Class Notes: 1/21/2009

Conclusion of the mandate to beware of unbelief Heb 3:12 ; Start of 2Tim 1:13 where we have the mandate to retain sound doctrine


We are discussing the warning for believers to" Beware" found in Heb 3:12; where the Greek word "blepo" is used in the imperative mood.

It is a command for believers "to see" or to "watch out for" to "beware" or to "pay attention" or to "be on guard" against having an evil unbelieving heart or stream of consciousness.

Heb 3:12; "Take care", brethren, (Church age believers today) that there not be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. Literally, to "keep standing off from the living God".

The verb translated "falls away" is the Greek word "aphistemi" that when used intransitively means to stand off from, to withdraw from, to leave or to go into apostasy because of unbelief.

We have seen that unbelief is resisting the work of God the Holy Spirit who is convicting both believers and unbelievers regarding the next step God's plan for their spiritual life.

Since believers are warned against unbelief and we saw that the way unbelief is overcome is from listening to the word of God Rom 10:17; so we started a study on faith.

Last time we left off with the idea that continuous persistent PMA of Bible Doctrine leads the believer to occupation with TLJC and when the believer is focused on TLJC and his words then it does not matter how much the believer has they are happy not because of the provision, but because the Lord is the believer's security, and if the prosperity comes or goes, the believer is still happy because the believer is "in the Lord" and he will never leave us or forsake us. Rom 8:32-35; Heb 13:5 ;

Because of this, the believer may have very little in the way of possessions but they still have the same peace, the same happiness and the same blessing and confident expectation from TLJC for their situation in time.

Paul described this principle in Phil 4:11-12;

The word that is translated "content" is the Greek word "autarkes" means sufficient for oneself, strong enough or possessing enough to need no aid or support; it means to be independent of external circumstances and refers to true Christian happiness.

This is a happiness does not depend upon possessions or the lack of them, it is a happiness that does not depend upon social relationships, or lack of them, it is a happiness that does not depend upon my economic status, or what other people think, or what circumstances in life happen to exist.

This word indicates that the believer's happiness is the TLJC, his person and his Word or thinking. This is possible because the believer has absorbed His Word, and applied it to every situation, as the believer has appropriated the Lord's provision in the filling of the Spirit, they have discovered that there is absolutely nothing in this life that can bother them or remove the wonderful security and peace that God provides.

"Autarkes" also means to be contented with one's niche in life, with one's means, even though it may only be God's promise of provision for one's basic needs in this life.

It means to be strong enough or possessing enough to need no aid or support. In the spiritual realm, autarkes means to be spiritually self-sustained and to become sufficient enough to be in need of no one else.

The believer with this thinking functions as Paul instructs in 1Thes 4:9-12;

Paul uses "autarkes" in 1Tim 6:6; where it is also translated "contentment". The word translated "godliness" is the Greek word "eusebeia" that refers to the believer's spiritual life. We have seen David's spiritual life in Psa 27:1,3-5; where he was occupied with TLJC and meditated in his tabernacle.

The Spiritual Life that God has provided is a means of great profit when accompanied by contentment. "Eusebeia" means that the believer is in the place where God can train them, that is, residence, function, and momentum inside the spiritual life that God has provided.

This is a means of great profit because it is the beginning of the development of true contentment and the resultant inner happiness, becoming occupied with Christ, and having personal love for God. So contentment refers to the perfect happiness that begins in spiritual self-esteem, continues in spiritual autonomy, and is matured in spiritual maturity. by the "goodness of TLJC"

But as David says Psa 27:13 unless I had believed the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living I would have dispaired.

"The goodness of the Lord in the land of the living "is the gracious provision that one receives from TLJC while one is still alive on this earth not after they are in heaven in a place of no more sorrow or tears....so this "goodness" is conveyed to the believer during their physical life in time.

What David is referring to is the reality that not only is the believer's life after physical death going to be wonderful beyond description as Paul says in Phil 1:21; " to live is Christ," and "to die is gain"

Believers are going to despair and be unhappy with or without material prosperity, unless they believe so they can see the goodness, or the gracious provision of the Lord in the land of the living.

This gracious provision of the Lord is only perceived "by means of doctrine" or "by means of faith" when they "Wait for the Lord" Psa 27:14;

The word that is translated "wait" in this passage is the Hebrew word, "kawvah." that also means to "bind together"

When the believer, starts out in doctrine , they start out like a single strand of string or a thread that is fairly weak and easily broken.

But as the believer studies and learns more doctrine additional threads are added. With each successive doctrine they become a little bit stronger and just a little bit bigger.

When this is done consistently and persistently day after day, the believer's faith is built up doctrine-by-doctrine The more doctrine that is learned, the more promises can be claimed and rationales created. As God keeps weaving these strands together in the believer's soul their spiritual life that started as a small single strand becomes a large, strong rope that can't be broken easily if at all.

This is how God develops faith in the believer.

The word "wait" is one of the greatest words in the Hebrew language for trusting.

It means that one starts out as a little strand, but as one continues to weave God's promises and doctrines that are provided in God's Word that are the basis of faith together in their soul, this results in the believer becoming in their thinking like a strong and unbreakable rope that has been woven from many small strands.

