? Some might say, sure, we need to divide between the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of grace, which is true enough.
But the word of truth is also an expression used by David and by James. David wrote in Psa 119:42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. Psa 119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. Psa 119:44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. Psa 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. Psa 119:46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. So when David spoke of the word of truth, he spoke of the law and then he spoke of “thy testimonies also,” which are the stories of God preserved in the Scriptures. So with David, I would suggest that the word of truth is the OT Scriptures in its entirety.
Now when James wrote the word of truth, this is what he says. Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. So here James says that it was out of the Father’s will that He begat all of the Jewish kingdom believers, the little flock. He begat them all with the word of truth. So is James talking about the Lord Jesus Christ, all the words He spoke, or the gospel of the kingdom? YES. They could not have been begotten without all three of those elements.
So taking all the references together, the expression, the word of truth is a term that can be used to express the gospel of grace, the gospel of the kingdom, the law and the OT Scriptures, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the words He spoke during His earthly ministry.
In 2 Tim. 2:15, an epistle that completes the revelation of grace, in that context, I think he means all of Scripture. But in 2 Cor. 6:7, in that context, before we have a completed revelation, figuring out what Paul means is just a process of elimination. So was Paul talking about the gospel of the kingdom or the word of Christ during His earthly ministry? No, of course not. He wasn’t there, and the gospel accounts hadn’t been written yet. Or at least, they were in the process of being written at the time or if some of the gospel accounts had been written, how likely would it have been for Paul to have obtained an early copy so quickly? Doubtful. Was Paul talking about OT Scriptures? Did he read the OT while he suffered? I believe Paul always had copies of the OT with him everywhere he went. Remember in 2 Tim. 4, how Paul told Timothy to go get his cloak with his books and parchments. It’s thought that those books were the OT books, which he took with him everywhere. So Paul likely had OT Scriptures with him and it’s certainly possible he spent some time reading them and found some comfort in them. But I don’t think this is what Paul is referring to when he says the word of truth. I think that when Paul wrote the word of truth, he was referring to the gospel of grace itself, because the gospel was the most relevant application to all his suffering because the gospel of grace was what gave him hope while he endured.
So let’s start with, what is the gospel? I have a question – why did Christ die on a cross? We hear from other preachers that all you have to do is repent of your sins. Surrender to Him. Invite Him into your heart, or make Him Lord of your life, then what was the point of His death on a cross? Why should Christ have died at all if our eternal life was dependent upon us repenting of our sins and obeying His Word and praying for the best? So I ask you - why did Christ die on a cross? What was the point of His death, burial, and resurrection? Paul writes in 2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Just consider this verse. Look at what it says. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. How is it that we are made the righteousness of God in him? How do we obtain the righteousness of God? No, Joel, you cannot know if you’ve obtained His righteousness because Paul says that we might be made the righteousness of God. Look at that verse again. The point of this verse was the intent of God the Father before the world was ever created of why He sent His Son who knew no sin to die for us. Why? So that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Why does he say might be made? Because us obtaining God’s righteousness is conditional. Conditional upon what? Our good works? How many tears we cry to God about our sins? Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Do you realize what this means? This means that there is nothing you can do to obtain salvation. Salvation is not of ourselves. Why? Because our salvation is the gift of God. And if that point wasn’t clear enough, Paul adds in vs. 9, Not of works, lest any man should boast. Thank God there won’t be any boasters in Heaven. There will not be one soul in Heaven saying, “I got here because I lived a really good life.” The only people who will be in Heaven will be saved by grace through faith by accepting God’s free gift of eternal life. Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Does Paul say in any of these verses that to be saved you must be sorry for all the sins you’ve ever committed? No or no? Does he say you must confess your sins to a priest and do penance? No. Does he say you must raise your hand in church or walk down an aisle? No. Does he say you must ask Jesus to come into your heart or make Him Lord of your life? No. Does he say you only have to obey the ten commandments and you can enter Heaven? No. Does he say that your desires toward God might be an indication that you’re one of the elect? No. Does he say you must be water baptized? No. Does he say you have to do all these ordinances and rituals so that maybe you might go to Heaven? No. He says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” It is faith and faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He accomplished for you at Calvary that saves your soul from the consequence of sin and an eternal separation from God. But back to 2 Cor. 5:21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Notice the connection in this verse to His sacrifice and us obtaining righteousness. For God the Father hath made His beloved Son to be sin for us, who knew no sin. To what end? So that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. You cannot obtain righteousness through works! There aren’t enough good works in the world good enough to cover one sin. In fact, the sacrificial system of the OT demonstrated vividly that there is an eternal consequence for every sin, and if you want to avoid that consequence, then an innocent life must be given to cover that sin, in fact, to cover every sin in your life.
