2 Timothy 1:13 – The Pattern of Sound Words

By Wayne Jackson

Man has ever sought to be free of divine restraint. In the early days of the church, a philosophy known as “antinomianism” &> was prevalent. It was the ideology that argued: “We are not under law.”

The concept is not dead even today. There are some, even in the church of the Lord, who allege that we are under grace – not law. It is claimed that the New Testament is a collection of “love letters,” and not a legal brief.

Some openly repudiate what they call “pattern theology.” The apostle Paul did not, however. To Timothy he wrote:

“Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).

Does not the expression “pattern of sound words” indicate that there is a law (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2), or a rule (Galatians 6:16) by which we are to live? Assuredly it does. (See "Are We Under “Law” or “Grace”?" and “Is Christian Worship Regulated by New Testament Law?”)

Underscore the term “pattern” and observe: Inspired revelation – our pattern, standard. Note some of these additional references as well.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.