by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
In September we read Paul's letter to Titus and his very last letter, called 2 Timothy. Paul's concern is that the true gospel be preserved and proclaimed by a faithful church.
2 Timothy 2:1–2
And the things you have heard me say ... entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others (2 Tim. 2:2).
God entrusted the gospel to Paul with the commission to guard and to teach it. Paul committed the same gospel to Timothy, instructing him to find others who could be entrusted with the gospel. They should be faithful, reliable guardians, Paul said, who have the ability to teach others. The gospel must be preserved and spread.
We must be sure that what our church proclaims and models is in harmony with the teachings of Paul and Peter, for then it is in accordance with the teachings of Christ himself.
Based on this idea, a theory of "apostolic succession" has developed. People say Christ gave one man authority to teach, and that man gave it to another and he to another, so that even today certain persons can be said to have "apostolic authority." But that's not the way it went. The issue is not the authority vested in a certain person.
The question is not who preaches the gospel but what gospel is preached. The gospel preached today must be the apostolic teaching recorded in the Scriptures, guarded by the Spirit, deposited in the church.
The church that adheres to this gospel stands in the apostolic tradition. But the church that loses this Word forfeits the power and glory.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version