“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV).
In every race it is not the good starters who wear the crowns or receive the medals, but the good finishers. While it is a must to start well the Christian race, nevertheless we shall not be crowned unless we run and finish well our race.
The Scripture admonishes: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:13 NKJV). “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10 NKJV).
You cannot run and finish well the race that is set before you if you fail to abide in the doctrine of Christ. The Scripture says: “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” (Heb. 2:1 NKJV).
Many believers today who started well the Christian race have fallen and drifted away because they failed to continue in the doctrine or teaching of Christ which was once for all delivered to the early apostles of Christ and passed down in the Church.
Even though you believe in Christ Jesus and confess Him as your personal Saviour and Lord, yet if you fail to abide in His word or teaching, you are not regarded by the Lord Jesus as one of His disciples.
The Lord Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” (John 8:31 NKJV). It is therefore important to understand what it actually means to abide in the word, teaching or doctrine of Christ and how you can.
First, it is very crucial to understand that the doctrine or teaching of Christ has been once for all delivered to the early apostles of Christ. This is why the Bible often called it “the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42) or “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3).
The body of teachings Christ delivered to His early apostles included the things which He taught them while He was physically with them and that which He taught them through the Holy Spirit after He had returned to heaven. This is what is compiled and presented to us as “the New Testament.” It is divine, authoritative, supreme, perfect and final!
The body of doctrine or teaching we have in the New Testament is divine because God is the source, for Jesus testified: “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” (John 7:16 NKJV).
“For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” (John 12:49 NKJV).
The word or teaching of Christ on any subject is the divine, authoritative, supreme and final authority on the subject. It is superior to any words or teachings of any patriarchs or prophets in the Old Testament on the subject, for the Lord Jesus Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and the very expression of God’s person. It was only Jesus Christ who perfectly revealed God’s mind, will, view or perspective to us (John 1:18, Heb. 1:1-3).
The doctrine of Christ is also perfect and complete, there is nothing missing that needs to be added, or something imperfect that needs to be corrected. It is the objective standard for judging every new vision, revelation, prophecy or teaching that anyone may claim to have today.
Second, we shall not be able to fully comprehend the doctrine of Christ without first having the willingness to obey Christ fully or unreservedly.
Jesus said: “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” (John 7:17 NKJV).
One of the primary reasons why many people don’t understand the teaching of Christ is because there is no willingness or preparedness in them to obey the Lord Jesus implicitly.
We often fall into errors or false doctrines because we choose not to accept the plain written truths in the Bible.
When you deliberately set aside the clearly written word or teaching of Christ on a subject and then begin to seek for a new revelation on the same subject, you may become vulnerable to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. This is the reason why many ministers of God today have fallen away from the truth into heresies.
Third, abiding in the doctrine of Christ goes beyond mere knowing or believing the truth. It is actually sticking with or holding fast to the teaching of Christ and conforming wholly to them.
Abiding in the doctrine of Christ implies: living out the teaching of Christ; obeying or keeping the word of Christ; continuing in the word of Christ; following the teaching of Christ; and remaining faithful to the teaching of Christ.
Abiding in the word, teaching or doctrine of Christ is the only good safeguard we have against strange and demonic teachings that the carnal ministers are passionately fabricating and broadcasting through various media these last days.
This is why Paul admonishes: “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” (Heb. 2:1 NKJV).
Beloved, we are now in the latter times when the Bible warns that “some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Tim. 4:1-2 NKJV).
It is therefore imperative for you to know, keep, hold fast to, continue and remain in the teaching of Christ. You must accept, hold fast to and seek to defend Christ’s teaching, perspective, view or verdict on every issue or subject. You must regard the word, teaching or doctrine of Christ as divine, ultimate, final, supreme, and superior to that of any ruler, angel, prophet or pastor.
Unwillingness to obey Christ’s word or teaching implicitly will open up your mind to the manipulation, deception, or seduction of demons and false prophets and teachers.
Therefore, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Tim. 4:16 NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to me these last days through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Dear Holy Spirit, help me to hold fast and continue faithfully in the teaching of Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.