“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” – 2 Tim. 1:13
The end was near for Paul. This was to be his last letter and he knew it. So what did he write on such an important occasion?
Getting fresh new revelation? Getting new private messages from God? Looking for signs and reading tea leaves? No!
Retain the standard of sound doctrine! Be a faithful guardian of the truth! Be a steward of the sound words presented in the Bible.
And do so in faith and love which originate from Christ Jesus.
This mandate goes for all of us.
“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” – John 15:3
Jesus said His word cleans.
Without the word? Not clean; contaminated, impure, corrupted, polluted, stained, spoiled.
With the word? Clean; pure, disinfected, expunged, refined, sterilized, flawless, unclouded.
“And the common people heard Him gladly.” – Mark 12:37
Jesus taught in a straightforward, plain, and acceptable way. His teachings are not confusing, convoluted, or complex.
Even the common people could grasp the gospel of Jesus.
God’s Word is clear.
If it’s rejected, it’s not due to the text being too hard to understand. It’s due to the reader understanding it all too well.
Do you hear Him gladly?
“Mark ye well her bulwarks” – Psa. 48:13
A bulwark is a wall that provides protection or support.
In Martin Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” the first line is “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.”
God defends the weak.
He provides refuge for His children.
We trust in His promises rather than our own strength.
In God, we have “a bulwark never failing.”
“The devil and his agents have been blowing at Scripture light, but could never prevail to blow it out – a clear sign that it was lighted from Heaven.” – Thomas Watson
God’s Word WILL grow mightily and prevail against every attack (Acts 19:20).
It stands today brighter than ever.
Anyone coming against it will be ground to powder (Matt. 21:43).
DO YOU KNOW IT?
ON WHICH SIDE DO YOU STAND?
“Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.” – John 18:38
Pilate was being sarcastic here. He was saying truth can’t be known. He was inferring that there is no objective truth. Pilate was the first post modernist!
The irony is – truth can be known, truth is objective, and Pilate was face to face with Truth: Jesus Christ!
Yet he, like so many today, reject the truth of Jesus. And often they reject it with smug sarcasm. That doesn’t change the fact that Jesus is the truth (John 14:6).
“What will this babbler say? He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods” – Acts 17:18
When Paul approached the self-aggrandizing, navel-gazing philosophers of Athens, he was met with instant ridicule.
What was so foolish to these Greeks? Basically, the gospel of Jesus, but specifically – the resurrection. It seemed laughable to them. (But some believed!)
Nothing much has changed.
Proclaiming the death and resurrection of a nobody carpenter from a nowhere town who died a criminal’s death in a borrowed tomb… seems laughable today and is met with instant ridicule.
(But some will believe!)
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3
Spurgeon said, “I am preaching no new doctrine. Theology hath nothing new in it except that which is false.”
We must know the gospel so well that it is obvious and shocking when we hear a different gospel.
“by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:4
Knowledge of Jesus Christ comes with built-in promises. These promises are “exceedingly great and precious.”
The fine print of union with the Lord is: comes with partaking of the divine nature and escape of corruption from lust.
These precious promises are freely given to us.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9
This is a trap many Christians fall into: we forget how much sin we have been forgiven of, we misjudge just how sinful we actually are, and we underestimate just how Holy God truly is.
If we are not in a constant state of love and gratitude, we are shortsighted, even to the point of blindness.