Saturday, December 8, 2012

Faith and Doctrine




Scripture


In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.
(1 Timothy 4:6 NASB)

 

Observation


Timothy was serving in the town of Ephesus, a cosmopolitan city where goddess worship was prevalent. Paul was giving him advice on how to minister and he pointed out that there were two things that Timothy needed to focus on in his ministry -- faith and sound doctrine.

 

Application


Most believers today would agree that faith is where we need to focus our attention. We must have faith in Jesus Christ and in the word of God, but somehow the concept of sound doctrine seems to fail us. Too often I hear people complain that they don't want to hear what some person has thought about doctrine or theology, they only want to read the Bible. There were plenty of people in Paul's day who knew the scriptures but Paul was concerned with their "unsound" doctrine. Take Apollos, for example. He arrived able to preach exceedingly well but he was a little off on some of his Christian doctrine. Priscilla and Aquilla had to have a little chat with him and he was open to learning from them. Therefore they invested time in Apollos and taught him sound doctrine so that he could be a great preacher of the faith. Throughout the centuries the church has fought to teach "sound" doctrine in the midst of many different heresies, especially concerning the nature of God and Christ. What many folks today don't realize is that they are repeating the very same heresies of nearly two thousand years ago when they want to simply "go to the Bible."

An amazing foundation has been laid for us as people of faith. The apologists and martyrs who have gone before us have been willing to put their lives on the line for sound doctrine and for their faith. We have been handed an incredible treasure in our faith and doctrine. Timothy knew that he had been as well because it was handed to him by Paul who was literally giving his life for the message. I am grateful for all of those who have gone before and who have paid the price for us to be able to have not only the Scriptures, but a sound doctrine which has been handed down to us, and which has been entrusted into our care. We live in a world not much unlike that of Timothy's -- a world that worships the gods of the times. In the midst of it we too are admonished to hang onto the faith and to sound doctrine. This is not the time to throw out all the work of the cloud of witnesses who have gone before us, but rather, to embrace them and to take our responsibility seriously to live in faith and to constantly be nourished by sound doctrine.

 

Prayer


Lord, I am grateful for what has been handed down to us. Please, help us to live in the faith and doctrine you have entrusted to us. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment