Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13 NASB).
When sound, which means healthy, is used with doctrine or word, it means correct teaching or doctrine. Some believe that there must exist an authoritative church to maintain pure doctrine. Others hold that Christ is the standard by which all teachings are to be judged. However, Paul is teaching in this text that his teachings are the doctrinal standard for the church. Since Paul's teachings are contained in Scripture, the New Testament Scriptures are the standard of truth for the church. The Apostle Peter also upholds the Scriptures as the authoritative standard: "Remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles" (2 Peter 3:2 NASB). The church should never rule over Scripture, but she should submit to all its teachings and uphold the teachings of the Scripture. Only then is the church and her ministers fulfilling their mission. In addition, one can certainly agree that Christ is the ultimate standard of truth, but this begs the question: how does one know anything about Christ outside of Scripture? Scripture is our only inerrant source of information about Christ; therefore, Scripture, the written Word of God must be the standard of a faithful minister.
When a minister accepts the Bible as the standard of truth, it ought to affect his ministry. He should take diligent care that his teaching matches the teaching of the Bible. This is best accomplished by expository preaching, which enables the pastor to preach"the whole counsel of God." It also enable the pastor to preach authoritatively because he is preaching not the latest fad or opinion poll, but the God inspired, authoritative Word of God.
Men, let us be faithful ministers by embracing the gospel and accepting the Bible as the standard of truth.
Pastor Jeremy Lee
Twining Baptist Church