But speak you the things which become sound doctrine:
Sound teaching, according to Paul, is not teaching that has the conventional ring, not teaching that is divested of all freshness, originality, and stimulating force, but whatever goes to make moral fibre, whatever tends to build up strong men and women, whatever brings a healthy colour to the cheek, and gives life a true zest.
I. IT IS THE HEALTHY MIND ALONE THAT CAN IMPART HEALTHY TEACHING. A healthy mind is a free and untrammeled mind; a mind that plays freely around all questions, and forms its own unbiassed conclusions. A mind that has the clear vision of health, a mind that has the keen appetite of health, a mind that has the unvitiated palate of health, a mind that has the hardy courage of health, a mind that takes the world as it finds it. An independent mind, a mind that makes its own observations, draws its own inferences, is not a mere servile echo of other minds.
II. HEALTHY TEACHING IS THAT WHICH IS HEALTHFUL IN ITS EFFECTS. Bad food cannot build up a robust frame. I will imagine that a mother has a puling, pining infant to rear. There is a question between divers kinds of diet. One authority says: "You ought to use mine, because it has the correct label on it, and is done up in the proper regulation tins." But the mother says: "I have tried it, and the child starved upon it." "But it has all the requisite chemical constituents in their due proportions. It must have been the native perversity of the child which prevented its thriving. It is the recognised thing, endorsed and recommended by the entire faculty." "I cannot help that," says the mother; "labels or no labels, tins or no tins, faculty or no faculty, all I know is that I have tried that food, and that if I had gone on with it, my child would have been dead by this time." And then she is induced, by some old wife, perhaps, to try another preparation, natural and simple, nobody's patent, with no label or endorsement whatever. But, lo, and behold! the child grows fat and plump, the hue of health comes gradually to its cheeks, and it weighs heavier every day! "But this is not an accredited compound. The great authorities on diet have not prescribed it. It cannot be wholesome." Once more the mother retorts: "No matter. My child is alive and well." Now, that is the true test to apply to religious teaching. What sort of men and women does it make? "Sound doctrine" is that which produces a healthy, spiritual life, which builds up character.
Parallel VersesKJV: But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: