In the 1930’s, the world experienced a severe economic crisis called the Great Depression. During this financial crisis, the U.S. government established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in an effort to restore trust in the American banking system. Before the FDIC came into being, more than one-third of banks failed over the years and it was not uncommon for there to be runs on the banks. In these runs, large numbers of people would withdraw their money from the bank in fear that the bank would become insolvent and they would lose their money. The role of the FDIC was to insure all bank deposits. As a result, people felt more secure and the number of banks that failed dropped to near zero.
God has given us a treasure that is worth more than all of the money in the world. That treasure is the good news of salvation that comes to us through Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul was well aware of the value of that good news. He entrusted Timothy with it, so that he could also give it to others. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul urges Timothy to guard the deposit that has been entrusted to him. Paul wanted to be sure that Timothy held on to what he had deposited in him and did not let it become diluted by the empty doctrine of false teachers (1 Timothy 6:20-21). Paul knew that the pure, undiluted message of salvation that he entrusted to Timothy was the only way to insure the salvation of those who heard the message.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul once again urged Timothy to guard the good deposit that had been entrusted to him (2 Timothy 1:14). The Greek word translated as guard here is phylassō, which means “to protect from loss or damage.” Timothy needed to protect believers from the doctrine being taught by false teachers and so he needed to protect the good news of Jesus Christ from being lost or damaged in any way. But Paul knew that Timothy could not do it alone. He needed someone to back him up and that someone was the Holy Spirit. So, Paul’s instruction to Timothy was to guard the good news by relying on the Holy Spirit who dwelt within him.
As believers, we are also entrusted with the good deposit of God’s good news of salvation. When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior and bring Him into our lives, like Timothy, we also have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We must guard the good news so that it can be given to others. Just as the FDIC insures all bank deposits, protecting the people from losing their money, so the Holy Spirit will insure the deposit of the good news that we have been given. Because we can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us as we guard our valuable deposit, we can continue to share that good news with others just as Christ commanded us to (Mark 16:15).