“But speak the things which become sound doctrine.”
The servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, delegated to preach the power of God unto salvation, is not giving a pep talk to the graduating class of seminary students on their way into the world to fleece the flocks of goats. He is not dispatching hoards of anxious young people on their first ‘missionary trip’ and he is definitely not giving instructions of admonitions and exhortations to enhance the character and commend that nature of Adam in the church.
In a most tender and loving address, Paul speaks to his son after a common faith. Not that it is common in Adam for all men have not faith. Adam was not created with faith and it is not inherent in his nature. He cannot understand faith, he cannot prove it to his limited and flawed intellect, his life is not lived by faith and therefore it cannot be passed on to his progeny from generation to generation. Adam is a natural man. He is of the earth and he occupies himself in the attention to the needs of the flesh, the satisfying of carnal desires and the pursuit of what he understands as happiness. He naturally believes in things he cannot explain as mythologies and superstitions, he uses the limited resources that he has to evaluate conditions and believes them appropriate and he places blind trust in others to help him live a peaceful life. He is not equipped to know what faith is, he has not the ability to command it and he is incapable of receiving it for it is spiritual.
Faith is a gift of God that He bestows upon His children. It is the evidence of the indwelling of the Spirit of God who bears witness of eternal life from faith to faith. Since it is of the Spirit of God then it is singular and consistent in the Godhead. There can no more be two faiths than there can be two gods to rule and command. This common faith is to all the children of grace who have been born from above for the fullness of the Godhead dwells within them and they in Him. It is a spiritual discernment of the sovereign nature of the all mighty creator of all things who took on the form of a servant and became a partaker of flesh and blood. It is a family of fellow travelers who dwell in earthen vessels and endure the contradiction of sin against themselves. These all know, by the teaching of the Spirit of God, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that the federal head of this mystical family has endured the same temptations that are common to all of Adam’s seed, and has overcome them by the power of His will. They are given a peace that passes all understanding which cannot be explained by the logic, words or reasoning of Adam. This is the same will of God that states that NONE of His children should perish but that all should come to repentance and be delivered (2 Pt. 3:9).
This common faith is a complete and unquestionable assurance, by the testimony of that finished work, that the entire family has been delivered from the sentence of death as demanded by the Law of God. They have also been delivered from the present evil generation and the judgment of God according to the deeds of the flesh and they have been delivered from the bondage of corruption of the body of this death. Though for the time of the habitation, it does not yet appear to be so, yet as sons of God, as testified by the Word of God, which cannot lie, they have been risen up together with Him in His resurrection and are seated together with Him in the throne of God.
Faith is also the manner in which the children of the King walk the paths assigned unto them as they sojourn in a weary land wherein the water is bitter and the bread cannot be eaten. The dainties of the field of this world cannot supply the needs of the Spiritual man for they are temporal and perish with the use. These are suitable for Adam and are common to him. Those born from above live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God, which is the water of life which flows from His throne and the bread of life. This is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. They hunger and thirst after righteousness and are satisfied in the provisions of Jehovah. He has given to each of His children a measure of this common faith commensurate to the good pleasure of His will. There is nothing lacking and no excess for as the evils of the day are sufficient to the purpose so is the grace of God, through faith, sufficient for the trials and tribulations which He has deemed necessary for His Beloved family.
This common faith is not a theological dissertation based upon the ancient writings and opinions of man. Theology is mans attempt to study God in what he understands as science yet God has placed this desire for the pursuit of knowledge in the mind of man so that he cannot find out the things of God or His works from the beginning. This science is based upon postulates, theorems and proofs so as to set forth a comprehensive and systematic presentation of who God is, what He does and how Adam can better understand Him. It is more plausible that the ass which Balaam rode could stand in the universities of this world and give a comprehensive lecture on the mysteries of the universe than for the natural man to comprehend the minutest detail of the perfection of the Holiness of God.
The ways of God are not the ways of man and the thoughts of man could never imagine the simplicity of his Creator, therefore this common salvation is not of man, not of the will of man nor of this world. Common faith is in a common deliverance from a common situation by a common Deliverer. Common deliverance is that common salvation by the Anointed Salvation of Jehovah, Jesus. He came, as the Lamb of God, to take away the sin and to save His people from their sin, which is common in Adam. He came having His seed with Him, that seed that should serve Him and be accounted for His generation; He made a complete and final atonement (covering) for sin and cleansed His people from all unrighteousness. This is sound doctrine that is not of mans theology and is a true and faithful saying (I Tim.1:15).
