JESU FØRSTE UNDERVISNING
COMMANDS INVOLVING THE APOSTLE PAUL
AND HIS TEACHING
The next group of commands have to do with the Apostle Paul; what he wrote, and how we are to think about him and his writings.
- “Wherefore I beseech you, BE ye followers of me”: 1.Cor.4,16.
- “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ”: 1.Cor.11,1.
- “brethren, BE followers together o me and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example”: Phil.3,17.
- “BE ye therefore followers of God, as dear children”: Eph.5,1.
- “Brethren, I beseech you, BE as I am. For I am as ye are. You have not injured me at all”: Gal.4,12.
The word “be” in each of these five commands is the Same Greek word, and means “to begin to be, become.” Believers are commanded three times to follow Paul; one time follow God, and one time to be like Paul. This is very important for being in the will of God. These words are inspired by the Holy Spirit. And this is where the church at large has so miserably failed in its teaching. The church has insisted over the centuries that Peter is the one we should follow, and in so doing has brought legalism and powerlessness to the church. This is probably the greatest blunder the church has committed. And the worst part of it all is that fundamental believers have gone along with this type of thinking, wrongly dividing the Word of truth.
Read over these five verses again. Ponder over them; meditate on them. These commands were just not for the early church; they are commands for the whole Body of Christ throughout this entire dispensation of grace. They are for our obedience NOW! They are just as important now a they were when they were revealed by Christ nineteen-hundred years ago.
The word “follow,” used in 1.Cor.4,16 and 11,1, and Eph.5,1, means “imitator”; and in Phil.3,17, the Greek word means “an imitator with others, co-imitator, joint-imitator ”and is used only that one time in the New Testament.
Paul wrote that he followed Christ. How did Paul follow Christ? Did he follow Him according to His earthly teachings of the Law? NO! Did he follow Him according to the steps that He walked? NO! Paul followed Christ according to the heavenly teachings of the grace of God. These are the teachings of Christ on this side of the cross. Paul had the truth of the Mystery, and he commanded, with God given authority, the churches and believers to follow him as he followed the Lord Jesus Christ. So the only conclusion we can come to is that in following Paul we are also following Christ and God. We become imitators of Christ when we follow Paul. This should be the desire of every born-again Christian. Wouldn’t be Wonderful if the fundamental church would take a stand for the distinctiveness of Pauline truth? A tremendous revival of God’s children would certainly, and a revival like this is the only things that can save the world from the power of Satan in these last days.
How are we to follow Paul? We have to study his writings and see what he did and how he acted.
- We should follow Paul according to his doctrine. The Revelation of the Mystery established believers: Rom.16,25. The ministry of reconciliation was committed to him: 2.Cor.5,18-19.He proclaimed the gospel of the grace of God and the Dispensation of the grace of God: Act.20,24; eph.3,2-4. He received full knowledge of the Mystery of Christ.
- We should follow Paul in his passion for the lost: 1.Cor.9,22; Rom.9,2-3, 10,1, 11,13-14.
- We should follow Paul in his attitude worldly things: Phil.3,7-8; 4,11-12; 2.Cor.6,14-18.
- We should follow Paul in his love for Christ. Christ meant everything to him: Phil.1,21; 3,10; 2.Cor.5,14
- We should follow Paul in fighting for the faith: 2.Tim.4,7; 1.Tim.6,12.
- We should follow Paul in not associating with unbelievers, especially those in religious circles: 1.Tim.6,3-5; 2.Thes.3,14; Rom.16,17.
- We should follow Paul in his sufferings, if need be:2.Tim.1,8; 4,5.
- We should follow Paul in his prayer life: 1.Thes.1,2-3; Col.1.3,9.
- We should follow Paul in working for rewards: Phil.3,13-14; 1.Cor.9,24-27.
Paul was nor a perfect man, that is, he did not live a sinless life. But he was by far the greatest Christian who ever lived. You have to admit that his life was consistently lived on the highest plane. In 2.Tim.3,10, another outline is given of Paul’s life.
- “Brethren, be followers together of me and MARK them which walk so as ye have us an example”: Phil.3,17.
This command is closely related to the above. “Mark” means “to look at, observe intently, contemplate, view attentively,” and refers to the brethren in this verse rather than to the ones mentioned in verse 18. The believers were commanded to observe closely closely those who also lived saintly lives, and to follow them, too. This command would be directed to new Christians, those who are babes in Christ. My friend, are you living a saintly life, a life that could be imitated bt a new Christian? Please remember that possibly someone is watching you.
