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Fellowship Blog

The Importance of Sound “Doctrine”

Posted by Jim Larsen on

In his charge to his protégé Titus, the apostle Paul states, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1 ESV). The word Paul uses here, translated as “doctrine” (didaskalia), simply stated means “teaching.” Coupled with the participle which modifies it, “to be in good health” (hugiainō), “sound doctrine” might also be translated “healthy teaching.” This command is not simply for Titus’s benefit, but reflects the importance of doctrine (teaching) to the life and health of the church, which consists of all those who are believers in Jesus Christ. We live in a time when “sound doctrine” is a bad word. In a cultural context in which “tolerance” trumps everything, teaching that which is perceived to be “intolerant” just won’t do. But if we are to be faithful to God’s Word, the imperative (command) to teach sound doctrine is non-negotiable. What we, as a community of faith, teach is important. What we teach forms the foundation for what people believe, and what people believe, they live. Put in more formal terms, in order to live “rightly” (orthopraxy) one must believe “rightly” (orthodoxy). This is one reason why studying Scripture is so important. Unless we are immersed in the Bible, we cannot understand what it teaches. Unless we consistently place ourselves under the authority of sound biblical teachers and preachers, we will easily be led astray by “the mind of our times.” In writing to Timothy, another of his protégés, Paul lamented that “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3 ESV). I think the evidence is clear that this is happening in the church today on an unprecedented scale. We cannot reverse this trend until we ourselves are steeped in “sound doctrine,” and only then will we be able pass that teaching on to others who desperately need to hear it!

Tags: importance of the bible, the bible, doctine, 2 timothy 4:3, sound doctrine, titus 2:1


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