Paul first categorizes their ministry. As in 1:3, he charges them with, literally, "teaching different doctrine." False doctrines were determined on the basis of divergence from the approved teaching of the church. The remainder of verse 3 defines the approved canon or standard. Sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ is a reference to the gospel about Christ which Paul himself introduced. It produces soundness or spiritual health in those that receive it (see 1:10). The approved teaching is that which can be measured by "godliness" (the NIV godly teaching is too vague; compare Tit 1:2). The true gospel announces and produces a genuinely transformed lifestyle.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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