- “let no man despise thy youth, but BE THOU an example (pattern) of the believers, in word, in conversation in charity (love), in spirit, in faith, en purity”: 1.Tim.4,12-
Timothy was commanded to be a pattern for the believers. He ws to set the example. I am sure that Timothy received enough truth from Paul to know what all this involved. There are six categories:
- In word-gracious words that build up the saints, and not bad words;
- In conversation-this refers to conduct, behaviour, manner of life;
- In charity-this is the word for God’s love; love that only a believer can exhibit;
- In spirit-can refer to the Holy Spirit; can refer to the vigour of living; and can refer to loyalty to Christ;
- In faith-faith is taking God at His word, and this is to be used every day of our lives;
- In purity-this word means “sinlessness of life,” and is used twice in the New Testament: 1.Tim.4,12; 5,2. It refers the Divine nature within every believer. It is sinless and because we possess this new nature, we should walk accordingly.
Preachers are to live this kind of life before their member and before others. The Holy Spirit using the Word of God can make this possible. We must realize, of course, that the old Adamic nature ve are born with stil dwells in us. It is not eradicated by God when one becomes saved. But it is possible ti live a godly life before men.
- “Those things which ye have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, DO. And the God of peace shall be with you”: Phil.4,9.
“Do” means “to exercise, practise, be busy whit, carry on.” There were four things the believers were commanded to practise:
- learning-meaning to increase one’s knowledge about the Scriptures. Learning is part of God’s will for the believer: Col.1,9-10.
- Things received-the doctrine that Paul taught them, mainly, the Mystery.
- Things heard-they understood the sense of what. Was said.
- Things seen-what Paul did and how he acted toward others: 2.Tim.3,10-11.
- “And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both DO and will do the things we command you”: 2.Thess.3,4.
“Do” means “to carry out, execute.” Not the same word as used in Command 97. Believers were to carry out what they were told them and what thery would be told in the future. Paul was very confident they would obey him.
- “CONSIDER what I say. And the Lord give thee understanding in all things”: 2.Tim.2,7.
“Consider” means “to think upon, heed, ponder.” Timothy was commanded to consider what the Apostle wrote. The immediate context is in view here, verses 3-6; the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer. But we are to consider everything the Apostle wrote. The Lord will give us understanding if we don’t have a closed mind to the truth.
- “But CONTINUE though in the things which thou hast learned them” 2.Tim.3,14.
“Continue” means “to remain, abide, persevere.” Timothy was commanded to abide in the doctrine he had been taught. He was not to leave the truth of the Mystery for some other gospel like the gospel of the Kingdom which the Twelve Apostles preached, and which Was popular because of it emphasis on materiel and physical concepts. Timothy was to persevere with the grace maqssage to the end.
Paul was demanding teacher. This is seen in the word “assured of,” which means “to make firm, establish, to be firmly persuaded of” (used once in the New Testament). Timothy was to be firmly persuaded; there were to be no doubts in his mind aqs to what to believe and preach. We commanded to be that way, too.
- “See hat none render evil for evil unto any man.. Bur ever (always) FOLLOW that which is good, both among yourselves and to all men”: 1.Thess.5,15.
- “But thou, O man of God, flee these tings. And FOLLOW AFTER RIGHTEOSNESS, GODLINESS, FAQITH, LOVE, PATIENCE, MEEKNESS”:1.Tim.6,11.
- “Flee also youthful lusts. But FOLLOW righteousness, faith, charity (love), peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart”: 2.Tim.2,22.
The tree commands here contain the same Greek word, “Follow” means “to pursue, to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire.” There are eight things we are to eagerly pursue:
- that which is good-a good conscience: 1.Tim.1,5.; a good word: 2.Thess.2,17; good works: Titus 3,8; a good fight: 1.Tim.6,12; good doctrine: 1.Tim.4,6; good men; Titus 1,8;
- rightecousness-that which is integrity, virtue, purity of life, correctness in thinking, feeling and acting:
- godliness-is reverence, respect, piety towards God. 1.Tim.6,3-6 and Titus 1,1, contain valuable thoughts on this subject.
- Faith-in of its usages; faith in Christ, saving faith, faith as a system of thought, faith for everyday living;
- Love-this is God’s love. We should know all about it;
- Patience-means “endurance, steadfastness.” Used of one who is unwired from his loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings;
- Meekness-is gentleness, mildness. See Gal.5,23; eph.4,2; Col.3,12;
- Peace-means harmony with fellow believers.
