Do you remember how you first received the gospel? Perhaps it was at an event where the gospel was proclaimed from a stage. Did a family member or friend introduce you to Jesus over time? Or perhaps you read the Bible for yourself and chose to follow Jesus after being confronted and convicted by God’s truth.
Paul’s young protege Timothy was walking in the faith in large part because his mother and grandmother had been sure to deposit faith in him from infancy. No doubt their hope was that the deposit they made in his life as an infant would develop into full trust in Jesus throughout his life.
When you buy a house you excitedly pay your deposit knowing it secures the property for you to live in. You then keep making payments until the full value of the house (plus interest!) is paid off. The excitement of that initial deposit and what it secured can fade in time, leaving you only with the annoyance of seeing large amounts of money leave your account as you pay off the mortgage each month.
Similarly, those first days of walking with Jesus can be some of the most exciting and awe-inspiring, but we can become complacent over time, and the excitement of that first deposit can give way to the routine and circumstance of life. What once felt like a miracle of joy can end up feeling more like a dutiful observance to ensure we make it over the finish line of this life in credit with the bank of God.
But this is not the faith that God wants you to walk in daily or how He wants you to understand and experience trust in Him.
Paul reminds Timothy of the deposit of faith he received so as to ground him afresh in the truth and hope of the gospel in all circumstances. Paul knew Timothy’s weaknesses and proclivities and in writing to him, looked to get ahead of any life challenges that could steal the joy of Timothy’s faith away.
You may be tempted to bow to shame, timidity, suffering, or any other number of challenges this world can throw at you. But God knows your weaknesses and proclivities and supplies you with His Spirit, a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline to overcome and stand firm in every circumstance.
Not only do we have the Spirit to ensure our faith, but we also have the solid foundation of the apostles teaching -- God’s word -- upon which to build our lives.
To guard the deposit of faith in our lives, we daily root ourselves in the truth of the Word and prayerfully ask God to give us His spirit power, that we would know and share His love, and that He would help us to be disciplined in our life of faith. As we do, rather than see initial excitement fade over time, by God’s grace we will see our faith fanned into flame for His glory and no doubt to the attention of the world around us.
Then one day, someone may joyfully answer the question, "Do you remember how you first received the gospel?" with your name.
Advancing the Gospel - join the movement
To guard the deposit of faith is an intentional activity that we commit to daily. Advance groups commit to intentional meetings once a month as a way to guard the responsibility we have to take the good news to the world.