Who do you trust with your life? This Tuesday with Timothy reveals the foundation of Paul’s strength and motivation to shamelessly suffer for the gospel, the only truth. Paul entrusted his life to Christ. He handed it over to the One who conquered death. He exhorts Timothy to do the same so that he can get on with the good work deposited in him. Last week Mary reminded us that Timothy was struggling with embarrassment and Paul gave him an injection of courage to stand up for the gospel. This week Paul reminds us of why we can stand in confidence.
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”
Observation – what does the passage say?
- Paul is suffering as a prisoner facing execution for the gospel.
- Paul is not ashamed because of his great confidence in Christ’s ability and faithfulness to usher him from death to life.
- Paul is imprisoned by powerful men on earth but empowered by Christ though the Holy Spirit.
- Paul can’t save his own life, but he knows Christ can and believes that He will. He has entrusted his life to Christ.
- Paul urges Timothy to hold fast to the gospel as the only pattern of sound teaching, so he won’t be influenced by other doctrine fighting against the truth.
- Paul warns Timothy he will need the help of the Holy Spirit to guard the good deposit.
Can you find a few other observations? Please consider sharing them in the comment section below so we can continue to learn from each other.
Interpretation – what does the passage mean?
Paul’s journey is coming to an end, but Timothy must carry the gospel forward. Paul is warning Timothy about things Paul has endured and learned how to overcome: suffering, shame, fear, and unsound doctrine. Timothy will have to stand firm with his eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of his faith. He will need the help of the Holy Spirit to guard the truth deposited in him through Paul, his mother and his grandmother. Like Paul, Timothy will face persecution and death but there is no reason to fear because the One who called Timothy conquered death and the shame of the cross.
Paul’s key to overcoming is “entrusting”. It is used twice in the passage. Entrusting what to whom? Let’s go to Strong’s translation found at blueletterbible.org. Search 2 Timothy 1:12-14, select KJV and click on the box “STRONG’S”. The original Greek word “entrusted” means “a deposit, a trust or thing consigned to one’s faithful keeping”. Paul entrusted his life to Christ who entrusted a “good deposit” of truth into Paul on the road to Damascus. When Paul was pierced with and blinded by the light of Truth by the very One he had persecuted, he was convicted of his sin, repentant and called to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. Paul’s life was saved, and it was no longer his own. It was entrusted to Christ. Paul deserved death in that very moment but was saved to serve.
Take a few minutes to follow the link to read an online commentary called Sonic Light by a Dallas Theological Seminary professor. Include a few sentences in your notes describing the meaning of the passage after reading the scripture and gleaning insights from the commentary. Consider sharing your insights describing the meaning of the passage in the comments section too.
Application – how does the meaning of the passage apply to me?
When I entrust money to a bank for safe keeping, I expect to get it back out, ideally with interest. When I entrust my child to a caregiver for safe keeping, I expect to receive her back, healthy and happy. When I entrust my life to Christ, do I hand it over in the same way, with the same confidence and expectations? Like the bank deposit and child drop off, do I confidently go about God’s business knowing He’s got me, no matter what? I’m convicted to confess that I am more like Timothy than Paul. I check on my deposits, I call the sitter, and I ask God where He is and what He’s doing with my life when things get tough. “My” life is His. That’s the core issue. Paul understood his life was not his own. I want to fully entrust my life to Christ like Paul.
Who do you trust with your life?
Is it possible to entrust your life to Christ and keep it as your own?
What are you willing to fully entrust to Christ?
Thank you for going on this journey through II Timothy with us this Summer. Like, Paul, let’s be vulnerable and share our hearts with each other. We can’t wait to hear from you.
In His Unfailing Love,