- “If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, LET HIM ACKNOWLEDEGE that the tings that I write unto are the commandments f the Lord”: 1.Cor.14,37.
“Acknowledge” means “to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly, to know accurately.” It also has a further meaning of “to recognize a things to be what it really is. It refers to a “full knowledge” that we will acquire when we get to heaven: 1.Cor.13,12, but we are to try to attain to this full knowledge while we are here on earth.
This verse doesn’t mean that everything Paul wrote were commands but that commands were included in his writings. During the Act period, besides the Apostles, there were those who had the gift of prophecy, and there were those who were considered spiritual; That is, those who had some of the gifts of the Spirit. If they lacked love in the operation of the gifts, they would be carried away with their own importance, and thus feel they knew more than Paul. So he wrote this verse to set them straight. Only Paul could write that his commands were from Christ.
Only Paul received NEW TRUTH from Christ. Only Paul could write the AUTORITY OF GOD behind him. The gifts of prophecy, languages, and the interpretation of languages (tongues) were related to the truth already taught them by Paul. (This was true also of Pentecost-Acts 2 and 3. There was no new truth revealed by Peter or who spoke in languages. It was the same gospel message AS BEORE THE CROSS, FOUND IN Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John-the gospel of the Kingdom.) And so those who prophesied and exercised other gifts were commanded by God to be accurate, thoroughly acquainted in their recognition of Paul as God’s chosen spokesman to them. No one was to usurp Paul’s authority. The Holy Spirit used the various gifts to illuminate the minds of the believers during the Acts period.
I believe this command still holds for us today. We are to be accurate in our recognition of Paul as God chosen Apostle for this Dispensation of grace. You can see by the lack of Pauline authority from the average pulpit that this command has been disobeyed by the great majority of Christian people, including well known pastors Bible teachers.
- “O Timothy, KEEP that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science (knowledge) falsely so called: 1.Tim.6,20.
- “That good thing which was committed unto thee KEEP by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us”:2.Tim.1,14.
“Keep” is the same Greek word in each command, and means “to watch, to guard, protect.” It contains the thought of to keep from being snatched away, preserve safe and unimpaired. Timoty was commanded twice to keep what was committed to him from being snatched away. What was committed to him? The deposit of truth that was revealed to Paul-the Revelation of the Mystery: Rom.16,25. THE Greek word for “committed” means “a deposit, a trust consigned to one’s faithful keeping,” and is used three times in the New Testament: 1.Tim.6,20; 2.Tim.1,12,14. It is used of the correct knowledge and pure doctrine of the gospel, to be held firmly and faithfully, and to be conscientiously delivered unto others. This deposit is called “good,” and “good” means “excellent, choice, magnificent.” This deposit is magnificent because it comes from the very heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. But preachers today would have you think it was bad, the way they warn believers to sty away from it Even in PAUL’S TIME THERE WAS A FALLING AWAY FROM THE TRUTH OF God, and Timothy was commanded to defend the truth delivered to and for the Body of Christ.
We are do this, too. Regardless of persecution and apathy, we are to remain firm for Christ in proclaiming the gospel of the grace of God.
- “HOLD FAST” the form (pattern) of sound words, which thou hast heard of (from) me in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus”: 2.Tim.1,13.
This command is much like the two preceding ones, but it is still important. Timothy is commanded to hold fast the pattern of sound words. He was to hold to the same phraseology Paul used. Certain words were to be retained as hey were passed from teacher to teacher. This would help to keep the truth of God accurate. The word “form” means “Pattern, outline, model,” and is used twice in the New Testament: 1.Tim.1,16; 2.Tim.1,13. Paul is our pattern and the Mystery is our pattern. The message of grace is sound words, healthy words, wholesome words: 1.Tim.6,3, and they inspired words: 2.Tim.3,16.
- “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me all things, and KEEP the ordinances as I delivered them to you”: 1.Cor.11,2.
“Keep” means “to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of.” The believers at Corinth, members of the Body of Christ, were commanded to keep the instructions which were delivered to them by Paul. The word “ordinances” is very bad translation. THE Greek word means “what is delivered, the substance of the teaching, instruction”; and in the following verses, “instruction” should be the translation instead of “tradition”:Gal.1,14; Col.2,8; 2.Thess.2,15 and 3,6.. The words “tradition” and “ordinances” have led to much bad theology. We are not to go back to the traditions of the fathers of Israel, as many would have us believe.
109, 110. “Therefore, brethren, STAND FAST and HOLD the traditions (instructions) which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle”: 2.Thess.2,15.
