Passing the Baton

by Dr. Ken Matto

(2 Tim 2:2 KJV) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

About a week ago I was looking at a ministry web site and they gave you a free Screen Saver or Wallpaper, I get them confused. Nevertheless, when my computer signs on the picture on the screen comes up and it is of two racers, one handing the baton to another, and the caption reads, “It’s not enough to run the race, you must also pass the baton.” When I read that, it reminded me of the above verse in which the Apostle Paul is counseling Timothy, that not only is he to remember what Paul is teaching him, but that knowledge is not to go to glory with him. Timothy was to hand over the knowledge that the Lord Jesus gave him to all the people so the next generation would begin to be trained. One of the most awful habits that human beings, in any given occupation can have, is the harboring of knowledge that can benefit others. In business we call it “job security.” We must never do as the world does and try to hold on to information that other Christians can benefit from. It is a center of pride in us that desires people to come to us and ask information that they may need. Every true church needs to implement a new believer’s class and fellowship where they may mingle with those who have been in the faith for many years.

Those new believers should only be subjected to those Christians who are strong in the Bible and who do not adopt every “wind of doctrine” that comes down the pike. There are Christians in every church who tend to read an overabundance of books and unfortunately when you mix too many opinions, you will become confused and when the teacher is confused, the students will become bewildered. When a new Christian becomes confused, then they begin to build on many legs of that confusion, never coming to truth but only living on opinions of man. Paul was telling Timothy that he was to pass down to faithful men all the truths that he learned under Paul’s teaching. Timothy was a good student because Paul called him his “son in the faith.” God expects older Christians to be able to disciple the younger Christians properly. Remember, we are not just talking about growing the next generation, that generation is going to pass what they learn on to the next one until the Lord returns. So your biblical influence over a young Christian today, will have a long time ripple effect all the way up till the last day. Let us heed with sobriety the following passage. (1 Tim 4:16 KJV) Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.  (4/11/03)

See my article on Training the Next Generation