16 February 2022 by Published in: Jared Smith, Bible Doctrine No comments yet

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I pressed upon you the importance of creating your own diagram of the way you understand the framework of doctrine. I explained that if you are to receive the most benefit from this series of studies, then you must approach these teachings as a participant in the learning process. You should come at these teachings from the baseline of knowing what you believe and why you believe it. From that starting point, your job is to compare what I say with what you believe, and consider whether your understanding of the truth consistently aligns with the Word of God.

Now, if you have never created a diagram for your framework of doctrine, you may be wondering how you should go about the task. In the first study in the series on Bible Doctrine, I mentioned that the Apostle Paul spoke of a framework of doctrine when he wrote his second letter to Timothy—2 Timothy 1:13,14: ”Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” The term “form” means “an outline, sketch, or summary exposition.” Paul told Timothy to hold fast to the outline of sound words, or to the sketch of sound words, or to the summary exposition of sound words. That, my friend, is nothing other than a framework of doctrine. Timothy, therefore, had a framework of doctrine. And, since Timothy learned his framework from Paul, so Paul also had a framework of doctrine. Now, if we can highlight from these verses the way Timothy formulated his framework, then I hope that will serve as a helpful guide as you endeavor to formulate your framework of teachings.

First, I would like you to notice, generally speaking, that the two verses may be overlaid, one on top of the other.

Verse 13 speaks of “the form of sound words”, which is referred to in verses 14 as “that good thing”.

Verse 13 speaks of “holding fast” the form of sound words, which is referred to in verse 14 as “keeping” that good thing.

Verse 13 speaks of holding fast the form of sound words “which thou hast heard of me”, which is referred to in verse 14 as keeping that good thing “which was committed unto thee by the Holy Ghost”.

Verse 13 speaks of holding fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, “in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus”, which is referred to in verse 14 as keeping that good thing which was committed unto thee “by the Holy Ghost which dewelleth in us.”

Henceforth, the two verses underscore four main lessons regarding Timothy’s formulation of a framework of doctrine.

First, the framework of doctrine is described as “the form of sound words” and “that good thing”.

In verse 13, Paul refers to the framework of doctrine as “the form of sound words”. As I mentioned earlier, the word “form” refers to “an outline, sketch or summary exposition.” It is a sketch or summary of “sound words”, meaning, of good, wholesome and true teachings. In verse 14, Paul refers to the framework of doctrine as “that good thing”, or, that beautiful, excellent and precious system of teachings.

As you can see, the idea of a framework of doctrine was understood by Paul and Timothy. Simply put, a framework of doctrine is the basic parameters around which one understands the truth. Or, to put it another way, what a mathematical equation is to numbers, a theological framework is to doctrine—it is the basic parameters around which one understands the truth. As ‘two plus two equals four’ is the number equation which results in a true value, so the various ways in which the teachings of scripture are connected together results in a true value. Henceforth, a framework of doctrine, or, as Paul describes it, “the form or sound words” and “that good thing”, is the theological equation which results in truth claims. You would think it folly if children were not taught arithmetic—it is an indispensable discipline of knowledge. Well, the same may be said if you do not have a clear understanding of your framework of doctrine.

Second, the framework of doctrine is founded on “faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” and the “Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us”.

Sinners become recipients of both blessings—faith and love which is in Christ Jesus, and, the Holy Spirit indwelling them—when they are born again. The new birth, otherwise known as regeneration, is a sovereign work accomplished by the effectual power of the Holy Spirit, whereby He unites the soul with the Lord Jesus Christ, made effective by His personal indwelling of the soul. It is in virtue of this spiritual union, that the life and graces of Christ flow into the soul—the life of Christ flows into the soul, making it alive unto God; and, the graces of Christ (such as joy, love, peace, faith, etc) flow into the soul, enabling the regenerate sinner to exercise the fruit of his/her new nature. It is this that Paul is referring to in verse 13, when he speaks of “faith and love which is in Christ Jesus”—faith and love are the graces of Christ which flow into the regenerate sinner, by virtue of his/her union “in Christ”. And, it is this that Paul is referring to in verse 14, when he speaks of the “Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us”—for truly, the body and soul of the regenerate sinner have been chosen by God the Father and redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of God makes His abode in both—the body and the soul—at the time of the new birth, which is why our bodies are called, in 1 Corinthians 6, the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Now, if you are to have a framework of doctrine which is according to godliness, then it is required it be founded upon your experience of the new birth. Unless you have been born again, you cannot see, nor can you enter, the kingdom of God. You are dead in trespasses and sins, and cannot behold the glory of God in Christ, or the blessedness of the gospel to your soul. Henceforth, the framework of doctrine must be founded upon the “faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” and the “Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”

