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KEEP. II Tim. 4: 7. Here we have the example of the Apostle Paul. He sums up
his life's witness under three heads:
"A good contest." In this he says he has put up a good fight.
"A course finished." The race set before him has been covered.
"The faith I have kept." This is his last word.
KEEP. II Tim. 1: 12, 14. Paul was unmoved and unswayed by the intense and
persistent opposition he had experienced, being persuaded that the Lord was fully able to
keep that which had been entrusted against that day. As he comes to the end of his
course he passes `the good deposit' over to the safeguarding of Timothy.
"That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which
dwelleth in us" (II Tim. 1: 14).
HOLD. II Tim. 1: 13. In direct connection with this good deposit and sacred trust
Timothy is exhorted to have and to hold "a pattern of sound words" which he had heard
of the Apostle and to hold such a pattern in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
STAND. II Tim. 4: 17. After the exhortation "to stand" that he had given in earlier
epistles, the Apostle encourages us all who are in any sense in true succession with his
despised yet glorious ministry to remember that even if `no man' will stand with us, the
Lord will, even as He stood by Paul until his work was done.
WATCH. II Tim. 4: 5. This we have been considering in this article and this one
word gathers up within itself the other three. We can neither "keep", "hold" or "stand" if
we do not watch, if we are not conscious that we are surrounded by a world lulled to
sleep in a drunkenness, not brought about by wine or strong drink, but by the false
doctrines that have been imbibed and which have been circulated by the Father of lies.
We have seen something of the "Signs of the Times" and have been forewarned
concerning the character of the apostasy from the faith that shall darken the closing days
of this dispensation and we have seen the fourfold corrective given in Paul's later
epistles, which if heeded will not only keep us ourselves from complicity with this sad
departure, but enable us to hold aloft the Word as in a dark place with the glad
consciousness that some at least will be led to change their minds, come to their senses,
and be delivered from the snare that is spread for their feet.