The Responsibility of the Christian (continued)
The Christian as Trustee
Here, then, we have this many-sided picture of the Christian as in responsibility. Let us take up some of the titles or metaphors used, which give the Divine conception of the Christian, very simply. In the first series, 1 Timothy 1:11: "According to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust"; 1:18: "This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy ...": 6:20: "O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee ..." What is this conception of the Christian? The Christian is called to be, has the privilege of being, a trustee for God, a custodian of an infinitely precious deposit, committed to his trust. "Timothy, you are in trust; Timothy, you are a trustee; Timothy, you are in trust; Timothy, here is something precious put into your custodianship, given you of God to watch over, to guard for him.' Paul calls it 'the gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to his trust', and he is passing it on. He has kept it intact, he has guarded it, he has preserved it: it has lost nothing; but he is about to go. "Timothy, I pass it on to you, I hand it on to you in the Lord's Name. Timothy, guard it. It is for you to see that this Gospel, this wonderful Gospel, suffers no loss by any kind of carelessness, unwatchfulness, indifference, slothfulness, preoccupation or diversion, persecution or suffering, or anything else. Let there come to it nothing to spoil it, no tarnish, no rust, no injury. Timothy, guard it - do not let it suffer loss.' That is the Divine conception of the Christian.
What I want to urge upon you is just this. If you would claim to be a Christian, to belong to the Lord, I would that you would recognize this: that you are put in trust with the Gospel, that you are a trustee of "the gospel of the blessed God", that there rests upon you this solemn obligation to see that it does not suffer in any way through you, because of you, that on no account does it suffer, but that it is preserved in its pristine glory and in its entirety; and that you at the end do what Paul was able to do - pass it on intact, so that there will be those who come after you who will, in their turn, take it up from you and carry it on. Does that sound very simple, very elementary? Paul put his heart into this. 'O Timothy, my child Timothy - this charge, this charge I commit to thee. Guard the deposit, take care of the great trust.' Will you believe, whether you are the youngest Christian or the oldest, or somewhere between, that you are a custodian of the interests of your Lord, and that those great interests can suffer because of you, if you do not take your responsibility seriously?
But that is a very elevating thing - it is a very strengthening thing to realize that, is it not? To feel that God has committed to me His interests, that I stand in this world, not just to be a Christian and try to live in this world, not just to be a Christian and try to live a Christian life, but as a responsible trustee of the very interests of God! Whether we like it or not, it is so. If you are a Christian, this great trust, this great Gospel, is suffering or being preserved by you; it is being let down or it is being upheld, whether you like it or not. But why not do what Paul was seeking to get Timothy to do? Realize this, face this, and take it up, as a solemn responsibility before God: 'I am a man with a charge, put in trust, a trustee.'
(continued with # 74 - (The Christian Warrior)