WE LIVE in a society that is preoccupied with physical fitness and health, and that is not bad. The apostle John wrote to Gaius, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (III John 2). But there is something more important than the physical as recognized here, when he said, "even as thy soul prospereth." The apostle Paul acknowledged this when he wrote, "For bodily execise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come" (I Timothy 4:8). Although men getting up in years might not have a healthy body, Paul exhorted, "That the aged men be sober, grace, temperate, sound in faith, in charity [love], in patience" (Titus 2:2). "Sound" means to be healthy; as we would say, "a sound body." To be in a good spiritual state of being is important above everything else.
It has been said that we are what we eat. The right food and a balanced diet are important to our physical well-being. Contaminated food brings on disease and ill-health. Paul recognized these things and this this figure spiritually. In I Timothy, II Timothy, and Titus he repeatedly makes use of this term "sound" (meaning healthy or wholesome) in talking about doctrine, or teaching, as well as applying it to right living. Notice I Timothy 1:10; 6:3; II Timothy 1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1,8. Timothy was to "hold fast the form of sound words, which thou [he] hast [had] heard of me [Paul], in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 1:13). Let us be satisfied with nothing less than the pure Word of God in its fulness as our spiritual food. It will nuture us, build us up, and give us an inheritance in eternity (Acts 20:32).
In contrast with this, a false doctrine is a diseased doctrine. And the Word of God watered down will only produce anemic results. False teachings are contagious diseases, and those contaminated by them are to be religiously avoided (except to restore spiritual health). Be careful. Practice good health.(VOL. 33, NO. 3, 1995)
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