Two key components of a maturing faith in Christ are ‘keeping’ the high standard of God’s Word and ‘Guarding’ it against any manipulation.
Paul writes to his young disciple, “Keep and follow the pattern of sound teaching (doctrine) which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim 1:13) His warning is to not water down the Gospel truths so as to make it easier or more like mans desires. The Gospel is designed to enable you to have a personal relationship with God through Christ. The requirement for this relationship is ‘to be holy as He is holy’ (Lev 11:44-45; 1Peter 1:16) If you do not retain the high standards of the Gospel, placing your faith in the completed work of Salvation thru faith in Jesus Christ… you may get along better with the world and have a large group of associates, BUT you will not enter into Gods rest or Heaven.
Paul goes on to tell young Timothy how to be victorious in retaining Gods high standard, he writes, “Guard [with greatest care] and keep unchanged, the treasure [that precious truth] which has been entrusted to you [that is, the good news about salvation through personal faith in Christ Jesus], through [the help of] the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” (2 Timothy 1:14) Your greatest enemy is within! Your willful self loves ‘sin’ and desires autonomy, wanting to operate by its own standards and willfully rejecting God. I watched a friend do this just a few weeks ago… rationalized their actions and walked away from Gods hand that was stretched out to them… it breaks my heart. Especially knowing we are all one choice away from doing the same thing. That is why Paul tells young Timothy that we need to yield our will to The Holy Spirit, relying on Him to ‘keep’ and to ‘guard’ these truths that anchor our salvation. We cannot defeat the willful self and its love of sin on our own. Paul tells us we must crucify it with Christ daily and humbly submit our hearts, our minds, and our spirits to the leading and strength provided through His Spirit.
Do you want live a victorious life by operating within the design of God’s will, knowing peace, joy, and contentment? Then water down your willful self, drowning it into submission; and guard your heart that bears His truths, doing this by relying on the leading and strength of The Holy Spirit.
You can do this if you want to, so why not choose Christ today…
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”(Galatians 2:20)
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.