Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 26, 1961

"Sound Brethren"

Conway Skinner, Forest, Mississippi

Much is being said today about sound brethren (those that are trustworthy, or solid in the truth), as well as about those that are not sound. Please, consider these thoughts about "sound brethren", for I like to place them in three categories.

Sound Asleep

When preaching some time back, I looked over the audience and saw, not four, not five, but six very sound brethren; they were sound asleep I Oh yes, I know the usual comment, "You put them to sleep, preacher, so you wake them up." Another tale goes like this; a preacher made earnest inquiry of a brother as to why he slept with such regularity each Sunday. The reply, "Why preacher, when bro. Jones was here, I didn't dare go to sleep, but I trust you so much that now I can sleep in peace." Perhaps it wasn't to this type person that Paul said, "Awake thou that sleepest," but it fits, doesn't it? What can a preacher do to stop such? One preacher tried the following: About midway in the sermon, seeing that there were several "sound brethren" in the audience, he suddenly shouted with great fervor, "Fire! Fire! All of the sleepers awoke instantly, and one being quite startled said, "Where, preacher, where?" The answer came back promptly, "In hell, brother, and that's where some of you are going if you don't wake up I"

All Sound

A. Boasters — In the church, as in other areas of life, some are always sounding off about the great things they are going to do. Paul said that along with the "lovers of self" and "lovers of money" there would be also the "boastful" as well. (2 Tim. 3:2) In this same category are the scribes and Pharisees, of whom Jesus said, "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." (Matt. 23:3) There must still be a few Pharisees around today, and some of them are in the church.

B. Tattlers and Busybodies — Who being idle, go about from house to house "speaking things which they ought not." (1 Tim. 3:13) Not just the sisters, either, for high up on this list can be found certain preachers! Peter had men in mind too, when he taught against being "a busybody in other men's matters." (1 Pet. 4:15) These brethren are sound brethren, alright; they can be found "sounding off" about most anything, most any old time!

Sound In The Faith

Thanks be to God for this group.

A. They endure sound doctrine. Paul said that the time would come (and it has) when many would not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they would "heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts." (2 Tim. 4:3)

B. They hold fast the pattern of sound words. It is not sufficient to simply "endure" sound doctrine (some manage to endure it, but barely), one must also "hold the pattern of sound words" as well. (2 Tim. 1:13) Yet some act almost as if they think the word "pattern" to be a dirty word! Truly sound brethren not only endure, and hold to sound doctrine, but;

C. They are sound in practice. "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own souls." (James 1:22) Have you ever heard a comment like this, "I know that I may be doing something wrong, but I'd rather do something and it be wrong, than simply not do anything." Maybe someone ought to read bro. James again, he didn't say "do", instead he said, "be ye doers of the word." There is a difference, you know. Finally, brethren are truly sound if:

D. They sound out the word. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." (Rom. 10:17, 18)

Are you sound, brother? If so, which kind?