2 Timothy 4:(NCV)
1 I give you a command in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, the One who will judge the living and the dead, and by his coming and his kingdom:
2 Preach the Good News. Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching,
3 because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear.
4 They will stop listening to the truth and will begin to follow false stories.
5 But you should control yourself at all times, accept troubles, do the work of telling the Good News, and complete all the duties of a servant of God.
6 My life is being given as an offering to God, and the time has come for me to leave this life.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
8 Now, a crown is being held for me–a crown for being right with God. The Lord, the judge who judges rightly, will give the crown to me on that day–not only to me but to all those who have waited with love for him to come again.
Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina, meaning “teaching”, “instruction” or “doctrine“) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or in a belief system. The etymological Greek analogue is “catechism”.
If you are a parent you will recognize this picture. Accordian style gates on all stairs going to the basement, locks on the lower cabinet doors, hide all electrical cords, and special covers on all exposed electrical receptacles. All these actions are to provide guard rails for a crawling baby, or even a young toddler curious about all things around them.
Recently while on a social media platform I posted some background and context to some Scripture. I thought it would be straightforward for all those that read it. Within minutes the response from that posting was shocking. They claimed that I was going against the Word because as they said I was adding to the Word of God. That set me back on my heels and led me to cancel my account with that platform.
As a young teenager I did not have the means to buy commentaries or even a very good study Bible. All I had was a Bible given to me by my grandmother. At that time the big thing happening around Christians was “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance”. I would have loved to have such a study tool as that for my convenience. My parents both worked out of the home, but, they did not have the ability to buy such study tools. It was all they could do to put a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our backs.
I did not know much about the ‘basic tenets of the faith’, ‘the Trinity, and the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus’. It was after I started to evangelize that I learned those tenets. Yet, in other areas I had the basics, so I thought at the time, eschatology (study of last things). I didn’t understand the basic way to deliver a sermon, it was trial and error, but I eventually found a pattern that worked for me. It included my music ministry of playing the piano and singing. All these things I soon found out have what I will call ‘guard rails’. Stay within in them and you will be fine, step over them and you may not be invited back.
In the above portion of Scripture the Apostle Paul lays out to the early Christians in the province of Macedonia guard rails for the five fold ministry first, and also to the believers in Christ.
There are guard rails for us today, always be ready, instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with longsuffering and doctrine. Most of these today seem to have been placed on the sidelines, they argue that it is organized religion.
Paul writes a couple of chapters prior to the above Scripture:
2Ti 2:14-16 KJV
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Again, more guard rails. Parents need to provide structure for their children. The Apostle Paul gives structure to the early believers which is the foundation we must build upon. Ignore them and it leads to a complete collapse of any structure.
Mat 7:24-27 KJV
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
So, we need all these things we may not like them at first but they are necessary for a sound, solid and fruitful Christian life.