Continue in the Word of God
The Christian faith is a Word-based religion. You cannot be a true follower of Jesus Christ and neglect the Word of God at the same time. In particular, you cannot be a minister of the gospel if you are not well-versed in the Bible. The Christian life and ministry depend and are founded on the holy Scriptures.
In 2 Timothy 3:14, Paul is telling his young protégé in the ministry, Timothy, to remain in what he has learned. "Do not depart from the Biblical doctrines and teachings that you have learned from childhood, from your mother and grandmother, and from us. Continue in those teachings," the apostle Paul says.
You can observe that Paul uses the word "learn" twice in verse 14. Among other things, the importance of learning the holy Scripture in the Christian life is being emphasized here.
Christians don't stop learning. Pastors don't stop learning. Ordinary Christians love learning not just for the sake of learning or to gain more knowledge but also to grow in the grace and in the knowledge of God and in holiness and obedience to the Lord.
Mind you, there are teachers and preachers of the Bible today who may have started well and orthodox in their doctrines but eventually veered away from the truth because they did not remain in the Word. And their departure from the Bible and the true Christian faith has devastated many Christians.
According to Paul, in the last days many of these religious men and deceivers will appear (2 Tim. 3:1-5). They will grow in number and they will go from bad to worse (v. 13), "deceiving many and being further deceived themselves" (2 Thess. 2:8-12).
Do you wonder why many false religions and false teachers are growing by leaps and bounds? Well, one reason is that many churches are not teaching Biblical doctrines anymore. Many Christians are not interested in grounding themselves and in continuing in the Word of God.
So when a new wave of teaching or doctrine comes, it is accepted right away by many. Never mind if it is Biblical or not. As long as it's popular and many Christians and churches are teaching it, there's no need to examine it or scrutinize it in light of God's Word. Just accept it.
False teachings grow fast and wide, says one pastor, "not because error is stronger than truth or because Satan is more powerful than the Spirit of God, but because natural men are more inclined to embrace error and will embrace that which agrees with their [sinful] nature (John 5:42-44)."
This tells us that we should pay careful attention to the Word being read and preached in church. Ordinarily pastors are trained to exegete, explain, and apply the Word to the congregation.
However, we should not totally depend on our pastors and teachers in church. We ourselves must strive and labor in studying and learning the Word of God. We have the Spirit to guide us. We have our own Bibles at home. We must read it and meditate on it. We also ought to examine if our pastors or others are teaching us what is in accord with the Word.
Maybe you have some excellent, even popular, books in your church library. You may borrow and read them. Learn from these books. Test every author you read if his teaching is in line with the Scripture.
If you are able, start a Bible study in your home. Invite your friends. Make your home a beacon of truth where the gospel of Christ is studied and obeyed. Study and learn together the Word regularly. It is one way of continuing in the Word and remaining faithful to the Lord and His Word.
Posted with permission from Ptr Vic Bernales, Pastor, Davao Covenant Reformed Church
Original from a Facebook post here.