But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; …
What is this “sound doctrine” to which the Apostle makes reference?
Doctrine means Teaching. Strangely enough, so does Tradition. Yes, Tradition means Teaching. Let me show you.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 King James Bible (KJV) Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditionswhich ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2 Thessalonians 2:15New International Version (NIV)
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
So, holding on to sound doctrine means to hold on to sound tradition.
What does “sound” mean? Sound can mean many things depending on the context. It can mean “noise.” Or “vocalization”. Or other things, depending on the context. Let’s look at the context in which it is used in the Bible when paired with doctrine.
2 Tim 4:3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
So, sound doctrine is not necessarily what one wants to hear.
Titus 1:9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Sound doctrine is a “trustworthy message which has been passed down according to how it has been taught.”
So, no deviations. And, must it be passed down by Scripture?
1 Thessalonians 2:13New International Version (NIV)
13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
You heard from us. Therefore, these were taught by word and not by reading it for themselves.
And it says “from us”. Therefore, there is a select group from which one must learn the Teachings. As Scripture says elsewhere:
Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Therefore, in order to receive a faithful and trustworthy message, one must learn it from the Sacred Traditions which are passed down by their leaders in the Church.
Sacred Tradition is that Sound Doctrine to which the Apostle makes reference.