Summary: 1. "Keep the Committed Deposit" of the gospel; 2. In a verse which has become so familiar in translation that we almost forget to check the Greek language which lies behind it, we discover that only "He is able to Keep my Committed Deposit."
THE GOOD DEPOSIT
At the end of his previous letter, Paul encouraged Timothy to ‘KEEP’ - or guard - the ‘COMMITTED DEPOSIT’ (1 Timothy 6:20). In the second letter, Paul reiterates this instruction in much the same words: “the good DEPOSIT COMMITTED … KEEP” (2 Timothy 1:14). That good thing is none other than the Apostolic gospel (2 Timothy 1:8-11; 2 Timothy 1:13).
Yet how can Timothy - how can any of us - “guard” this “beautiful” thing? Timothy needs to recall his own ordination, when he received through the laying on of Paul’s hands some unspecified “gift” (2 Timothy 1:6). This in itself should put to flight any tendency to timidity (2 Timothy 1:7).
The Apostle was encouraging Timothy not to be “ashamed of the testimony of our Lord”, nor indeed of Paul’s chains (2 Timothy 1:8). When it comes to the gospel, and even suffering for the gospel, our attitude should be as Paul’s: “not ashamed” (2 Timothy 1:12; cf. Romans 1:16). The task is not so formidable when we recognise that “we” (plural) have the Holy Ghost dwelling within us (2 Timothy 1:14).
Furthermore - in a verse which has become so familiar in translation that we almost forget to check the Greek language which lies behind it - we find the same verb and noun as in the first paragraph above. “I am not ashamed,” says Paul, “for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to KEEP… my COMMITTED DEPOSIT until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
Here we see a two-way transaction:-
1. The Lord has deposited the gospel within us. In other words, He has entrusted it to us. I am put in mind of David’s dedication of the freewill offering for the building of the Temple: ‘All things come of Thee , and of Thine own have we given Thee’ (1 Chronicles 29:14).
2. We can only fulfil our duty towards the gospel inasmuch as He empowers us to do so. It is HE who has the ability to KEEP/GUARD what He has committed to us. However, we may not abdicate from our responsibility: we are to “hold fast the precise delineation of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13; cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Paul was appointed a herald (preacher), an Apostle, and a teacher of the nations (2 Timothy 1:11). The gospel became so much a part of his life that he could speak of “my” gospel (2 Timothy 2:8; cf. Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25). It was for this that he lived, and for this that he suffered (2 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:12).
The COMMITTED DEPOSIT is “mine” in that the Lord has entrusted it to me. Yet it is also “of me” in that I commit it back to the Lord (2 Timothy 1:12). We may be “partakers of the afflictions” (2 Timothy 1:8), suffering for the gospel - but the Lord will not test us beyond our ability to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Let us possess the gospel, but also pass it on. A gift to give away. A gift to dedicate to the Giver.