What you heard from me, keep as the pattern for sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 1:13
The Apostle Paul wrote this very bold suggestion to Timothy (and to others): “What you have heard from me, keep as the pattern for sound teaching…” Wow. That really is bold. Bold about the certainty of his teaching. Bold about what he had taught was worthy to be held to “as the pattern for sound teaching.” This bold suggestion could sound extremely arrogant and self-righteous. But in his very next words, in his very next breath, Paul makes it clear that his teachings are completely dependent on being in unity with Christ through faith and love.
It is not because of who Paul was or what Paul did (or who we are or what we do) that gives this bold suggestion. No. It is because of who we have come to know Jesus Christ to be – the Lord’s Messiah, the Son of God who revealed the fullness of the Father’s eternal love for us through His life, His sacrificial death for the forgiveness of our sins and His victorious resurrection – that we have put our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. It is in believing God’s outrageous, unfailing love for us that we have been made children of God by faith. It is in faith that we respond to our Heavenly Father’s love for us with love for Him.
It is in yielding ourselves to knowing, trusting and loving our Lord, more and more throughout our lives, that we are given the faith and love in Christ to live according to God’s good ways. It is in humble and true dependence on Christ that we are given the powerful responsibility to teach others about the salvation and transformation offered in Jesus alone. How thankful I am that it is God’s divine power through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus that equips us with everything we need for life and godliness! How thankful I am that it is God Himself who gives us the boldness to encourage others to follow our pattern of teaching, our pattern of living, so that Christ will be made known!
God’s divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. – 2 Peter 1:3
I need to constantly keep myself aware of how utterly and fully dependent I am on Jesus, on His Word and on His Spirit for anything and everything I teach in His Name – for anything and everything I would suggest “as the pattern for sound teaching” that anyone should keep.
This is true for all of us who are believers. With Jesus as our Savior, each one of us has been called to be an ambassador of Christ. We are all, therefore, in one way or another, teaching others what it looks like to live as a Christian through the patterns of our lives. We are teaching others, in one way or another, through our words and our actions, through our choices and our attitudes, the patterns that a follower of Jesus is meant to keep. Are they sound teachings?
May we each ask our God to hold us tightly in unity, in faith and in love with our Lord Jesus so that the patterns of our lives will reflect our own absolute dependence on Christ. Only then, will we be able to boldly suggest that others “keep as the pattern for sound teaching” anything they have heard or seen or learned from us. Only then, will it all be for the glory of our good God!