Which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. (2 Timothy 1:12-14)
Paul is saying two things in these verses.
He knows he can trust Christ to keep him and his soul; and he also knows that Christ will enable him to keep what He has committed to him.
Timothy was to carefully guard the truth that had been entrusted to him—not by burying it and keeping it hidden, but by entrusting it to faithful men and women, who would teach it to others, who in turn would teach it to others, and on through the centuries. Because men like Timothy guarded the truth as Paul had commanded, two thousand years later we too have the true gospel, the sound doctrine, that we are commanded to entrust to others.
It was the Holy Spirit who committed the truth to Timothy, and He would help him guard it. Apart from the ministry of the Spirit, we are in the dark when it comes to understanding the Word of God. It is He who must teach us (John 16:13) and enable us to guard the truth and share it with others. Only with the help of the Holy Spirit could the truth remain untainted, guarded, and protected as it passed through the centuries.
From the beginning of human history, Satan has opposed God’s Word. “Did God actually say?” (Genesis 3:1 ESV) was Satan’s first word to mankind, and he continues to ask that question.
Throughout the history of the church, the Word of God has been attacked, often by people within the church, yet it still stands today. Why? Because dedicated men and women (like Paul and Timothy) have guarded the deposit and faithfully handed it to a new generation of Christians.
Call to faithfulness
We live in a time where faithfulness is only expected so long as it serves our own interests. When it stops being in our immediate advantage to be faithful, many people feel just fine about giving up their responsibility. But this is not honoring to God.
God has committed many good things to us; will we be faithful and keep them?
Keep is more than just the idea of holding on to something; it also means to guard it and to use it wisely. When a church or any other Christian organization goes liberal, it usually starts with a weakening of their leaders’ convictions about the Word of God.
“If sense of stewardship and responsibility is weakened within us, the mainspring of all good is weakened within us, and we shall become self-willed, self-indulgent, self-asserting, God-forgetting. If we think that the talent or the pound is ours, we shall spend it for our own purposes, and that is waste.” (Alexander McLaren )
“But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.” (Daniel W.White)