by Michael Gilbert
“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia,
that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine.”
(1 Tim. 1:3, KJV)
Among the many passages that I have highlighted in my Bible, this passage stands out in my mind because I am a gospel preacher. It is my responsibility to insist on sound doctrine being taught in a local congregation. Sound (healthy) doctrine is the difference between heaven and hell – it is that important (2 Jn. 9).
Satan has always tried to convince mankind that God’s teachings were merely “guidelines” to be loosely followed, and not a pattern to be closely obeyed.
However, Paul insisted that Christ’s message be preached, unchanged by mere humans.
What doctrines did Paul insist upon? What was so important that it could not be changed?
Just to name a few things…(1) brotherly love (1:5); (2) abstinence from sin (1:8-10); (3) proper prayer (2:1-15); (4) proper church organization (3:1, 8); (5) the singularity of the church of Christ (3:15); (6) the singularity of “the faith” (4:1); (7) proper care of widows (5:7-8), etc.
Paul summed it up by writing, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing…from such withdraw thyself” (6:3-5).