Sunday, March 29, 2009

Deposit Guaranteed

There used to be a bank here in Mississippi called Deposit Guaranty. I always thought that was a well chosen name, implying security, trustworthiness, and peace of mind. We like to feel secure when handing over a deposit to a financial institution, to be confident it will be there when you need it. Well, that bank has merged at least three times and changed names every time. That wonderful name for a bank is long gone.

In the USA we rely on the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), a U.S. Government agency which insures deposits in banks. They guarantee our deposits.

In 2 Timothy 1:9-14 the Apostle Paul asks and answers the question: Who guarantees he deposit of our hopes and dreams. Is their an FDIC for our purposes and destinies?
(9) It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began - to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus. (10) And now he has made all of this plain to us by the coming of Christ Jesus, our Savior, who broke the power of death and showed the way to everlasting life through the Good News. And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News. (12) And that is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. (13) Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me. And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. (14) With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you. 2 Tim 1:9-14 NLT

According to the alternate reading in the NLT’s footnote, verse 12 could also be rendered “I am sure that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until the day of his return.” The ESV similarly renders it:
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me... By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 2 Tim 1:12, 14 ESV
The Greek word here (Paratheke) means a deposit committed to someone’s trust. According to Gordon Fee’s commentary on 2 Timothy, the literal Greek is “He is able to guard my deposit.” The grammar seems to allow for the deposit to be both our deposit with God, and His deposit in us. If both meanings are grammatically possible, I believe the Holy Spirit intended both to be in the text.

There is a deposit that we put into God’s hands, and a deposit that God puts into our hands, but the ultimate guarantor of both is God himself! He is the deposit guaranty.