We invite you to enjoy these meditations for the 2018-2019 Advent, Christmas and New Year Season, written by Wheaton College President Philip G. Ryken.
A True Son in the Faith
When I left for college my father gave me a copy of Louis Berkhof’s Manual of Christian Doctrine, a small classic in the tradition of Reformation theology. He inscribed it with these words: “For Philip upon entering college, in the hope that your theology will remain Reformed.”
My father wanted me to remain true to the biblical and evangelical doctrines defended during the Protestant Reformation, doctrines like the authority of Scripture and justification by faith alone. In other words, he wanted me to remain a true son in the faith.
In his first letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul had the same desire for his young protégé. He considered himself to be the young minister’s spiritual father, so he addressed his first pastoral epistle “To Timothy, my true child in the faith” (1 Tim. 1:2).
For me, to study this epistle was like sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with Timothy during his pastoral internship with the best of teachers: the apostle Paul. Paul’s letter taught me what defines sound doctrine, godly leadership, and spiritual care for God’s household.
It is a privilege to share some of the highlights of what I learned from 1 Timothy in this devotional. As the Wheaton College community comes together during this Advent season to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Son of God, I pray that we will all be encouraged in our efforts to remain true sons and daughters in the faith.
- Philip G. Ryken