Grace Baptist Church

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The Priority of Sound Doctrine

The Priority of Sound Doctrine

Mar 19, 2017

Passage: 1 Timothy 1:3-7

Preacher: Tom Ascol

Series: Life in the Household of God

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: church, doctrine, false teachers, truth


Pastor Tom Ascol continues his series on the Pastoral Letters with a message, entitled “The Priority of Sound Doctrine,” centered on 1 Timothy 1:3–7. The message title is particularly appropriate as the first piece of counsel Paul passes to Timothy is that Timothy ensure only sound doctrine is being taught in the church. Then, as now, difficult times call for the truth of the Bible to be imparted to the flock.

Timothy was leading the church at Ephesus, a church with which Paul had a personal history. Paul had started the church and ministered there for nearly three years. Later, Paul had met with the church elders and warned them of coming false teachers. Now, five years later, the predicted serious threats had arisen. Jesus (Matthew 7:15) and the apostles (2 Peter 2:1–2; 1 John 4:1) had both warned of false ideas leading people astray. Paul, therefore, encourages Timothy to identify false teachers, silencing them, and presenting scriptural truth. Paul gives Timothy and, by extension, pastors today, this responsibility because only on sound doctrine can a healthy church be preserved. The church had been founded on sound instruction given by the apostles passing on the clear teachings of Jesus. Deviation from these truths puts the foundation of the church at risk. Consequently, maintaining sound doctrine is not merely an academic concern. The church, the household of God, is built upon the message of the reconciliation provided in the Gospel of Christ.

Moreover, false teaching wreaks havoc in a church as Paul points out. Believing myths, concentrating on endless genealogies, engaging meaningless speculations, teaching falsehoods without understanding truth, destroys God’s plan for the church. The stewardship of the church ordered by God is rendered of little effect. The outcome of false teaching is havoc in the lives of those who accept it. Timothy is to counter falsehood with truth. The same is true today.

In the end, love is what is as stake in the defense of sound doctrine. In one sense love is the whole message of the Bible. The two greatest commandments are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . soul . . . and mind,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37–40). Love arises from a three-fold source according to our passage: a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. These three sources can only come from the application of truth, that is the application of correct doctrine, to the life of a believer. As truth is taught, applied and lived, a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith result. When the Word of God is handled rightly people change from the inside (their heart) out.

For those who have not come to the truth yet Jesus Christ calls. His work of salvation was completed for you if you come to Him. Answer the call today by repenting and trusting in Him.