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 Vol. 6, No. 9 

December 2004

~ Page 15 ~

"The Form of Sound Words"

By Hugo McCord

Image An inspired commandment is to "Hold fast the form of sound words" (2 Timothy 1:13). The word "sound" (hugiaino) first refers to your physical body, "to be well, to be in good health" (Thayer), and then refers to your spiritual body, your soul, your spirit, that it may "be well" and "in good health." This requires teachings "free from any admixture of error" (Thayer), "correct instruction" (B-G-D).

The word "form" (hupotuposis) refers to a "model," an "example," a "standard" (B-G-D), a "pattern placed before one to be held fast and copied" (Thayer). Thomas used part of Paul's word (tupos): "Except I shall see the print [tupos] of the nails, and put my finger into the print [tupos] of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25).

Unfortunately, words are used today for which there is not an inspired "print" or an "example" or a "standard" or a "pattern" placed "before one to be held fast and copied."

Hugh Fulford in a Vigil article reminds us:

Do Not Say:

Instead, Say:

"Church of Christ people"

"Christians or God's people"

"Church of Christ preacher"

"Preachers or ministers of the Gospel"

"Church of Christ doctrine"

"The gospel of Christ or New Testament teaching"

"Come hear what the Church of Christ teaches"

"Come hear the Word of God"

"I am trying to teach him our position"

"I am trying to teach him the Word of God"

"I am trying to convert her to the Church of Christ"

"I am trying to convert her to Christ"

"The Church of Christ teaches"

"The Bible teaches . . ."

"I am a Church of Christer"

"I am a Christian"

Recently I noted in our weekly church bulletin under the heading "For our Welcomed Guests!" is a question: "Would you like to know more about the Church of Christ?" The word "church" ought not to be capitalized, for most guests would think of a denomination, "Church of Christ."

When one reads, in Romans 16:16 of the "churches of Christ," the meaning is not a name, but ownership, as Jesus said, "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). Ownership is also expressed in the phrase "the church of God" (1 Corinthians 1:2), for what belongs to Christ also belongs to God, as Jesus said to the Father, "All my things are yours, and yours are mine" (John 17:10). Denominations are known by their names, as the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, etc., but the Bible church is nameless.Image

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