13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:13-14
A lot of people still do not believe in the Gospel. There are many possible reasons. But one common reason is the failure of Christians to live out the truth of the Gospel. The Gospel, of course, remains true regardless of how Christians behave. But their behavior either reinforces or diminishes the truthfulness of the Gospel. Either we walk our talk or we just talk and talk. In other words, the Gospel’s truthfulness can only be vindicated through Spirit-filled faithfulness. So how do we do this? Based on our text today, we need to walk our talk and talk our walk (v.13), and we need to do so in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in our own strength (v.14). We will never be perfect people, not in this life anyway. But how we live matters a lot. Either we vindicate, prove, and reinforce the truthfulness of the Gospel — and it will always be true regardless of how we live — or we become bad testimonies — a negative illustration of people who claim to believe but live contrary to what they believe. Our lives must testify and illustrate the Gospel. We can only do this in the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot rely on will power or on human effort to try to prove the truthfulness of the Gospel. In fact, when we do so, we negate the truthfulness of the Gospel. What we must do is live according to the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Gospel’s truthfulness can only be vindicated through Spirit-filled faithfulness.