Paul to Timothy, from a Roman prison:
“Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy 1:14 NLT)
What comes to your mind when you hear of “guarding” something?
Soldiers with guns?
A secure vault?
High, electric fences?
Big, intimidating dogs?
But in this passage, Paul is telling Timothy to carefully guard the good news of Jesus, the “truth entrusted to him.”
So how do we guard the gospel?
Well, we’ve seen one option lived out to no success — lock it up, protect it so thoroughly that no one has access to it, “keep it secret, keep it safe.” Or the other option of “define it to death”, make sure every theological “i” is dotted and “t” is crossed, ensure that nothing is said out of turn or inaccurately.
But does that guard the gospel? No. It kills it.
The gospel is, by definition, good news that must be shared widely and boldly. It’s the GOOD NEWS that Jesus has come into this world as God’s definitive action of love and redemption in order to see his creation brought back to rights.
To guard the gospel is to proclaim it. The only way to protect good news is to actually put it out there. Tell the story, point people to Jesus, live the good news in all you do and say and live and pray. Through the power of the Holy Spirit.
~ Tom Greentree