St. Paul was so sure of the divine truth which he taught that he wrote: “… I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). The Apostle knew Christ as his Saviour and therefore was not ashamed of suffering for him; but as he knew Christ, so also he knew the doctrine which he spread by word or epistle to be the divine truth. To Timothy he writes: “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:16). Such personal assurance of the divine truth is needed by every pastor to lead his parishioners to Christ and eternal life; by every professor of theology to train able ministers of the New Testament; by every church member to stand firm in the faith and do the work which the Lord assigns to him. Without it a person is a “reed shaken with the wind,” “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men.” The personal assurance of God’s truth made the apostles martyrs who, with thousands of other persuaded believers after them, suffered death rather than deny what they knew to be the divine truth.
Now, Paul, as we know, was an inspired apostle who could say of his epistles: “… the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37). But he also expected Timothy, who was not inspired, to be sure of the truth which he taught. He was to continue in the things he had learned. Then in the classical sedes doctrinae of divine inspiration he reminds him of the fact that from a child he has known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make him “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ ...1
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