The Spirit of the Charge — Religiously

Religiously. Finally, he is to proclaim the Word religiously. “Preach the Word . . . with all longsuffering and doctrine” (v. 2, KJV, RKJV). [Emphasis added] The word, “doctrine” (Gk. didache), means “instruction (the act or the matter)” or what is taught.263 It is elsewhere translated “instruction” (NIV, NASB) or “teaching” (ESV, NKJV, RSV, YLT). It means “‘teaching,’ ‘instruction’ as a fact.” The stress of the New Testament is “on God’s teaching through Jesus and the apostles.”264

The Greek for “‘doctrine’ here is didache, but in 2 Tim. 3:16, didascalia. ‘Didascalia’ is what one receives; ‘didache’ is what is communicated.”265 It carries the idea of thorough, systematic teaching of the Word.266 Thus, young Timothy must reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all patience and with all doctrine. This doctrine refers to all that his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice had taught him (2 Tim. 1:5). It is “the standard of sound words” which Paul had taught Timothy (2 Tim. 1:13-14, NASB). It is found in the “the sacred writings,” which he had known since childhood (2 Tim. 3:15, RSV). It refers to the whole counsel of God in the whole Bible (Acts 20:27).

Like Timothy, today’s young leaders tend to become impatient with people. They skip diligent instruction. Some try out the latest marketing methods in order to get more results. This is how the world works, but not the Spirit of God. God’s method is the diligent preaching of the Word in all patience and systematic instruction. It must be a doctrinal, instructional ministry. This is why the apostle Paul required candidates for pastoral leadership to be both standing firm in “sound doctrine” (Titus 1:9) and “skillful in teaching” (1 Tim. 3:2).267

I know of a megachurch pastor who lacks in expository preaching. Yet what he lacks, he compensates by inviting biblical teachers to do the job through year round seminars in his church network. Another pastor preaches only once a month, allowing other more expositional speakers to speak on other Sundays. At least, such measures ensure a Bible teaching ministry in their churches.

The only biblical ministry is ministry by the Book. The results are God’s results. Timothy, Guzik well notes, “was to hold up the word of God against the lives of his people and let God do the work.”268

Every Pastor should plan a schedule of teaching the whole Bible. Every church should ask him to do it. We have not yet tackled the whole breath of God’s completed revelation in Scripture. Let us teach the Bible.

263 Strong, Strong’s Greek Dictionary in Power Bible CD.
264 TDNT, s. v. “didache” by K. H. Rengstorf.
265 Jamieson, Fausset, Brown, JFBC in Power Bible CD.
266 Stott, 2 Timothy, 108.
267 Stott, 2 Timothy, 108.
268 Guzik, “2 Timothy 4,” Commentaries. Cited __ Online: com/guz/view.cgi?book=2ti&chapter=004.


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