Holding Fast the Pattern

By Terry Clark

Every year the shepherds decide on a theme, which will be the focus for many of the lessons. This year’s theme is “Faithful Living: Holding Fast the Pattern”. “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).

We know that the Word was at the very beginning of all things, the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). We also know that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), and no prophecy of Scripture is from man (2 Peter 1:20-21). Every Christian can find peace and comfort in these words knowing that we may be complete through the Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17), yet many brethren are choosing to interject their own thoughts and knowledge.

In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he warned Timothy to be on guard for those contradicting God’s teachings in the name of knowledge. “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge– by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen” (I Timothy 6:20-21).

I know of two formerly faithful congregations of the Lord’s Church who in the last several years have interjected their own knowledge of the scriptures to the detriment of those congregations. Contrary to the Scriptures, one congregation has appointed women as elders, and the second is permitting women to lead worship services. In both cases, the elders’ decisions were based on them “coming to a better understanding of the scriptures”.

Paul warned the Galatians of those who were distorting the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-10). In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he warned to be watchful (2 Timothy 4:1-5). “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers” (Verse 3).

The Word is complete and in our hands today. Let us hold fast the pattern that was delivered from God through faithful and Godly men.