| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 7 - Page 54 of 133 Index | Zoom | |
The Apostle PAUL
"Doctrine, Manner of Life, Purpose," (II Tim. 3: 10).
There is a well known and oft-quoted trio of graces, "faith, hope and love". The three
items that form our title are not quite so well known, but are in everyway as noteworthy.
The Apostle in this second epistle to Timothy is sending his final message. Apostolic
inspiration apart, we should expect that words written under such solemn circumstance as
those in which this epistle was written, would be of weight and of importance.
The A.V. reads, "But thou hast fully known my doctrine," etc., but the margin gives as
an alternative, "thou hast been a diligent follower of my doctrine," etc. In I Tim. 4: 6
the same word is rendered "attained", where the context is in some ways parallel with
II Tim. 3: It will be seen that the words of I Tim. 4: 16, "Take heed unto thyself and
unto the doctrine", link together the "doctrine and manner of life". Timothy is urged to
"fully follow", and what power accompanies the exhortation of one whose doctrine,
manner of life, and purpose are so harmonious and true.
It is not possible, in the space we have, even to outline the Apostle's "doctrine", to
exhibit the many blessed and in any detail his "purpose", yet our studies along these lines
have led us to see that his doctrine, his manner of life, and his purpose were all expressed
in the one word "Christ". The Apostle's doctrine was focused upon the risen and
glorified Christ of God. His grand unfolding of justification by faith, or his glorious
revelation of the dispensation of the mystery, was only comprehended by comprehending
the relation that Christ bore to the subject. His manner of life, also, was a manifestation
of Christ. If Paul preached a risen Christ, he lived as one who had died indeed unto sin,
but was alive unto God. If Paul preached that Christ had indeed been raised from the
dead, he set his mind upon things above. If Paul preached "Christ, and Him crucified",
he too lived as one who had crucified the flesh with its affections and desires, and to
whom the world was crucified and he unto the world. He died daily, that "the life of
Jesus" might be manifest in him. This vital connection between doctrine and practice
figures prominently in the first of Paul's Epistles. There we find him speaking of the
work of faith, the labour of love, and the patience of hope of the Thessalonian believers.
Not only were they consistent in their walk, but the apostle refers to the "manner of life"
of those who preached the gospel to them. "For our gospel came not unto you in word
only. . . . as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sakes, and ye
became followers of us, and of the Lord" (I Thess. 1:, 2:). Sound doctrine we must have
and hold, but a priceless adorning of the doctrine of God our Saviour is a consistent
manner of life and purpose that can be expressed in such words as, "One thing I do. . . .
I press toward the mark", or in such breathings as "that I may know Him". May we be
"followers together" with such a teacher, following His Lord as we have him for an