From this the believer develops absolute confidence in their temporal security, a security that comes from the continuous application of faith that David describes in Psa 27:14;

It is impossible for the believer to mature apart from the development of this faith. One of the characteristics of Christian maturity is a strong faith. Eph 6:10;NET

There is no short cut to this kind of faith. It requires consistent and persistent function in each of the activities that we have discussed.

The trite expression "you just have to believe" or "you just have to have faith" or "keep the faith baby" that is often used as a panacea, is absolutely meaningless unless these procedures for the PMA of Bible Doctrine are followed and utilized.

There is no magic formula for the development of a strong faith. It simply requires consistent daily nourishment from God's Word, the exercise of the "faith-rest technique," the filling and mentorship of God of the Spirit, the pressure of suffering and occupation with TLJC.

This entire process contributes to the development of the faith that goes from a grain of mustard seed to a power that can remove mountains and enables the believer to fulfill the mandate to take care not to have an evil unbelieving heart. Heb 3:12;

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The next mandate of the PPOG for the church age that we will examine is found in 2Tim 1:13; where we have the mandate to retain the "standard of sound words" or doctrine and in verse 14 we have the mandate to " Protect" that doctrine.

In verse 13 the word translated "retain" in the NASB, "hold fast" in the KJV and "keep" in the NIV is the second person singular present active imperative of the Greek word "echo" that means to " keep on having" the present tense signifies action in progress or in a state of persistence, the active voice shows that the believer performs the action of the verb and the imperative mood is a command.

In verse 14 the word translated "guard" in the NASB and NIV and "keep" in the KJV is the second person singular aorist active imperative of the Greek word "phylasso"

From the TDNT volume 9 page 235
The verb phylasso comes from phylax "watchman" and denotes the activity or office of a watchman whose job is "to protect" those who are asleep from harm during the night. It refers to deliberate and conscious "watching," "being on the alert, or" to guard. In Hellenistic Usage. The term finds a use for guard duty, also for God's keeping, for keeping deposited goods, and in legal contracts.

So we have the mandate for the believer and especially the communicator of Bible Doctrine to hold on to and to guard "the standard of sound words"

The word translated "standard" in the NASB is translated "Pattern" in the KJV and NIV is the Greek word "hypotyposis"

TDNTA Page 1193
Paul is an example or model to the church in Phil 3:17; and 2Thes 3:9;. The church is a model in 1Thes 1:7; The thought here is not that of an ideal but of a model that makes an impress because God has molded it, and that is effective through faith. Word and deed bear witness to the life of faith that summons to faith and is grasped in faith. The more life is molded by the word, the more it becomes a " typos". It cannot be imitated, but is lived out in freedom by faith.

We see from this that "Example" or "Pattern" is a better translation than "standard" .

So we have the mandate not only for doctrine, but also for it to be taught accurately and for it to be guarded especially by communicators.

The following passages also address the importance of sound doctrine whereby the plan of God is revealed to the people of God so that they will not be led astray.

2 Tim.1:13-14; Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

1 Tim 6:3; If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness.

2Tim 4:1-4; I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.

Titus 1:9; holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

1 Tim 4:6-7; In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.

1Tim 1:9-10; realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

Paul concluded his list of those who the law was meant for in verse 10 with an all-inclusive reference to any behavior which is contrary to sound teaching.

The word translated "teaching" here is didaskalia, that means "teaching" or "that which is taught," It is also translated as "doctrine". It is used seven times in this letter 1Tim 1:10;1Tim 4:1,6,13,16; 1Tim 5:17; and 1Tim 6:1;

We see from this that It is only through the Bible and its revelation of TLJC that people can come to know God and learn about his provision of righteousness, for salvation, for deliverance from spiritual death and the power of the OSN, and for the unique spiritual life of the church age.

In Romans 6:17; Paul wrote, "But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form (tupos, "form, figure, pattern,") of teaching (or doctrine) to which you were committed."

Paul had just said in Rom 6:14;, "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace."

Though the Law pointed forward to the coming Messiah as God's solution for sin, the Law's primary purposes was to show man to be a pathological sinner and irrecoverably so apart from a Savior 1Tim 1:8-10; Rom 7:7;)

The Law could command, but could not enable. It did not give justification or enable capacity for righteousness. These can only come by knowing and responding by grace through faith alone to the person and work of TLJC as it is presented in the gospel. Gal 3:22-25;

Knowing God and relating to Him in the spiritual life involves an intellectual comprehension of the truth, as well as a personal response to that truth by grace and through faith.

This order cannot be bypassed. Faith is worthless unless it is based on truth, on that which is able, willing, and available to deliver and TLJC is that truth. John 14:6;

All good relationships must be based upon both a factual and a personal knowledge of the one loved. It is the same with knowing and loving God.

A relationship with God must begin with the intellectual knowledge of who He is, and then that knowledge matures into a deeper personal understanding of God in life.

God manifests Himself to us in all aspects of our lives weather we are on a mountain peak, a plateau, in a valley, or in a swamp.

Knowing God and experiencing Him in the salvation that He offers us in TLJC is not void of experience but legitimate experience is a response that is always based on knowing and understanding the truth that is contained in sound words of Scripture.

Given the mandate to hold to and protect sound doctrine it is useful to note some principles concerning this doctrine that we are to hold on to and protect.


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