9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
The third category for a Christian leader is commitment to the Word of God and to its teaching. Throughout the pastoral epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) Paul repeatedly challenged pastors to teach and carefully handle God’s Word (1 Ti 3:2; 2 Ti 2:24).
9 holding fast the faithful [trustworthy] word
A bishop must be reliable with the truth of the Word of God. He must hold fast or firm to the “faithful word.” A good Christian leader is unflagging in his allegiance to God’s Word. We cannot hold forth the Word unless we hold onto it.
The Christian leader must reliably communicate God’s Word. By doing this, the leader is in harmony with what God thinks in the way he conveys God’s message.
as [according to] he has been taught,
This phrase “as he has been taught” occurs before “holding fast the faithful word” in the Greek. Words placed first in this manner put emphasis on this phrase. A bishop must conserve truth that the apostles taught him. He is to remain true to biblical truth.
The word “as” means according to. Our message is reliable when it accords to the standard of the Word of God.
The article “the” precedes the word “taught.” God formed Bible doctrine into a system. The pastor needs to present the Word of God as a structure of truth. This is the entire approved doctrine by the apostles who wrote Scripture.
In light of the following section dealing with false teachers, it is important that leaders of the church have a firm grasp of the entirety of truth.
A pastor must grasp the entirety and scope of the Word of God so that he can give his people a system of truth.
Christianity is a system of the written word. God formed its truths into clear propositions. Leadership in the local church does not rest on the charisma of the pastor. Neither does it reside on his education or natural ability. It reposes upon the Word of God. The Bible must be woven into the very fabric of the church (Ac 6:4; 1 Ti 4:6, 11-16; 6:2, 17-18; 2 Ti 3:16; 4:1-2).
Failure to “hold fast” the Word of God is the cause for superficial evangelicalism of our day. We have a generation of frail Christians who do not know what they believe. Preachers today preach “sermonettes for Christianettes.” They pamper their congregations with stories, entertainment, and other superficial content rather than the unadulterated Word of God. Slapstick worship is not God’s design for the church.
Ac 20: 32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”