There are two commands in this verse. “Hold” means “to hold fast, not to let go, to keep carefully and faithfully.” “Stand fast” means “to stand firm, to persist, persevere.” These commands are very similar to the commands that were just described.
- “STAND FAST therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage”: Gal.5,1.
- “Watch ye, STAND FAST in the faith, quit you like men, be strong”: 1.Cor.16,13.
- “Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ. That whether I come and see you or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye STAND FAST in one spirit, with one mind striving together of the gospel”: Phil.1,27.
- “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so STAND FAST in the Lord, my dearly beloved”: Phil.4,1.
These four commands are the same Greek word that is used in 2.Thess.2,15, Command 109. This word means “to stand firm, persist,, persevere.” Members of the Body of Christ are commanded four times to stand firm in four different realms:
- in liberty-we have been set free from the Law of Moses. Our Liberty is in Christ, and it is not to be abused: Gal.2,4; 5,13: 1.Cor.8,9:
- in the faith-the doctrine preached to them by Paul. Same as in Command 109.
- In one spirit-this speaks of unity. There are not to be any divisions in the church like there was in the Corinthian church : 1.Cor.1,12-13.
- In the Lord-not in men but in the Lord. Our position is in Christ.
- “Prove all things. HOLD FAST that which is good”: 1.Thess.5,21.
“Hold fast” is the same Greek word in Command 108. Believers were commanded to retain firm possession of good things. The Greek word for “good” is a distinctly positive word, and the Greek applied it to what they considered beautiful, handsome, pleasing, excellent, magnificent, choice, etc. (Used of the Jewish temple in Luke 21,5.) See Commands 101 and 106.
116, 117. “TAKE HEED unto thyself and unto the doctrine. CONTINUE in them. For in doing this thou salt both save thyself and them that hear thee”: 1.Tim.4,16.
There are two commands in this verse that go together. “Take heed” means “to give attention to.” Timothy Ws to make sure he was in the Will of God at all times, giving attention to doctrine. “Continue” means “to stay with, remain.” Timothy was commanded to stay with, the teaching. Doing this would save himself and his congregation from the false teacher that abounded in his day. Paul wrote about these demon-influenced men in 1.Tim.4,1-3. And how true this is today. Every year, Satan inspires new cults to be born. These commands are very practical..
- “Till I come, GIVE ATTENDANCE to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine”: 1.Tim.4,13.
“Give attendance” means “to turn the mind to, attend to, be attentive.” Timothy was commanded to give attention to 3 things:
- To reading-refers to the reading of the Scriptures in the assembly. See 2.Tim.4,13.
- To exhortation-The Greek word possesses a number of degrees of intensity. It can mean supplication, entreaty; it can mean comfort (so translated in Rom.15,4) an consolation; and it can mean persuasive discourse, stirring address, power4ful hortatory discourse. So exhortation can be either hard or soft, depending on circumstances;
- To doctrine-the teaching or instruction.
This verse contains the three parts of ministering the Word of God.
- “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same COMMIT thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also”: 2.Tim.2,2.
“Commit” means “to place down with anyone, to deposit, to entrust, commit to one’s charge.” Timothy was commanded to pass on the truth of the Mystery to others, so they could carry on the work of the Lord. Teaching is a valuable part of the ministry. Bible schools and seminaries play an important role in edifying the Body of Christ (if they are sound in the faith, that is), and seeing that the work of the Lord continues to progress. This verse is a part of our commission, to reach lost with the message of reconciliation: 2.Cor.5,18-21; eph.3,9. See also 1.Tim.1,18.
- “Of these tings PUT THEM IN REMEMBRANCE, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers”: 2.Tim.2,14.
“Remembrance” Means “to cause one to remember, recall to mind.” Timothy was commanded to remind the believers of certain things-things that are mentioned in verses 11-13. Repetition is necessary when it comes to teaching the Bible. It is so easy to forget or misunderstand what is being taught. They were also remind not to argue over words that are useless. Arguing like this can cause believers to lose interest in the church.
121,122. “MEDITATE” upon these things. GIVE thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all”: 1.Tim.4,15.
There are two commands in this verse that go together. “Meditate” means “attend to carefully, to study beforehand.” Timothy was commanded to give careful attention to what Paul had taught. He was to thing and study before he did anything.
“Give” comes from the verb “to be”; but its use here in 1.Tim.4,15 means “to be busily devoted.” The King James has the right idea. Timothy Was to be totally immersed in his work for the lord. He was to be a specialist in the things of God. This is the way to become the best for Christ.
PÅ GENSYN !