2 Timothy 1:13 – The Pattern of Sound Words

Wayne Jackson
Some openly repudiate what they call “pattern theology.” The apostle Paul, however, did not.

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 Tim. 1:13).

Does not the expression “pattern of sound words” indicate that there is a law (cf. 1 Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2), or a rule (Gal. 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.