This sound doctrine is an essential ingredient in the daily walk of the pilgrims and fellow travelers. It is the like precious faith once delivered to the saints to those who are born from above who walk by the faith of the Son of God. These do not understand the confusion and complexity of Adam’s theology and cannot live thereby. Sound doctrine is taught of the Spirit as the children grow in the grace and knowledge of His will. It reveals the corruption and weakness of the flesh and as the light of the gospel shines brighter and brighter it manifests the magnitude of the complete depravity of the natural man. This serves to intensify the warfare within as the subjugation to the vanity causes the creature to groans within waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. It also reveals the desires of the inward man upon the homeland of Jerusalem which is from above. The longing to depart this habitation and to be clothed upon with that tabernacle not made with hands, to be delivered from the body of this death and to see the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world are the affections of the redeemed of the Lord.
Because these are all common to the strangers scattered in all the nations of this world who have this hope of glory in the inner man, who is renewed daily, they love one another. Being born from above they are all from the same homeland and being born of God they are all brethren in Him. They speak the same language and sing the same song of Moses the song of deliverance. Therefore they are stewards of God, not self-willed and soon angered. They love the hospitality of those of the pasture as they hear that pure language spoken of how great things their God has done. Though they may only be given to sit together for a moment yet they hold fast the faithful Word as they have been taught. They are identified to all men as those taught of the Lord because they have love one toward another and they keep the perfect law of God after the spiritual man.
The students of Adam’s theology think that sound doctrine is a good logic factor, followed by irrefutable apologetics based upon a three point hermeneutic outline. These are not taught of the Spirit.
Sound doctrine is instruction and learning that is in good health. If it is for the health of the flesh then the teaching and learning is of the flesh but this is unprofitable to the Spirit. If, however, these be instructions in righteousness which nourish the soul that the man of God might be furnished throughout, then they are for the health and welfare of the inhabitants of Zion. The servant of God had been dispatched on assignment to acknowledge the truth which is after godliness unto those who have ears to hear. These have been quickened together with Christ and have been granted to recognize the sure sound of that certain trumpet.
This is the way, the truth and the life, Christ in you the hope of glory. Speaking this sound doctrine is not the production of air flowing across vibrating vocal cords in the anatomy of Adam. It is the testimony of one delivered and the hope that is within. To the world this is absolute foolishness. The sons of Adam cannot understand the simplicity of the gospel and they stumble at the truth. Since this truth is of God, then it is as singular as His Word and His being. It transcends time and space and is equally applied to every situation and circumstance. Adam perceives truth as socially interpreted and situationally applied because his ways are carnal. The way of Jehovah God is eternal and consistent. The life is eternal unto all who have been born of that eternal incorruptible seed and the truth is commensurate to the way and the life. These are of good health to the household of the redeemed and common to all who dwell in earthen vessels afore prepared unto glory.
Being sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience and behaving as becomes holiness is the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22f). Speaking of the things that become sound doctrine does not instill these attributes in a person any more than they actuate them. These are characteristics of the nature within and like the torches in the empty clay pitchers prepared those pots to be broken (Judg. 7), so the Light within the earthen vessels has a direct effect upon them. Even though they are completely ignorant and passive of the effect of the Light upon the body of this death, yet they walk in the Way. This Way is the willing obedience to the statutes and commandments of God that have been written upon the heart of the new man. The Spirit of God, dwelling in the children of grace causes His people to walk this path by the common faith of Jesus Christ and to proclaim the Truth to all those all who inquire about the hope that is within (I Pt. 3:15).
Speaking the things which become sound doctrine is not for the theologian, the professor or the wise of this world. It is for those who have the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus Christ and who know the power of His resurrection. It is for the poor and afflicted people who are in the world but not of the world. It is the song of the brotherhood of companions in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:9). It is the song of the redeemed and praise unto God. It calls to remembrance that they are strangers and sojourners in a weary land and gives a glimpse of the glory to come. All those who suffer these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, are given a sweet taste of the heavenly things to come, the eternal weight of glory that cannot be compared to anything of this world. They long for the final deliverance when the tabernacle of this dwelling is dissolved and the sons of God are made manifest.
Sound healthful speech of the instructions and principles of perfect holiness cannot be condemned and it puts to shame those who are contrary. It is an exhortation to the wise unto honourable and useful assurance and conviction because they have been born from above and are adorned in the doctrine of God the Savior. This adornment is the righteousness of the saints which the Bride has been granted to be arrayed in for Her Beloved. It cannot be tarnished, damaged or discarded. It cannot be attained by research, ownership cannot be transferred and it is not for sale. It is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ to His people. It teaches them;
“...that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, they should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority” (Titus 2:12-15).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 7, 2013