Guard The Truth
We might think that truth will be self-evident and will protect itself. In one way, that is so: truth can never change. On the other hand, our understanding of truth and how we respond to it can change. The world, our own fleshly appetites and the devil’s scheming are constantly seeking to distort everybody’s perception of the truth. So, when a teacher does not hold fast to the truth, the effect can corrupt many people.
Paul urged Timothy not to stray from what he had been taught. The best way to do that was for Timothy to keep reminding himself of what Paul had said, treasure it, live it and teach it. That task would require personal discipline to reject all other teachings which were different from what Paul taught, and a dependence on the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth – John 16:13) to keep living and teaching the truth. Timothy, like every believer, was a trustee of the truth: he had the responsibility to keep guarding the unchanging Word of God in his own heart and the hearts of those he taught.
We also need to guard the truth. Thousands of false doctrines exist, and some have even become culturally acceptable in churches. When a church diverts from the Apostle’s teaching, it becomes sterile and unable to reproduce spiritually. It is no longer a gospel church. Although its participants may be happy in their self-regulated club, over a period of time the church loses its ability to proclaim the saving grace of Christ. Straying from the Apostles’ doctrine has been the downfall of many churches and ministries. Yes, find new ways of presenting the truth, but never try to change the truth itself. Ask yourself, “Where have I strayed from the teaching of the Apostles?” How you deal with the answer may protect you and those you influence far more than you realise.
© Dr Paul Adams