"The Responsibility of the Christian
Our final word will be very simple, but I trust vital. I ask you to look again at the Letters to Timothy, with special reference to four very brief series, or groups, of fragments.
Here is the first series:
1 Timothy 1:11: "...the gospel ... which was committed to my trust."
1 Timothy 1:18: "This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy..."
1 Timothy 6:20: "O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee ..."
2 Timothy 1:12: "...I know Him Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to guard that which I have committed unto Him against that day." (You will see that the margin gives the alternative: "He is able to guard that He hath committed unto me".)
Now the second series:
1 Timothy 1:18: "This charge I commit unto thee ... that ... thou mayest war the good warfare."
2 Timothy 2:3-4: "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service entangleth himself in the affairs of this life; that he may please Him Who enrolled him as a soldier."
The third series:
2 Timothy 2:5: "And if also a man contend in the games, he is not crowned, except he have contended lawfully."
The fourth series:
2 Timothy 2:15: "Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth."
I wonder what impression those passages make upon you. Hearing them, reading them, putting them together, what is the conclusion to which you come? What do they say to you? Surely they ought to leave one very definite impression upon us: namely, that the Christian is a very responsible person. Every one of those passages, and indeed, the much more lying behind them and in these letters, does really say very, very clearly and very strongly: We are in a position of tremendous responsibility. The Christian is, in the Word of God, looked upon as being a very responsible person.
When the Lord Jesus and His apostles appealed to people to come along and follow, to be saved, to become Christians, it was never just for their own pleasure, just that they might have a good time. The appeal was never to the pleasure-instinct in people, to the desire for a good time. They never, never made their appeal on that ground at all - that if you are saved, if you become a Christian, you are going to embark upon an endless joy-ride, a whole life of pleasure and gratification. Whatever there may be of good and enjoyment and profit to follow, the appeal of Christ, the appeal of His apostles, the appeal of the Scriptures, is always to people who mean business more than pleasure, who really are prepared to take serious responsibility for the interests of their Lord, and, if needs be, to allow themselves to be involved in trouble or suffering for His sake. They are the people He wants.
(continued with # 73 - (The Christian as Trustee)