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Hold Fast To Sound Doctrine


"Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day!
We're so glad to have all of you here.  
And, if you are joining us today for the first time, I do not believe in coincidence. I believe that it is God, Who has guided you here 
I have said many times, we are living in challenging times. Wickedness seems to be in ascendancy. Governments, seem to be promoting what is taught in the Scripture to be dishonorable. The churches of this day are confused, disoriented; the pastorate has become intimidated, feeling threatened. Many Christians are intimidated, silently anticipating the gathering storm. In the early 1990s, Charles Colson, was an American attorney and political advisor to President Richard Nixon, pondered the next step for our culture when it has rejected its Christian heritage. He speculated that as had happened after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Christians would retreat into pockets of community which he called enclaves of light. They would be surrounded by a hostile culture espousing neo-barbarian values which will have gained complete ascendancy.
Many seminarians, are required to study a systematic theology. The courses required consist of the in depth study of several doctrines that define faith in Christ. However, at any given moment, on my computer, I have at my disposal, more than fifty systematic theologies available to me for my studies, and as many as three hundred texts, which present various studies of a particular theology. Obviously, I believe that theology is important to understanding the Christian faith, if not to all who preach the Word, then assuredly to me. I would, therefore, argue that any understanding of biblical truth is essential for anyone who wishes to teach the Word of God. We must only know the Word of God, but we must also understand it's meaning. However, I believe far greater than any human understanding and knowledge, is the wisdom and discernment, that only comes through the Holy Spirit.

No one should ever come to the understanding, that the Holy Bible, is a textbook of systematic theology! Similarly, though the Apostle Paul was a doctrinal preacher, he did not leave us a systematic theology. In writing Timothy, he wrote in expansive terms; and many of his letters that we have received, likewise, reveal that he painted with a broad brush. We need to therefore, understand, this does not mean that we are left to wonder, in speculation of what is true and what is errant; it does, however, mean that we are responsible to consider the entirety of his writing to understand the truths are revealed.
Therefore, Paul nor any of the godly men, who gave us the holy Scriptures wrote the inspired word of God, out of their imagination. The Apostle Peter states in the second letter written to the believers in the Diaspora, in II Peter 1:16-21, "For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased"— and we ourselves heard this  utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

Many of the contemporary translations have long sought to capture the fire spilling out as Peter wrote. Allow me to refer to one example of a translation from God's Word. “When we apostles told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we didn’t base our message on clever myths that we made up. Rather, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes… First, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. No prophecy ever originated from humans. Instead, it was given by the Holy Spirit as humans spoke under God’s direction."
It is imperative to understand, that Scripture was not crafted out of the wise words or fertile imaginations of mere men. The truthful testimony of those who wrote, was that the Spirit of God, by Divine direction, inspired them to put His words into written form. The Holy Spirit superintended those who wrote the Scripture, so that we have precisely what He intended us to have. The affirmation concerning the origin of Scripture, is confirming that what has been written, is the inerrant Word of the One True and Living God.
Let us bow our heads.
Heavenly Father, 
Father, we thank You for Your Word for us, we are grateful for the wisdom, discernment and clarity, through Your Spirit to understand the Scriptures. Lord, we pray that You would help those who have not come to understand Your Word, to let go of any notion that they can do anything to save themselves. That they would rely on Christ and His shed blood, as the only acceptable, and all sufficient payment for sin. Help them to understand that sin is serious, so much so, that You sent Your Son into the world to die for it, that we might receive His sacrifice by faith in Him. 
Help us to understand, that in becoming a servant to You, it requires moral courage and sometimes physical courage to fight the good fight of faith. Lord, we pray that You will give us that strength and courage, needed for such a task, should the time come. May it all be for Your glory.
We pray this in Christ's precious name. 

