The formula for heavenly glory is rarely better stated than Paul’s admonition to his son in the Gospel. His simple words were, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).
The challenge of staying right in a culture gone wrong is not a new one but continues from generation to generation of God’s people from the beginning. Abel was murdered for following instructions (Luke 11:51), Noah was singularly righteous and spared by the flood (1 Peter 3:20). Abraham obeyed to become the beginnings of a special people (Acts 3:25). Moses led this special people out of bondage to be uniquely God’s (1 Corinthians 10:2). And, Jewish prophets begged God’s children to restore righteous submission (Acts 13:40).
All of these examples came at the calling of God through sound words, not some miraculous moving of the heart or infused knowledge. All of these great godly leaders were given a pattern to follow, i.e., Abel’s sacrifice, Noah’s ark, Abraham’s sojourns, Moses’s Law and the Prophets’ admonitions, and all were blessed because they obeyed God. Obedience was the expression of their faith in God and their undying love for His Word, which saved them and, ultimately, left for us examples of how to follow the Divine pattern (Hebrews 11:4, 7, 8-10, 24-25, 32).
The pattern, through the inspired apostle Paul, continues today: sound words, held fast in faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus. No other pattern exists to offer the abundant life (John 10:10) or eternal life (John 10:28). Let us follow the Divine Pattern.