Keep Guarding Our Christian Trust
1 At 2 Timothy 1:13, 14 the apostle Paul admonished his fellow worker: “Keep holding the pattern of healthful words that you heard from me with the faith and love that are in connection with Christ Jesus. This fine trust guard through the holy spirit which is dwelling in us.” What is a trust? It is something of value that is committed to the care of a person who must eventually render an account. What was the trust mentioned by Paul? He identified it as “the pattern of healthful words” or what we today usually refer to as the truth. Obviously Paul wanted Timothy to have a deep appreciation for the truth. So he referred to it as a “fine trust.”
2 Did Paul mean that the Christian trust consisted of just a knowledge of the truth? No, it included also the ministry associated with the truth. These “healthful words” needed to be preached both inside and outside of the congregation. Concerning such preaching, Paul said: “Preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season.” Then he added: “Do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry.” (2 Tim. 4:2, 5) Christians today cherish both the knowledge and the ministry of the truth. They want to guard that Christian trust well.
3 Guarding our Christian trust is not easy. True, in some places you may find yourself preaching under advantageous circumstances. By all means exert yourself fully in such a good climate in order to reach as many people as possible. But in other territories, where the brothers preach under difficult circumstances, they are required to adjust to that situation. While encouraging and protecting one another, with God’s backing they see to it that the preaching and teaching work moves ahead. (Phil. 4:13) Our Christian trust must be guarded under all circumstances.
4 If we are truly interested in guarding our Christian trust, we will be serious about keeping up with the truth and will strive to use the best methods in presenting it to others. The thorough consideration we gave to the Live Forever book at the Congregation Book Study has been a real help. We now have a better appreciation of its contents and can thus more enthusiastically recommend it to others during January. Listening closely to demonstrations and experiences presented at the Service Meeting will help prepare us for the field ministry. Discussing with others the contents of the book and how to present it in the field will likewise aid in making our ministry more effective.
5 Have you had the joy of conducting a home Bible study in the Live Forever book? If so, have you noticed how quickly the interested ones learn and how they readily act on what they learn? One sister writes: “Having just returned home from our ‘Kingdom Unity’ District Convention, my heart is filled to overflowing. I just had to write and share my joy with you. I had the privilege of seeing three of my Bible students symbolize their dedication by water baptism.” Then she commented that the Live Forever book had hastened their progress toward dedication and baptism. Others have made similar comments.
CONTINUE TO GUARD OUR TRUST
6 Accepting the Christian trust is one thing. Continuing to guard it is quite another. Undoubtedly that is why Paul also wrote Timothy: “Continue in the things that you learned and were persuaded to believe, knowing from what persons you learned them.” (2 Tim. 3:14) At 2 Peter 1:5-8 we find similar exhortation.
7 We certainly want to ‘continue in the things we learned.’ We have no desire to become “inactive or unfruitful.” We want to guard jealously “the pattern of healthful words” and the ministry of the truth that has been committed to our care. Our goal is to render a satisfactory account for this “fine trust” that Jehovah has so generously placed in our possession. Let us look to him for the wisdom and spiritual strength that will make this possible.