Paul has been telling Timothy to not be ashamed of the gospel (8).
He has given a description of the wonder of the good news (9-12) – its essential features
He then issues a double challenge to Timothy:
- Stick to the teaching you have received (13), living a life of faith and love. (Note: our maintaining of sound doctrine should never be an arid or sterile pursuit. At the heart of it all there is trust in and love for a living Person.)
- Guard the teaching you have received (14). ‘’Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us.’’ The Message. The ‘N.I.V.’ says, ‘’…guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.’’
These injunctions are always relevant. As Christians we will face temptations to steer away from the truths we have received.
As leaders we may well be tempted to change the message; to dilute it; to go in for novelty and so on. But it doesn’t belong to us. It is the property of another and is in our hands as a sacred trust. If your boss entrusted his car to you while he was away on holiday you wouldn’t feel free to change its colour, or to alter any other features. It’s not your car; it doesn’t belong to you. You are just looking after it for a time. It’s like this with the gospel – something which is of infinitely greater value than a BMW or a Merc. It belongs to God so we must handle it with the greatest care.
Therefore the church always needs to hear the message that says, ‘Stay with the revealed truth in your living and preaching.’ Thankfully, the Holy Spirit ‘’lives in us’’ and will help us.
Prayer: Thank you for all of your faithfulness to us in the last year Lord; help us to be faithful to you in the new year about to dawn.