The church needs a growing number guardians of the gospel who, strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, recognise false teaching and teach the truth empowered by grace to one another. Is that you? Not a heresy hunter, but a gospel of grace teacher. Taught so that you can teach others in whatever context that is.
Paul’s second call that flows from the first, is to multiply guardians of the gospel. Those who know grace and strengthened by grace contend for and teach the gospel.
It’s not good to be alone. That’s a universal truth of the human condition, it’s the way God has made us. It’s true for Adam in the garden and it’s true for us today. But it’s also true for us in serving Jesus in the church. It’s true for ministers and for ministry leaders. A sense of loneliness in ministry, of bearing the burden and responsibility alone is incredibly isolating and weighty.
Whose job is it to guard the gospel? Be honest, what’s your first answer? We live in an age of professionalism, where we pay people to do jobs, take responsibilities, so we don’t have to. And so in many churches the answer, not in words but in reality, would be it’s the pastor’s job to guard the gospel. Or maybe the elders job. And there is some truth in that. They do have a particular responsibility to do that. But it’s not solely their responsibility.
In 2 Timothy 2v8 Paul tells Timothy that he must train up others who will teach others. Timothy needs to train up guardians of the gospel there in Ephesus, how?