13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. 15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16 The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus. (2 Tim.1:13-18 NKJV)
Paul is telling this young preacher boy to get an unbreakable grip on the truth—sound doctrine and systematic theology. Kenneth Wuest, a noted Greek scholar, says concerning the Greek text that: “Particular words are to be retained and used so that the doctrinal statements of the truth may remain accurate and a norm for future teachers and preachers.” So, he is not talking merely about holding to the Word of God, though we must. He is demanding that we use accurate terminology in expressing theology. Do you have a grip on the meaning of words like, “justification, reconciliation, sanctification, glorification,” and what do you believe about the nature of God, the work of Christ, the person of the Spirit, the authority of Scripture, the mission of the church, etc.? False teachers are to be condemned (v.15). They are cancer to be cut out! Faithful workers are to be commended (v.16-18). Nothing so refreshes a preacher as to see those who serve diligently!
Yours for Truth,
Dennis Thurman, Mission Strategist