(Variation of this title: “Has the Lord trusted in you for your salvation?”)
“….for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). “Guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:14).
Listen to the typical Christian witnessing and you’ll hear him ask “Are you trusting in Jesus?” “Have you trusted in Jesus for your salvation?” Or some variation of that.
It’s a good question. It just doesn’t go far enough.
Even if the witnessee assures that “Yes, I’m putting my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ,” there is still an issue to be settled.
Is He putting His trust in you?
In Paul’s final epistle, he gives a rousing testimony of his own trust in the Savior. “I am not ashamed,” he says. Not disappointed, not confused, not embarrassed, and with no regrets. In no way does Paul’s status as a Roman prisoner represent failure of mission. Everything is right on schedule. Jesus is Lord and God is Sovereign. “The things that have happened to me,” Paul wrote from prison to the Philippian church, “have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel” (Phil. 1:12).
“For I am persuaded that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day,” he continues. And what exactly has Paul “deposited” with the Lord for safekeeping? His very life, his soul, his eternity, anything and everything of any worth to him. It’s all there in Christ and it’s all safe.
Then, Paul instructs his young protege, “Guard through the Holy Spirit who dwellls in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (1:14). And what is that which the Lord has put “in Timothy on deposit”? The gospel above all, plus the ministry to which the Lord called him. Later, Paul tells Tim to “do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (4:5).
It works both ways, this trust business.
There is no clearer picture of the two-sidedness of the faith issue than a statement from the Apostle John from early in the ministry of our Lord.
“Now, when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in HIs name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).
I find this a remarkable passage, unlike anything else in Scripture. (Note that “believe” and “entrust” or “commit” are from the same Greek verb for “believe”.)
They believed in Him but He did not believe in them.
So much for easy “pray this simple prayer and you will be saved” believism.
We do not have God over a barrel, friend, where He “has” to save someone who says the magic words. The ways in which we try to manipulate God “because He keeps HIs word” are legion.
He is not bound to do anything He deems wrong.
If we would be right with God and among the Christ-followers in this world, we must deal with two questions: 1) Have we repented and put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and HIm alone? 2) Has He believed in us to the point of entrusting Himself to us?
Here are some points to be registered on this subject….
1) The object of this is not to unsettle anyone’s faith by questioning their salvation. However, periodically examining “ourselves to see if we are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5) can be profitable. Taking inventory makes sense for a store owner, a homemaker, and a disciple of Jesus.
2) A question we should ask ourselves from time to time is “Am I trustworthy?” Have I shown the Lord (as well as everyone else, including myself) that I am faithful?
Often, the answer to that comes in small ways. Jesus said, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10).
So, we’re not left in the dark on these matters to make guesses. We can tell if we are faithful or not.
3) Paul told Timothy to “entrust (the things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses) to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Faithfulness is a big, big deal in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not that you would know it by the way some of us run our lives and operate the Lord’s churches.
We’ve all heard of churches that overlook financial shenanigans among their leadership, that turn a blind eye to immorality among those entrusted with the care of the Lord’s sheep, and that allow the unfaithful and unqualified to exercise great sway in decisions because of fleshly considerations (whom they’re related to, how much they contribute, whom they employ).
“Lord, save your church!”
4) In Second Timothy, when Paul singles some people out for specific criticism (“Phygelus and Hermogenes turned away from me” and “Demas has deserted me, having loved this present world”), he is trying to convey that these people are not trustworthy. They should not be trusted by the Lord’s people.
5) There is no higher accolade given by the Lord Jesus to His disciples than “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21,23).
There is no higher goal for any of us than to labor to hear His “well done, my child. You are blessed of my Father. Now, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
“Dear Lord, find me trustworthy, please.”