The Bible Is Final|
Page 6: Resisting Departures
The words Paul preaches, teaches, and writes are the words of God, not the words of men. Yet Paul continues giving numerous warnings that the gospel message and the will of God will be distorted.
"As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines..." (1 Timothy 1:3)
"If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain." (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
As you can see, Paul especially emphasizes these warnings to the young preacher Timothy. But Timothy does not rely on subjective or abstract truth to expose the false teachers. Rather he measures them against the sound words that he received from the apostle. Read it again, and consider the great importance Paul places on the teaching of the word of God,
"Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you... You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 1:13 - 2:2)
Do you begin to get the feeling of apostolic tradition? Jesus teaches Paul (through revelation), Paul teaches Timothy (and writes it down for us), and Timothy is to teach others, who in turn can teach others. If God planned to reveal His will to each directly, what would be the importance of teaching, and developing teachers? Just as Jude stated above, the faith has literally been handed down as a treasured heirloom from generation to generation.