Today's Message: Hold Fast To Sound Doctrine
The Apostle Paul knew that Christ is completely trustworthy. That kind of knowledge grows over time, however, the personal knowledge of Jesus Christ is the key to assurance, because you have discovered that He is not only trustworthy but is fully capable of fulfilling His promises. Over the years, I have had a number of people ask, "If I give my life to Christ completely, will be required to serve Him as a missionary in Haiti or Africa." To which, I responded, "No, however, it does mean that you must be willing to do that! Trusting Christ means that you trust that He is good and that He knows what is best for your life. And, that may include becoming a missionary In other words, it means that you are handing Him a blank check for all of your life and trusting Him to fill in the details!" That's what it means to trust Christ. 
In II Peter 3:15-16, Peter makes the case that ignorant and unstable individuals twist Paul’s writings "and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."
Peter equates that twisting these Scriptures leads to destruction, presumably personal destruction, however, I believe that it perhaps also encompasses congregational destruction. I believe that whole heartedly. Twisted the doctrine can only lead to destruction! The point that Peter making is that which Paul had written was of a divine nature and is to be received as Scripture.
In  I Corinthians 14:36-37, Paul wrote "Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment."
You may remember our last message, when in verse 12, Paul wrote "He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day." Beloved, that day is soon coming. Much more quickly than many would like to believe! 
In Acts 17:30-31, Paul teaches "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
While the Bible makes no claim that those who wrote Scripture were inspired; the Bible does however, claim that their writings were inspired. Whether or not Paul was conscious of the Spirit’s involvement at the particular moment he was writing, the Spirit of God was superintending what was written to ensure that it was an accurate account of God’s will and purpose. Nevertheless, it is obvious to me that Paul was conscious that God was working through him as he wrote; God ensured that Paul, as well all who wrote the Scriptures, communicated the mind of God, therefore, what we have is quite literally the mind of God revealed herein.
The remainder of Scripture shows similar evidence that the writers recognized God was at work delivering His word through them as they wrote. These writers did not speak as do modern authors, "I think I am right” or "You might not agree with me, but…" Rather, we read in the Word, the definite affirmations such as, "Thus says the Lord" and "God put His words in my mouth." The writers of Scripture knew that what was being written was inspired by the Lord God. 
This continues all the way through to John's warning in Revelation 22:18-19, which says "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."  
That brings us to our text. Open with me your Bibles to the Book of II Timothy chapter 1 verses 13-14. As we continue in our journey of this practical heart-felt epistle, we are also nearing the final verses of this chapter. 

Allow me to briefly remind you that at the writing of this, the Apostle Paul is sitting in a Roman dungeon, facing death, awaiting the axe that will soon behead him. He realizes that it is only a matter of time. Therefore, this letter was so important for Paul to write, as he is now ready to give his life for Christ. 

I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read, verses 13 through 14, to set the text in our minds. Listen for the Word of our Lord. II Timothy 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. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."
Now, Paul admonishes Timothy to remember the pattern of sound words that were witnessed through the Apostle’s service before the Lord and to the churches. I believe that this admonition continues to  apply to the churches of this day, and especially does it apply to those of us who stand in the sacred desk. Join me as we explore the Paul’s command to discover how we should live in this day. 
The modern day man of God is not responsible to break new ground; he is to precisely follow along the well beaten ancient paths. One grave danger to modern churches is the attempt to find the newest revelation, previously unrevealed to any other teacher of God. We are not to invent new revelations, only bring forth a fresh perspective to a new generation from the tried and true Scriptures that have existed for thousands of years. 
In fact, there is an old aphorism that has continued to guide my studies as well as drive my preaching throughout these years is "If it’s true, it ain’t new; if it’s new, it ain’t true."
 As I believe one must be very cautious about any announcement of that which is new in terms of the Word of God. It is more than presumptuous the man of God to think that far brighter minds than ours, have somehow failed to see what we have discovered, despite the multiplied years of study. In my experience, what is said to be "the new and the novel," turn out to be distortion of truth and the exaltation of man.
I have been richly blessed throughout my life, with good men who have pursued God and His Word. I realize that today, the same opportunity is far more difficult, since charlatans abound on radio, television and in the pulpits. Though of these men that I grew up listening to have since gone on to be with the Lord, their teaching still is able to be heard, yet today.

Adrian Rogers, the Baptist preacher who focus largely upon on fathers that he labeled "drop-out dads." 
Rogers advocated that since the Bible emphasizes the paternal role in a family, the father should be the primary source of teaching in the home.
Charles Stanley, now Pastor Emeritus, who in 1982, Stanley founded In Touch Ministries with the mission to lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local church.  
J. Vernon McGee, a  Presbyterian minister, pastor, Bible teacher, theologian, and radio minister, who in 1967, began broadcasting the Thru the Bible Radio Network program. In a systematic study of each book of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. At the time of his death, the Thru the Bible program aired in 34 languages, however, it has since been translated into over 100 languages. And, can still be heard today.

George Buttrick, the English born, American Christian preacher, Presbyterian pastor, author and lecturer. 

And, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the Welsh preacher, who was a brilliant expositor and fervent Calvinist and pastor of Westminster Chapel. Educated and trained in medicine rather than theology, however, abandoned his medical practice in response to his sense of God’s call. There are numerous other great preachers today, however, these are the ones that immediately come to mind, who have, for many years, influenced my biblical studies. 
However, if at anytime, a preacher turned away from the sound teaching of Jesus Christ our Lord, and it did happen occasionally, I ceased to continue following them. I not only followed their sound teaching, but observed their character, it is our view of God's Word that will largely form our character, molding us into the image of Christ the Lord. Not merely just repeating of sound words from in the Scripture. The command to follow those who have gone before, who have been faithful to the Word, is repeated throughout the Pastoral Letters. 
It is my belief, that ones ability to teach is far more than the possession of good technique; it speaks of fidelity to what is being delivered. Timothy was not merely to ensure that he held fast to these sound words, but was responsible to teach them to others so that they, in turn, would be equipped to communicate them to others; and the faith would therefore be continued indefinitely, even unto this present day.

In I Corinthians 11:1, Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ."  In the simplest terms, Paul is commanding Timothy to hold on to the things that he was taught. He is to retain the truths he witnessed in the Paul’s message. Elders, especially, are to model their ministry after that of godly men,  so Paul is now commanding Timothy, and all elders, to ensure that they hold fast to the message. In that original tongue, the word is a present imperative, indicating that this action is to be ongoing. Timothy’s ministry is to be characterized by continuously checking his message against which he heard from the Apostle Paul, and take immediate action, should begin to deviate from it. The implication is that Paul considered this to be essential, even vital if Timothy was to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. If Timothy embraced it, he would lead into the knowledge of God’s will in every situation that he encountered. Paul points the pattern is the standard by which Timothy is to gauge his service before the Lord and to the people of God. The standard is composed of "sound words."
Paul uses the Greek word "ugiainontōn," which is from the root word "hygiaínō, from which we get our English word hygiene. By implication, there are words that could be used that are unhealthy, they are toxic. Sound words, are healthy, and that which builds and strengthens the body of Christ. The casual dismissal of the Word of God as true and authoritative has no place in the healthy teaching of the vibrant congregation of Christ Jesus.Unfortunately, there is much of this teaching in the modern church today. This was the teaching that was threatening the congregation in Ephesus. Grave error was being perpetuated in Ephesus, just as there is among the faithful of today. 
In Closing..
There will always be some who will be drawn by the sound preaching of the Word when it is delivered with verve. However, that same passion and probity repulses others, when they discover that it challenges them to change, at the level of their own life. It is all well and good to speak of the failing of others, however, when the message begins to expose our own sinful condition, the flesh tends to rebel.
It has been my experience, that many will gravitate to the taste of the sweet nectar of God's Word, only to discover that it leaves a bitter aftertaste to the natural mind.   
There's an old saying often heard among the pastorate, it goes something like this: "I'd like three dollars worth of religion. Give me some teaching that is sweet, that's not too tough, not too bitter, but just right. I need just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted. I don’t want so much religion that I learn to hate covetousness and lust. And I certainly don’t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self-denial and contemplate missionary service in some alien culture. I want ecstasy, not repentance; I want transcendence, not transformation. I would like to be cherished by some nice, forgiving, broad-minded people; but I myself don’t want to love those from different races—especially if they smell. I would like enough gospel to make my family secure and my children well behaved, but not so much that I find my ambitions redirected or my giving too greatly enlarged. I would like about three dollars worth of religion, please." Sounds about right, doesn't it?
Many people attend church, like butterflies, sampling the nectar of various flowers, but never settling in one place for long. Should any of you among us be seeking a new church, may I recommend finding one where the pastor adheres to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. They will likely not deliver their messages verbatim, however, they will ensure that they do not deviate from the pattern we have received. However, if it personal entertainment you seek, that which tickles the ear, such entertainment abounds even more.
Tragically, many churches today appear to doubt that Jesus is the One True God, the only means of salvation. I believe that in order to hold such a deviant view, they must reject the Paul’s assertion, in Romans 1:4, that Jesus Christ was "who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord"  

Titus 2:11-14, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."
The Apostle Paul, held the fundamental truths necessary for faith. Paul believed and taught, the Christ was God, in the flesh. That He was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life and that He presented Himself as a perfect sacrifice for mankind’s sinful condition. Paul believed and taught that Jesus Christ conquered death, rising from the dead, presenting Himself alive to those He chose and that He ascended into Heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Paul also taught that all who have faith in Christ, the Risen Lord, will receive forgiveness of sin and have new life.
This my beloved, IS Faith!

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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