Third, the framework of doctrine is taught by the Holy Ghost and His gospel preachers.

In verse 14, the framework of doctrine, described as “that good thing”, is “committed unto [Timothy]…by the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.” You see, the only way for a sinner to apprehend the framework of sovereign grace, is if that framework is etched on the mind and written in the heart by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit of God is able to give understanding to the mind and conviction in the heart of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. You know, there are thousands of men and women who enroll in Bible college; they invest years of their lives memorizing scripture passages and acquiring a knowledge in a wide range of theological disciplines; they graduate with honors and earn impressive degrees; attached to their names are grand titles and they often like to have their egos stroked by people addressing them by those titles. But for all their learning, they will never come to a knowledge of the truth in Christ, unless the Spirit of God opens their understanding and writes that truth upon their hearts.

But then notice, in verse 13, not only is this framework of doctrine taught by the Holy Spirit, it is also something that is taught by gospel preachers. Timothy was to hold fast the form of sound words, “which he had heard from Paul”. Paul became a mentor to Timothy. He discipled Timothy. He imparted to Timothy his understanding of the framework of doctrine. He helped Timothy sharpen his views of God’s plan for the ages. But you notice, this wasn’t a Bible college Timothy attended. Timothy didn’t subject himself to an institution. He didn’t hand himself over to some type of assembly line where ‘preachers’ are mass produced by the hundreds. No, rather, he came under the personal instructions and private tutelage of the Apostle Paul, and through a mentor/mentee relationship, was able to nurture clearer views of grace and to strengthen his understanding of God’s plan for the ages. My dear friends, I suggest you follow Timothy’s example. Look for a mentor who is able to impart to you his/her understanding of the gospel, and then look to the Spirit of God to bless your studies and to grow you in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Fourth, the framework of doctrine is to be “held fast” and “kept”.

In verse 13, Paul tells Timothy to “hold fast” the framework of sovereign grace. To “hold fast” is to clinch something in the hand as an object of personal ownership. “Timothy, hold onto the gospel as your most treasured possession!” In verse 14, Paul tells Timothy to “keep” the framework of sovereign grace. To “keep” is to guard, or protect, that which is committed to one’s trust. As Jospeh in the book of Genesis was made the head steward over Potiphar’s house, and he was therefore responsible to keep, or oversee and manage, the affairs of that house, so Timothy was made a steward over the gospel of Christ, and he was therefore responsible to keep, or oversee and manage, the teachings of Christ’s gospel. He was to hold on to the gospel as if it were his own, and he was to keep, protect, guard, oversee and manage the gospel as he was only a steward of Christ’s gospel.

And that, my friends, is precisely what we are to do with the framework of doctrine committed to our hearts by the Spirit of God. We are to treasure it is a personal possession, holding it fast and pulling it near our bosoms. And, as stewards of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to protect it, by faithfully managing the various branches of gospel teachings.

And so, exactly how did Timothy formulate his framework of doctrine?

First, he rightly identified his framework of doctrine as “the form of sound words” and “that good thing”.

Second, he built his framework of doctrine on “faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” and the “Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us”.

Third, he was taught his framework of doctrine by the Holy Spirit and His gospel preachers.

Fourth, he cherished his framework of doctrine, “holding it fast” and “keeping it safe”.

I pray the Lord will bless these lessons to your heart, enabling you to formulate your framework of doctrine. Well, until we meet again for our next study, may you know the presence of the Lord and His blessings upon your life.



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