Take Heed Unto The Doctrine
By O. F. Fauss
Many people today do not want to hear a preacher say anything about doctrine. But anyone who preaches the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will have to preach the doctrine of the Bible. In the text, Paul exhorted Timothy to take heed, first unto himself, and then unto the doctrine, not a doctrine. It is estimated that today there are about fourteen hundred different sects, creeds or denominations. But in spite of this there is still only one doctrine of the Bible. Thank God for preachers who are not afraid to declare this doctrine in the face of men and devils — the doctrine which if one believes and obeys, will bring deliverance to his soul that has been in bondage for a lifetime.
Paul also exhorted another young minister by the name of Titus, saying, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). This exhortation proves that there is a doctrine that is sound, something that has a sound foundation.
This doctrine which we preach from God’s holy Word is founded upon the surest foundation in all the world—it is built upon the foundation of the apostles a n d prophets, and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. This can never be moved. The very gates of hell shall not prevail against it. All the skeptics, agnostics, modernists and infidels, with all their own ideas of human reasonings, logic and science, combined with all the mixture of their supposed-to-be highly cultured minds, have never shaken this foundation. Some people say that wee have no foundation to what we preach, but this is not the case.
The gospel we preach was starting on the day of Pentecost, and the Devil has been busy for nearly two thousand years since, trying to overthrow it. But it stands now, just as it did when God commanded that this wonderful message of repentance and remission of sins in His name be proclaimed among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Paul wrote to the Romans, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17, 18). The doctrine preached to the Romans by Paul, when obeyed from the heart, had a wonderful effect. Obedience to “that form of doctrine” made them free from sin. It is wonderful to be made free from sin. Any person who will “fall out” with a doctrine that will do that for a man is all wrong.
In Galatians 1:15, 16 the Apostle Paul says, “But-when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” Paul states that he did not have time to go somewhere and “learn” how to preach. But God always had a message for him to preach. Perhaps he had not much theology, but he certainly possessed abundant “kneeology.”
Again this same apostle declares, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11, 12). He was not ashamed of what he preached, for it was the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believed (Romans 1:16).
The Apostle Paul preached the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible doctrine that will put a person into the kingdom of God. Not only did Paul preach this doctrine, but all of the apostles and preachers of the early church preached the same thing. Thank God that we still have preachers who are preaching the same message that was proclaimed in the early days, as recorded in the Book of Acts. And the best part of it is that it is having the same effect upon those who believe and obey it. Though some do not believe it, it is nevertheless true. Their unbelief does not change the doctrine of God’s Word.
To the Thessalonians Paul wrote, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance . . .” (I Thessalonians 1:5). The gospel preached in the early days was not with great words of man’s wisdom, or with lofty expressions, but in power and in the Holy Ghost. There was no need to be mistaken about it, because it also came in much assurance. Verse six declares, “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord . . .” To follow the Lord, one must follow the apostles. To deny the words and preaching of the apostles, is to deny the Word of God. To refuse to hear the apostles is to refuse the voice of the Holy Ghost. I Corinthians 4:16 also teaches that we are commanded to follow the apostles.
Paul preached the same doctrine everywhere he went. The doctrine he preached at Corinth was the same that he preached at Rome. It was the preaching of this same doctrine that caused him and Silas to be imprisoned at Philippi, after receiving thirty-nine stripes. His doctrine had not changed. The Philippian church was established upon the same doctrine, by hearing 2 the same gospel.
The fine, young evangelist, Timothy, was commanded to “. . . charge some that they teach no other doctrine. Where was this charge to be given? At Ephesus, where Paul besought Timothy to abide for this very purpose. Now let us find what doctrine was preached at Ephesus. And if this doctrine proves to be contrary to anyone’s theory or way of thinking, let that one be honest with God and himself, and believe the doctrine of the New Testament—the doctrine that will save those who believe.
Read the report of the first revival ever held at Ephesus, by the Apostle Paul. You will find this report in Acts 19:1-6. “And it cameto pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” Thus we see that the first text of the Apostle Paul was on the baptism of the Holy Ghost. “. . . And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether of there be any Holy Ghost.” They had never heard that there was such an experience for them. The next question the apostle asked them was concerning their baptism. Their answer revealed that they were disciples of John the Baptist. Paul told them that John had preached that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost. After hearing this wonderful message, “. . . they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
The foregoing events occurred only twenty-two years after the day of Pentecost. For twenty-two years the doctrine of Pentecost had not changed. The message proclaimed by the Apostle Peter at Pentecost was still Paul’s message at Ephesus. About ten years later Paul instructed Timothy to charge those at Ephesus that they preach no other doctrine. He also told Timothy that, by taking heed to his doctrine, he would both save himself, and those who head him.
We have proven that Paul preached the same gospel wherever he went. To the Galatians, who were believing something else, he flatly stated that there was no other gospel. He was so sure that he preached the gospel, the only doctrine of salvation, that he said, “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” (Galatians 1:8). Paul wanted the preachers and saints of his day to know that there was only one way. He was bold to preach them the true doctrine; he was doubly bold to defend what he preached. He knew that, later, the true doctrine would be denied, so he said in verse 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.”
There is no other doctrine or gospel today. Therefore, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine.
The Above Material Was Published By The Christian Newspaper, March 2002, Page Eight. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.