1 Timothy 1:3-4 ESV
As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
One of the primary charges of a pastor is to defend sound doctrine. In order to defend sound doctrine that we must recognize sound doctrine. In order to recognize sound doctrine we must first encounter sound doctrine; whether by teaching or reading. In order to encounter sound doctrine we must first define sound doctrine.
According to Paul, sound doctrine is not founded on myth, heritage or speculation. Our gospel is not clever, exclusive or mysterious. It isn't reserved for a few, intelligent and genetically blessed individuals. It is a message of reconciliation that is to be shared, stewarded and passed on through faith. Faith is the means of sound doctrine, the goal of sound doctrine, the measure of sound doctrine and the reward of sound doctrine. By faith in God's Truth we will grow, grow strong, grow fruit, grow vineyards of fruit-producing believers and present that growth back to the vine dresser as an offering.
False doctrine produces none of this. False doctrine is arrogant, self-centered, internally focused and presumptuous. False doctrine divides. It draws lines of not only who is in and who is out but also who may be in and who may be out. Falsify doctrine exalts a few at the expense of others. Falsify doctrine discourages true faith and makes impossible what God made possible through faith... to find a way to Him.
My charge as a pastor is to know and discern the truth of God and the doctrine that brings definition to it. My job is to confront and defeat those who would proclaim another Gospel other than Christ crucified on behalf of and in place of the world... the whole world and accessible by faith alone.
The question for me is this... am I defined by sound doctrine? As a follower of Jesus and a pastor entrusted with His Gospel, am I committed to His truth alone? Have I allowed a Gospel of any other kind, variety or shade other than grace alone through faith alone to Colorado my doctrine and ministry?
Secondly, am I willing to take a stand and remain where God has positioned me in order to defend this doctrine? Am I willing to go toe to toe with false teachers, humanistic philosophy and worldly wisdom? Am I willing to stand alone knowing that I alone may be charged to define and defend the precious promises of God which come by faith in His Gospel?
This is Timothy's charge as a pastor. Will I accept it too?
Father, teach me sound doctrine. Teach me to define it, defend it and display it clearly in the ministry you have entrusted to me. Let me be courageous and strong to stand even if it may be alone. I want to be your pastor for this generation. Amen.