Monday, November 21, 2011
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16 KJV).
Timothy, according to 1 Timothy 1:1,2, was already saved (having trusted in Jesus Christ’s shed blood and resurrection). So, why did Paul write in today’s Scripture that Timothy could save himself and those who heard him?
Paul instructed Timothy to continue in sound Bible doctrine (see 1 Timothy 4:12-15). In doing so, Timothy would save himself from false teaching (religion), and Timothy teaching the Bible “rightly divided” would save others from false teaching. Hell and religion destroy your soul. You need to be saved from both.
Today, sound Bible teaching is scarce, even within many so-called “Bible-believing” churches. Over 2,000 years’ worth of church tradition and human viewpoint have muddled and obscured the Bible’s glorious truths. Many Christians quote the Bible, claiming passages given to someone else (Israel).
There are many true, Holy Spirit-indwelt believers whose souls have been saved by Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, but who have never been saved from false teaching. The Galatians were saved from hell, yet they did not believe sound doctrine. So, they struggled to obey Israel’s program (Galatians 3:1-3).
We want to save ourselves from disappointment and deception. Our faith should rest in God’s Word to us, not God’s Word to someone else (Israel). Moreover, we should not trust in man’s word, but God’s Word.
How do we save ourselves and our audience from vain religious tradition and denominationalism? The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:24-26: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
The key to saving thyself and thy audience from false teaching is to study, believe, and teach the Bible God’s way, using dispensational Bible study, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).