“THE FORM OF SOUND WORDS” From Paul
2 Timothy 1:13-14 Hold fast THE FORM OF SOUND (Gk., hygiaino, UNCORRUPTED) WORDS, which thou hast heard of me (Paul), in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing (Gk., kalos, valuable and virtuous thing) which was committed unto thee keep BY the HOLY GHOST (SPIRIT) which DWELLETH IN US.
Paul’s epistles are set forth in the divinely arranged “form of sound (uncorrupted ) words” that are designed to provide “Godly edifying (building up)” (1Tim 1:4), which results in true spiritual establishment and maturity.
1 Timothy 1:3-6 As I (Paul) besought thee (Timothy) to abide still at Ephesus… that thou mightest charge some that they TEACH NO OTHER DOCTRINE, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than GODLY EDIFYING (building up) which is in faith: so do. 5 Now the end of the commandment is charity (love) out of a pure (single, unmixed) heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned (genuine faith): 6 From which SOME HAVING SWERVED (erred) HAVE TURNED ASIDE (set aside the sound doctrine) unto vain jangling (random talk);
Paul’s fatherly instructions for the Members of “the body of Christ”
1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I (Paul) obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I (Paul) commend you to God, and to THE WORD OF HIS GRACE, which is able to BUILD YOU UP, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified (set apart).
Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU,
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of (concerning) Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Ephesians 4:12 For the PERFECTING (COMPLETION) OF THE SAINTS, for the work of the ministry, for the EDIFYING (BUILDING UP) OF THE BODY OF CHRIST:
The Design of Edification (the building-up) is clearly set forth in Rom 16:25-26 as a three-fold process.
Romans 16:25-26 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
1. Paul’s “my gospel” – Our foundation and orientation toward GRACE!
2. The Mystery – Our fullness and orientation toward the ultimate goal is seen in the purpose of “the Mystery,” which that concerns heaven for the “body of Christ,” and the earth for believing
3. The Scriptures of the prophets – the body of Christ’s orientation toward Glory in Heaven, and
’s toward the Kingdom on earth. Israel
The Nine Pauline Church Epistles are Arranged to Follow this Design in the Tri-fold Pattern of 4+3+2.
4 - Romans, 1Cor, 2 Cor, and Galatians – concern Christ & the Cross 3 - Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians – concern Christ and the Church
2 – 1st & 2nd Thessalonians – concern Christ and His Coming
The Final Four Pauline Epistles (1Timothy thru Philemon) are known as the Pastoral Epistles.
These focus on the local church – that is, living the Grace Life together with others in order “to do the work of the ministry.” In these Pastoral Epistles we have;
- Christ & the Congregation
- Our fellowship – our orientation to Godliness
There is an underlying arrangement in Paul’s epistles encoded with the order of “doctrine, reproof, and correction,” exactly according to 2Tim 3:16 below.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, for instruction in righteousness:
- Doctrine -
- Reproof -
- Correction -
DOCTRINE: ROMANS - Focuses upon “The Cross” – As Our Foundation of Grace Orientation
The Four Foundation Principles of Grace:
1. Romans chps 1-5 – Justification by GRACE – answers the question – “How can a man be just with God?”
Verses 1-3 CONDEMNATION of ALL MANKIND – “none righteous no not one”(Rom 3:11, 23)
V3: JUSTIFICATION through the redemption in Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24)
V4: FAITH is the only issue (Rom 4:5)
V5: SECURITY is our present possession (Rom 5:1-5…) Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope (confident expectation) of the glory of God.
2. Romans chapters 6-8 – Living Under Grace – answers the question “How then shall we live?”
Chp 6 – OUR POSITION “IN CHRIST” (Rom 6:3-4)
Chp 7 – The IMPOTENCE of the LAW… VERSUS the present PROGRAM of the GRACE of HIS “SPIRIT OF LIFE” (Rom 7:17-8:2)
Chp 8 – The NEW PARADIGM of HIS INDWELLING SPIRIT OF LIFE as the POWER for RIGHTEOUS LIVING (Rom 8:2)
3. Romans 9-11 – The Dispensation of Grace distinguished – answers question “What happened to
Chp 9 -
Israel’s past – God is not unrighteous to set aside for a time. (Rom 9:2-5 having the promises and lineage) Israel
Chp 10 –
’s present status – Why Israel has “fallen” (While we see in Rom 10:12 we are “under grace” where there is “no difference… Jew or Gentile.” Israel
Chp 11 –
Israel’s future – God is not through with (Rom 11:27-32). He will be faithful to Israel ’s “calling” to reign on earth in the Kingdom to bless all the nations on earth. Israel
4. Romans 12-16 – Walking “by Grace” – answers the question “Is there any practical advice for daily life?
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (understanding), that ye may prove (discern) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect (complete), will of God.
