Monday, August 13, 2012

A Great Education Begins with Sound Doctrine

This display was found in the Church of the Holy Rood
in Stirling, Scotland
     Here in our area of Florida, teachers are gearing up for the return of students to our local schools.  There is a good deal of preparation taking place in order to provide the best possible instruction.  We often do not know all the hard work that occurs before the first bell is rung.
     During the time I home educated our four children, I spent several weeks working on lesson plans for the year, picking out curriculum and ordering any supplies we needed.  The main goal was to impart knowledge to our four children so they would be equipped to take their place in the work force.  Happily, all of them have succeeded.  Without sound teaching, whether at home or in the public schools, young people do not have the tools they need to move into a good job.
     In the same way, it is critical, in the framework of our faith, that we be grounded in the truth found in sound doctrine as revealed in Scripture.   The Apostle Paul emphasized this to the young pastor Timothy.  Several times, Paul warns against false teachers in his letters to Timothy and encourages him to hold fast to sound teaching:  "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" (2 Timothy 1:13-14).  Again, Paul reiterated his concern for Timothy in I Timothy 6:20:  "O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you.  Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called 'knowledge,' for by professing it some have swerved from the faith."  Over and over as a running theme throughout both letters Paul warns Timothy to stand fast for sound doctrine.
     Paul taught Timothy and guided him in his ministry.  He wanted him to do the same for the saints entrusted to his care.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is truth, but there were those at that time, as there are today, who twist God's Word for their own profit.  In I Timothy 6:3-5, Paul describes those false teachers and the result of their efforts:  "If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.  He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain."
     Knowledge is a good thing to have but it must be combined with wisdom.  Just giving people information without the training on how to apply it to their lives is like giving someone a car without teaching them how to drive.  It is useless!  Even more, it is dangerous.  The mission of every believer in Jesus Christ is to pass on our faith and the sound doctrine on which it is based.
Photo courtesy of 
     When a person is called by God to faith in Christ, he/she comes as one who has been deprived of truth in their past.  Therefore, the job of the church as a whole and individual believers as well is to teach the truth that is found in God's Word to us.  This can be accomplished through Bible study, regular church attendance, Sunday school classes, small groups, catechism or new member classes.  There are many avenues to help a person grow in the truth.
     Each of us has a responsibility to be excellent students of the Word so we can share it with others "in season or out of season".  It is not the pastor's job alone.  We have been chosen by God to take His truth into all the world....our jobs, our schools, our homes and yes, even into our government.  Wherever He has placed us, He has called us and equipped us to live as examples of our faith and to share the truth with others.
     Teachers, whether public, private or homeschool, want to prepare their students with the best information possible so they can face tomorrow's challenges.  The same should be true of the church and every member in it.  Our goal is to hold to sound doctrine avoiding all false teachers.  We can do that by being students of God's Word.  It is the only constant foundation in our ever changing world.  For in it's pages, we meet God and find salvation through Jesus Christ His Son.  Selah!

As the new school year is about to begin, let us pray for all teachers, administrators, and schools as well as our students.  May God bless them, keep them, and protect them.


Patricia said...

Hey Barbara! Nice post...and thanks for using one of my photos. It looks like you just copied the thumbnail photo, though, and then resized it here in your blog, which is why it isn't clear. What you need to do is click on the thumbnail on that flickr page and bring up the original size to download. Once you download the original size, you can make it smaller for your blog. Here is a link to what it looks like when you click on the thumbnail size: Let me know if I can help you with it. Love you, Pat

Barbara Thayer said...

Thanks Pat....I was definitely having problems accessing the pictures. It said I was there on a guest pass and it would not let me do much. So I appreciate your offer of help. Thank you too for your willingness to share beautiful pictures. Blessings my friend!

Patricia said...

Yes. It's a guest pass for everyone. When you said it wouldn't let you do much, what do you mean?