1. Some scoff at the gospel teaching that Christians can be united in doctrine: "What is your criteria for determining unity & fellowship?"
a. Must we write a creed to determine truth & error to define fellowship?
b. Must we catalog every Biblical guideline of truth before brethren will agree that God expects us to "have no fellowship" with sin (Eph. 5:11)?!
c. Are we able to know & properly apply the word of God? (Eph. 5:17)
2. Sound: "to be sound, to be well, to be in good health; metaph. of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error" (Thayer) - Lk. 5:31; 3 Jno. 2; 1 Tim. 6:3.
3. The Lord expects you & me to be spiritually sound!
I. CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE SOUND:
A. In The Faith - Titus 1:13 (Jude 3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
1. Doctrine - 1 Tim. 1:10; Tit. 2:7.
2. Words of Jesus Christ - 1 Tim. 6:3.
a. Jno. 13:20; 1 Cor. 14:37 - Apostles sent -- Hear them!
b. 2 Tim. 1:13 - Pattern of sound words (Tit. 2:7):
(1) hupotuposis (compound of hupo, under & tupos, imprint: hence, a pattern put under so as to match it).
(2) the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made.
B. In Personal Faith - Titus 2:2.
-Life of trust in & obedience to the Lord - 2 Pet. 1:3-7.
C. In Speech - Titus 2:8; cf. Col. 4:6; Jas. 1:26.
D. In Moral Conduct - 1 Tim. 1:9-11; 6:3; Eph. 5:3-7; Tit. 2:11-12.
II. DIAGNOSING SPIRITUAL ILLNESS.
A. Recognize, Accept & Use A Common Standard Of Soundness - 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (Col. 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:3).
1. Study them to know truth - 2 Tim. 2:15; Acts 17:11-12 (Jno. 5:39).
2. Examine self in light of truth - 2 Cor. 13:5.
B. Know The Cause Of Spiritual Illness: Sin! - Rom. 6:23; 1 Jno. 5:17
1. Teaching doctrinal error is a spiritual disease (sin) - Gal. 1:8-9; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Jno. 9-11.
2. Following doctrinal error is a spiritual disease (sin) - 2 Tim. 2:16-18.
3. Failure to obey the truth is a spiritual disease (sin) - 2 Pet. 1:8-9 (Jas. 4:17).
III. CAN WE BE SPIRITUALLY SOUND? Yes!
A. We Are Commanded To Be Sound - Eph. 6:10.
B. We Have Examples Of Soundness We Are To Follow - Phil. 3:16-17.
C. The Objective Of Gospel Preaching Is Our Soundness - Col. 1:28.
D. The Reward Of Soundness Is Heaven - 1 Tim. 4:8.
E. Our Criterion: Examine Every Doctrine & Practice In The Light Of Apostolic Truth - 1 Jno. 4:1, 6; Rev. 2:2-3.
1. Those who quibble that we do not have criteria for unity in doctrine & practice are the very ones who argue for tolerance and acceptance of doctrinal differences & moral uncertainties (spiritual illness)! - 2 Tim. 4:3
2. Will you be sound?