Scripture:   “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine (or) to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies (which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God which is by faith).

 

The aim of our charge is: love that (which) issues from a pure heart, and; a good conscience, and; a sincere faith.

 

Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law—without understanding either what they are saying or (understanding) the things about which they make confident assertions.

 

Now we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully—understanding this: that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient…” (1 Tim 1:3-9a)

 

Observation:   What is “sound doctrine?”  It is not an answer for the Jeopardy Daily Double.

 

Application:    Ever get asked a question where you know the answer was pulled out of thin air…and the answer had as much substance as thin air?  I have.  And after I turned away after I confidently answered the question with an answer that bordered on the bogus, I put my face in my hands in shame while in parallel wondering “Did I just get away with that?”

 

It looks like Timmy had an issue at Ephesus with yackkers pulling “assertions” out of thin air.  These “yackkers” really liked stories (myths), tracking who begat who, and taking this stuff and speculating to no end.  Why this and not promoting Godliness by faith?

 

Why did I do it is a fair place to start.  Peripheral information is cool but doesn’t quite challenge us in obedience to the Gospel.  It’s clever.  It makes wonder and curiosity blossom.  It also puffs up the chest because “I know something you don’t know.  Want me to tell you?”  And it is so empty…

 

Then what is promoting the “stewardship from God” and “love from a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith…”?  These are components and executions of Sound Doctrine.

 

What is sound doctrine then?  Where do I go, to whom do I need to go, who do I need to read to get Sound Doctrine?

 

I wish I had a simple answer, a 10-step program, a handy dandy reference guide besides the Bible.  But I don’t.  There are a bunch of points to hammer on daily and continue to hammer for years that I can offer, but like engaging in discipleship, this learning side is a long term project.  Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Do this Reading Plan; read the offered Journal entries, and; try to write yourself;
  • See something, say something.  What I mean by that is if something pops out and grabs your attention then find someone to talk to.  Converse about your reading.  Cultivate wonder.
  • Do extra reading from a good author.  Sproul, Piper, MacArthur, Packer, Whitney, and  CS Lewis are just a few.
  • Find a good Systematic Theology.  I like Bible Doctrine (Grudem).  Packer and Sproul have an easy to read Systematic Theology as well.  At least be familiar with the basics of the Faith.
  • Talk to the pastor and/or the elders and deacons.  Ask for conversation over a cup of coffee or something.

 

Did this answer about the basics of Sound Doctrine?  Of course not and that was on purpose.  Learning about the Gospel and the sound doctrine that is the supporting data for the Gospel is the responsibility of the intentional Disciple.

 

Prayer:  Father.  You are good and do good.  Every time and everywhere.  I am grateful for the Grace and Mercy You show me every day, moment by moment.  Keep me from filling my mouth with stupid and foolishness.  Increase the depth of Sound Doctrine within me.  AMEN.