2 Timothy 1: 13,14 – Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
“Why A Creed?”
As I embark on a preaching adventure through the “Apostles’ Creed”, or, rather, the passages of scripture that gave rise to the Creed, I want to begin by expositing the text above.
Shortly before his execution in prison, the Apostle Paul charged his “beloved son” (v. 2) with a faithful stewardship of God’s truth. Timothy, a young Pastor who had been trained by Paul, was responsible for carrying on the Apostle’s teachings.
What were Paul’s teachings? He refers to them as ‘sound’ words (v. 13) that are a ‘standard’ to be held to and preserved. In verse 14 Timothy is told to ‘guard’ the ‘Treasure’ (‘Deposit’ or ‘Trust’) that had been handed down (see 2:2).
Paul was saying that there is a body of core principles that form a deposit of truth that God has revealed to people through the Old Testament (Moses & the prophets) and finally through Jesus. Christ’s teachings were then entrusted to His Apostles and by extension, to the Church over the centuries.
As the Church grew, this body of truth was attacked from every direction and threatened by various false teachings (heresies). Satan is always determined to twist and distort God’s Word and lead people astray.
Under the supervision of God’s Holy Spirit, this body of truth containing the most clear, explicit and important teachings of Scripture, has been expressed in ‘Creeds’ accepted and recited by Christians of many backgrounds.
Today, in a culture that questions the existence of “Absolute Truth” and in a church culture where many Pastors and Professors challenge the age-old teachings of the Bible, we are faced with critical questions: Do we believe? Do we embrace the ancient teachings? Are we being faithful in protecting and preserving the ‘trust’ handed down to us by those martyred for this cause?
What if Paul would have compromised “the faith”? What if Timothy would have handled the truth lightly or loosely?
It is now our turn. The future condition of this Trust, and the Church, depends upon our faithfulness today.
Will you join me in “contending earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)?
In Christ’s Name,
Pastor Tim Sir