2Timothy 3:10-17, “10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me”
We take a dive in a new series to deal with what it means to be a man of God from Paul’s life because he points us to someone greater than himself, Christ. In 1Corinthians 11:1, Paul writes, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (NIV 1984). In his final words to his son in the faith Timothy, he reminds him of what he had seen in this warrior of faith and to embrace and continue what he had learned from him.
Today a number of things would be considered in defining a real man. As my friend Pastor Phil shares, many men have taken the Hollywood version/mentality of what men are to be. Some may mean climbing mount Everest, have more toys, or higher leadership positions, or kill a lion in some tribes in Africa etc. While these are false view of men’s definition, roles and responsibilities in the society, we must turn to ALL sufficient Word of God and be instructed accurately by Scripture to KNOW, THINK, PRAY and ACT biblically in addressing this topic on biblical manhood (a state of being a man rather than a child in understanding and acting). Biblical manhood puts the focus on other greater things, spiritual things that affect our human response and behaviors.
Paul in vs. 10 of this chapter highlights things that made him a man, and more so a man of God. Take notice of the chronological order in terms of priority. He says vs. 10, “But you have carefully followed my doctrine…” A man of God must commit himself to being a man of doctrine, his worldview must be instructed by Scripture. Paul reminds Timothy of how he carefully followed his (Paul’s) doctrine (worldview). What is Christian/biblical worldview?, I turn to Chuck Colson to help explain. He says, “Christian/biblical worldview is to practice the Kingship of Jesus by KNOWING and serving Him in every area of our lives, drawing on the resources and making the most of the opportunities in all the various worldview spheres so as to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. While this is true, you cannot become what you don’t know, this is why KNOWING is the first on the list.
We minimize doctrine/theology in our times. Majority say we don’t need it, we just want to worship Jesus. True worship must be aligned with sound doctrine (TRUTH) Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:23-24, “23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth“. The zeal (spirit) must be accompanied by TRUTH for true worship to take place otherwise we worship a god in our making. David also tells us why God’s word, doctrine is important, Psalm 138:2, “I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth, For You have magnified Your word above all Your name”. God has magnified His word above His name because in knowing His word can we truly know His name, love Him and truly worship Him.
Sound doctrine is important because what we believe affects who we are and what we do. Behavior is an extension of theology, and there is a direct correlation between what we think and how we act. Theology simply means the study of God. Christian theology is simply an attempt to understand God as He is revealed in the Bible. No theology will ever fully explain God and His ways because God is infinitely and eternally higher than we are. Therefore, any attempt to describe Him will fall short (Romans 11:33-36). However, God does want us to know Him insofar as we are able, and theology is the art and science of knowing what we can know and understand about God in an organized and understandable manner. Some people try to avoid theology because they believe it is divisive. Properly understood theology unites believers. Proper biblical theology is a good thing; it is the teaching of God’s Word the foundation on which we build our lives upon. 2Timothy 3:16-17.
The study of theology, then, is nothing more than digging into God’s Word to discover what He has revealed about Himself. When we do this, we come to know Him as Creator of all things, Sustainer of all things, and Judge of all things. In this we glorify Him through our love and obedience as imitators of Christ. Notice the progression here: we must get to know Him before we can love Him, and we must love Him before we can desire to obey Him. Paul urges his other son in the faith Titus to embrace and teach sound doctrine , Titus 1:9, “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict…”. Titus 2:1,”But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:”. Titus 2:6-8, “6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”, 1Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
It is easy to get side-tracked in the Christian life. We have to keep our eyes on the prize being rewarded in heaven by Jesus Christ (2Timothy 4:8). We must strive to avoid both false doctrine and ungodly practices. This can only be accomplished by being grounded in our knowledge of God’s Word as the foundation of our manhood and be firm in our refusal to accept anything that is unbiblical. A man of God who is to lead and protect his wife, children, the body must be biblically sound, embracing the doctrine of Christ as his. To continue, Ev