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August 17, 2011 / Daniel

The Pattern of Sound Teaching (2 Timothy 1:13-14)

A door handle in the center of a door in Paris

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2 Timothy is one of my favorite books in the NT.   It’s a “death-bed” letter.  As Paul writes this letter, he knows that his time on earth is short.   He does not have much longer.  These are some of Paul’s last words.    Last words are important words.

So, he writes Timothy and he challenges him to hold onto the truth of the gospel.  He passes on the torch to the next generation.  The focus of the letter is on the treasure that we have in the Word of God.    Consider for example 2 Timothy 1:13-14.

Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Notice what Paul says.  There is a pattern of sound teaching.  Solid doctrine.  A pattern is something that you use to replicate more and more copies of an original. My dad is a finish carpenter.  One of my dad’s favorite jobs is installing kitchen cabinets.  If you want to be a good finish carpenter, you have to be precise.  After my dad puts the cabinets on the wall, he puts little door knobs on each and every door.   To do this, my dad uses a pattern.  To drill the holes in the cabinet doors for the knobs.   The pattern is designed to ensure that each knob is at the same exact spot.

Paul tells Timothy that the pattern of sound teaching is “what you have heard from me.”  It’s the teachings of the apostles.  It’s Scripture.  The faith once-for-all handed down to the saints.  There is no other pattern for sound teaching.  The only pattern is God’s Word.

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