REPROOF: 1 & 2 Corinthians
Focuses upon Behavior that is disloyal to and unworthy of the Roman’s Truth
- Disorder in practice – 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
- Cross as the Issue - 1 Corinthians 1:18 the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (See 1Cor 1:10, 3:3, 5:1-2, 6:15, 19-20, 14:23, etc.)
- Man centered
CORRECTION: Galatians – Went back to Belief that departs from the Paul’s Sound Romans Truth
Error in DOCTRINE:
Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Galatians 3:1-3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Galatians 5:1-4 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
The Cross is the Issue
Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Galatians are Wrongly Moses/Law Centered
Focuses upon “the church, which is His body” (Eph 1:22b-23a)
Our fullness comes to us through our orientation to God’s GOAL in forming the unprophesied “body of Christ.”
The accent is on the “one body” of which Christ is “the Head.”
Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
- Ephesians Chps 1-3 - Our Wealth “In Christ”
Our Calling, Our Blessing, Our Standing In Christ
- Ephesians Chps 4-6 – Our Walk “In Christ”
Our Conduct, Our Behavior, Our State in the local church
- Ephesians 6 – Our Warfare In Christ
Our Conflict, Our
, Our Soldiering Battle
Disunity in Behavior is addressed
Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation (manner of living) be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Philippians 2:1-4 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things (not narcissistic), but every man also on the things of others (be other centered).
Note the accent above is upon being of Oneness of Mind & Spirit.
Error in Doctrine: “NOT Holding the HEAD” (2:19)
Colossians 2:19 And not holding (to) the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (
’s law is not applicable) Israel
Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility (will worship or asceticism) and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, Colossians 2:20-23 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (The Laws such as…) (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew (a display) of (apparent) wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Accent on “the HEAD” of the “Body of Christ”:
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
DOCTRINE: 1& 2 THESSALONIANS
The focus is the coming of Christ:
Relating to our Future and our orientation to our participation in manifesting the Glory of God.
- 1 Thessalonians references the Rapture (catching away) of the church in each chapter. (1:10, 2:19, 3:13, 4:15-17, 5:23)
- 2 Thessalonians focuses on the Second Coming of Christ to earth, with one of the most detailed descriptions of the Anti-Christ in Chapter 2.
Reproof & Correction: There will be no need for Reproof & Correction after the Rapture so no further Church Epistles follow.
The PASTORAL EPISTLES:
The focus is on the local Congregation – our Fellowship and orientation to Godliness (God manifested in the flesh).
- 1 Timothy – Protect the Doctrine – 1 Tim 1:3 “teach no other doctrine”
- 2 Timothy – Preach the Doctrine – 2 Tim 4:2 “Preach the word…”
- Titus – Practice the Doctrine - Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
- Philemon – Personalize the Doctrine – Philemon 1:8 “forgive” and “receive” others.
The Divine Design for Edification is so embedded into Paul’s epistles that the only way to miss it is to fail to read them altogether.
- Romans begins with 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
- Ephesians, by contrast, begins with “the mystery” previously “hidden,” (not prophesied).
Ephesians 3:3-9 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was NOT made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
- Romans ends with its one reference to “the mystery.” Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of THE MYSTERY, which was kept secret since the world began,
Ephesians take up were Romans leaves off and expounds upon “the mystery.”
Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Ephesians 3:5 …in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles (Paul, Barnabas, Silas, etc) and prophets (speakers) by the Spirit;
- Romans begins with MAN and his plight as a sinner (Chps 1-3) – our lowest point, “none righteous no not one,” “all have sinned and come short.”
Ephesians begins with GOD, His eternal purpose, and intent through the saved (1:1-14) – our highest glory.
- Romans explains Paul’s “my gospel”
Ephesians expounds upon and develops “the mystery” program.
Spiritual Progress is Demonstrated
- Romans builds on our co-death and co-resurrection with Christ - Romans 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized (positioned) into Jesus Christ were baptized (positioned) into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism (being positioned) into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
- Corinthians & Galatians demonstrate our “walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Galatians 5:25 If (since) we live (have life) in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
- Ephesians has believers “seated in heavenly places.” (ascension).
- Philippians reminds us “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philip 3:20)
- Colossians has us “hid with Christ in God” (
- Thessalonians sees the members of the body of Christ “caught up (raptured) together with Him” (1Thes 4:17).