Why did Christ die on that cross?
The only means of obtaining eternal life is through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of innocent Lord Jesus Christ who knew no sin. How is it that Christ did not know sin? He never sinned. Why? Because God the Father wanted Him made to be sin for us. He wanted His Son to be the innocent lamb sacrificed for all our sins. Our sins were imputed to Christ in His sacrifice to God the Father on our behalf at the cross. He was made sin. He became our sin-offering to God at Calvary. He gave His life to save your life from the penalty and consequence of sin! Christ wasn’t Himself guilty of sin, but He took on our guilt for sin. He took on our consequence of sin. Why? So that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. So that we might obtain His free gift of eternal life by grace through faith. What is God the Father saying to us here? He’s saying that if you accept by faith who my Son is and what He accomplished for you on that cross at Calvary as your once-for-all sin-offering, then He will justify you freely by His grace, He’ll impute His righteousness to your soul, transform you into a new creature, and you will possess forever His free gift of eternal life. “No, brother Joel, you can lose that free gift if you sin really badly. Like if you go out and murder someone.” Let me ask a question. What sin is there that cannot be covered by the blood of Christ? Paul was a murderer and he got saved freely by His grace. And what did Paul say about God’s gifts in Rom 11:29? For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. There are no takebacks when it comes to God’s gifts.
a. So the hope the gospel brought Paul when he went through suffering was the eternal deliverance he already possessed. Nothing in this life would ever rob him or take away from him the eternal life that was his forever. Also in our gospel is the reminder of the love of God Himself, who loved Paul so much He sent His only begotten Son into the world to take on the consequence of all his sin. If Christ was willing to die for Paul on that cross at Calvary, then no amount of suffering or persecution would ever separate him from the love of God.
I’m also reminded of something Paul wrote probably earlier than the Corinthians in 2Th_2:14 “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here, God’s calling is an invitation to receive His free gift of eternal life by faith, and that invitation is through the gospel. The gospel is the instrumentality of His calling. God calls you. God is the one who must take the step of calling us because there is none that seeketh after God. He invites you to receive His gift through the gospel. So His calling is distinct from salvation. His calling is His invitation to receive eternal life, expressed through the Gospel, and the acceptance of that gift is your salvation. We make the point that a calling is never a betrayal of man’s free will but rather the articulation of God’s will, the communication of His desire for your life, His desire that you receive His gift of eternal life by accepting the sacrifice of His Son for you by faith alone, and thus, our fulfillment of His calling is conditional upon our free-will acceptance of His gospel by faith. And what does Paul say here that God has called you to obtain? Look at this verse. He says, “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God the Father wants you to have nothing less than the glory of His Son! God doesn’t want us to forever bask in His Son’s glory. He wants all of us to be glorified together with Christ in that victory over sin and death that He accomplished on our behalf at Calvary. How can we not read this and marvel at His unending love and grace to us? So another aspect of the gospel that brought comfort to Paul while he went through suffering was knowing the glory to come, which always gave him hope, which is why all that suffering was nothing to him compared to eternal glory.
There’s another aspect of the gospel that has to be pointed out. The gospel is intimately tied to our identification with Christ. When we accept the gospel, we are placing our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the all-sufficient atoning work for all our sins. But in order for that eternal life to become a reality in our lives we have to reckon ourselves as dead, buried, and risen with Christ, a new creature, literally freed from the bondage of sin.
