“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”2 Timothy 1:13-14

Paul gave a pattern of sound words. The Greek term, ὑποτύπωσις, means a pattern or type or standard. He is undoubtedly referring to the “our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, mentioned back in verse 10. The gospel is the pattern, the standard for life. It is the measure that defines our relationship with God through Christ. It is also the pattern for how we live life. Paul includes “the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” The gospel is not just a doorway to walk through to be right with God but the very nature of it should shape the believer in love and how one lives by faith.


The Holy Spirit indwells those who have surrendered to God through faith in Christ. His indwelling mode of existence infuses the believer with the personal presence of Christ. Paul speaks of guarding the deposit entrusted to him which uniquely expresses the responsibility to hold tightly to the gospel by means of the indwelling Spirit in him. Paul had already spoken of his confidence to entrust God to guard what Paul has entrusted to him. Now he speaks to Timothy of guarding what God has entrusted to him, the gospel. The nature of this speaks of a mutually beneficial arrangement, created by God to guard what Paul has deposited to him (likely his very life) and now Paul has the responsibility, as all believers would, to guard what God has entrusted to them, the gospel.


The gospel does not need protection. But the statement most likely indicates that Timothy is to be persistent to ensure that he clings tightly to the gospel. He is not to allow anything to diminish the value of the gospel in his own heart and mind. He is to persistently keep it forefront in his life and relationships. He is to be unashamed to proclaim that gospel and allow it to shape the way he lives.


We are to “guard” the gospel, not to keep it safe, but to keep it as the centerpiece of shaping his life. His belief system is anchored to the gospel. His world view is uniquely screened through the gospel and his view of others is through the lens of the person of Jesus.


With so many distractions in our life it is easy to neglect the gospel and allow other things to shape and influence the way we engage life. Our relationships can only be viewed in genuine reality when we see others through the lens of the gospel. But life can feel weighty and overwhelming. Our instinct is to set aside the gospel to give attention to other things that would appear to be crumbling. Regardless of how perilous things look to us, our greatest refuge is the gospel of Jesus. He is a safe haven; Christ is our refuge; Christ is the best foundation to maintain a stable, unshakable life in the midst of the storms.


The gospel is sound words, the pattern that Timothy is to follow. The gospel is the pattern for entrusting God with the deposit of our life and eternal journey. We have the responsibility to guard or cling to the deposit of this treasure within us. It must be the center of life, it must be that which shapes our life for the rest of our life.



Pastor Brad