Guard the Good Deposit
2 Timothy 1:13-14
Pastor Tony Chute
Overview: Paul’s instruction for Timothy to follow the pattern of sound words and to guard the good deposit is a fitting reminder for us today. As we observe Reformation Sunday, we are reminded of our indebtedness to those who gave the gospel to us and of our duty to pass the same gospel down to others. This gospel includes the great doctrine of predestination, which highlights the grace of God; the great doctrine of sanctification, which highlights the holiness of God; and the great doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, which highlights the faithfulness of God. By following this pattern and guarding these truths, we honor not only the Reformers who clarified the gospel but, most importantly, we honor the Lord who initiated, accomplished, and applied the gospel to all who believe.
- Pray that we will follow the pattern of sound words by recognizing the Bible as the unchanging Word of God and by emulating the character of God.
- Pray that we will guard the good deposit entrusted to us by relying on the Spirit of God and by raising up leaders who seek above all to please God.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
- Paul’s admonition to “follow the pattern of sound words you have heard from me” (verse 13) presupposes a personal knowledge of the Bible in general and the gospel in particular. What practices have you incorporated in your life that increase your knowledge of the Bible? Are you able to summarize the gospel message in a way that is faithful to the Bible and in a way that a non-Christian can understand?
- Paul notes that God’s “purpose and grace” was given to us in Christ before the ages began (verse 9). Do you find the doctrine of predestination to be comforting or confusing? How does this doctrine prevent us from trusting in our works for salvation? Since God’s grace was given to us before the ages began, why was it necessary for Christ to become incarnate, live a sinless life, die on the cross, and be raised from the dead?
- What is the “holy calling” to which Paul refers in verse 9? Is this holy calling reserved only for those who are called to ministry? How can our ordinary vocations and our own lives reflect our holy calling?
- What is the basis of Paul’s confidence regarding his own ability to persevere in the faith (verse 12)? In light of God’s faithfulness and Paul’s confidence, how do we account for those who left the faith (verse 15)? What evidences in your life indicate that you have received saving grace, which leads to persevering grace?
- Paul told Timothy to guard the good deposit, but he was not to do so alone (verse 14). How does the Holy Spirit guard the gospel through all generations? What historical examples can you think of that demonstrate how the Spirit of God has preserved the gospel and the church? Are you praying that the Spirit of God will raise up leaders at Northpoint to ensure gospel fidelity?
For Further Reading: Timothy George, Theology of the Reformers (B&H Academic, Revised Edition, 2013).