Are we dead with Christ? Gal. 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live…” Are we buried with Christ? Rom. 6:4 says that we are “buried with him by baptism…” And are we risen with Christ? Col. 2:12 tells us “…ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” We are dead, buried, and risen with Christ living in His newness of life right now! The same tenets you accept by faith to become saved are the same tenets you accept by faith to reckon everything you are in Christ. Because it all goes back to death, burial, and resurrection, doesn’t it? Because if you consider the all-sufficiency of what Christ accomplished on the cross, how can we not become identified with His death, burial, and resurrection? Because the very point of Christ dying on that cross is to have victory over sin and death! You have to become dead, buried, and resurrected with Christ in order for that victory to become a reality in your life the moment you believed! It’s as if God the Father is saying, now that you’ve reckoned that my Son died, was buried, and resurrected for you, now go reckon that truth for yourself as being dead, buried, and resurrected with My Son. Identification goes hand-in-hand with the gospel because in order for you to become a new creature alive unto God freed from the bondage and condemnation of sin, you to have become dead, buried, and resurrected with Christ. The fact that identification goes hand-in-hand with the gospel is illustrated by the fact that Paul challenges you at the beginning of Romans 6 and says repeatedly, “know ye not?” He’s saying, basically, “don’t you realize the magnitude of what Christ accomplished for you, in you, and through you? In order for eternal life to become a reality the moment you believe, by logical necessity, you must be dead, buried, and resurrected with Christ!”
c. This isn’t some grace doctrine that we acknowledge intellectually. This is something that we have to meditate upon, each one of us. We must reckon this truth as a reality for ourselves. We have to actually see ourselves as God sees us in Christ - dead, buried, and risen with His Son living His newness of life, right here, right now. Then and only then can we begin to live our lives according to what God has made us in Christ. Until you take the time to meditate upon your identity in Christ, and you actually see yourself as dead, buried, and risen with Christ living His resurrection life, right here, right now, then, and only then, can you function as a believer living the way God wants you to live!
So another aspect of the gospel that helps Paul endure is our identification with what Christ accomplished for us at Calvary. What helps you endure suffering is also knowing who you are in Christ, knowing the permanent reality of your standing before God because of what God made you in His Son. Paul knew he wasn’t suffering because God was mad at him. He knew he was suffering because he was living in a sin-cursed world run by the prince of darkness, and he also knew that he was suffering to be a model to us of the sufficiency of His grace because of everything we are in Christ.
I’m reminded of something else Paul would write about a few chapters over in 2Co_9:8, he said, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…”
How was Paul able to endure so much suffering? We know he was motivated by the love of Christ, compelled by the magnitude of what Christ accomplished for us at Calvary, but he was also empowered by God’s grace. So how are we empowered by His grace today? In 2 Cor 9:8, Paul tells us that by God’s abounding grace, we have all sufficiency in all things. If we have all sufficiency in all things, then we have already been thoroughly empowered by God the moment we believed. Grace is the principle, the process, and the power by which believers may serve God being fruitful unto every good work in perfect accord with His divine will for us today. His grace was the means by which we were made able and sufficient to serve Him with power. By His grace we were made complete in Him, lacking nothing, filled full, perfectly righteous in Christ Jesus. By His grace, we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. By His grace and all His spiritual blessings, we have all sufficiency in all things.
When we suffer, God is glorified when we demonstrate the excellency of the power of His Word working within us, stabilizing us, energizing us, comforting us, and enabling us to glory in our infirmities as Paul did, to endure any suffering with joyfulness and thanksgiving glorifying God. We have this treasure in our earthen vessels, the excellency of the power of God. God hath shined His grace into our hearts so that, through us, the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ may shine forth to others. This treasure and glory in earthen vessels is the exceeding greatness of the power, which may be of God and not of us. As the ancients kept the most valued treasures in earthen jars, so all those spiritual blessings God has given us through His gospel, including His Word and His Spirit, are deposited into our earthen vessels, all of which becomes for us the excellency of the power of God living inside of us. Which goes back to His Word. His Word is quick, it’s alive. His Word is living because it has HIS LIFE in it. His Word is His power to us, living in us, because it’s capable of transforming our lives into the very image of Christ who is the image of God’s glory. When we take in His Word, the Holy Spirit energizes that Word inside of us, makes His Word effectual, powerful in us - renewing our minds, energizing our hearts, and transforming our lives. In short, we become strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man. The instrumentality that God the Holy Spirit uses to give us strength and empowerment is his Word, and His Word reveals not only the means of salvation by His grace but also all the spiritual blessings He’s freely given to us, all the grace that abounded toward us so that we have all sufficiency in all things, and we’re made able to serve Him with power. When His Grace doctrines are fully understood, reckoned as true right now, His grace works in us, it takes root in us, it builds us up in Him, it establishes us in the faith, and it transforms us into the Image of Christ to endure all suffering with joy.