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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

God and Doctrine

I was finishing up my prep for the Thursday morning study this evening.  We are in 1 Timothy 6.  I saw something stunning there.  But first…
God and Doctrine
Quick review, I have shared that Paul exhorts Timothy to teach and to teach sound doctrine, here and here, just to highlight this…

Paul talks about doctrine in 1 Timothy 1:3, 4:1, 6, 6:1, 3, and he talks about teaching in 1 Timothy 1:3, 7, 10, 2:7, 12, 3:2, 4:11, 13, 16, 5:17, 6:2.  The density of the repetition suggests those notions were significantly important.  How important?

Look at 6:1.  Notice what Paul is trying to protect by exhorting good behavior, both the name of God and doctrine.  Think of that.  I am not going to suggest the force of Hebrew parallelism here but it is significant that Paul is linking God’s name and sound doctrine.

The implications are stunning but on reflection should not be all that surprising.  Right understanding of who God is, is referred to in systematic theology as “Theology Proper.”  The content of our doctrine, teaching, reflects, or should reflect our understanding of the nature and character of God.  So it stands to reason that the two are linked.

As I suggested in the earlier post, with somewhat backhanded irony, we need to follow what Paul suggests here, we need to pay close attention to the content of what we herald and teach, for ultimately we are, by what we herald, teach, and do, representing the name of God.

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