16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Over the past couple of years there have been two well known pastors who have not kept this verse in mind as they did ministry in their church. The first, over time, moved more and more to the left of orthodoxy to the point that he questioned the doctrines of the virgin birth and of hell. He is now touring the country with Oprah, no longer pastoring a church. He failed to watch his teaching. He failed to hold fast to the truth revealed in the Word of God. In so doing he has caused many to remain in their lost state not knowing the truth of the Word. The other pastor has seen scandal after scandal in his life. He used church tithe money to make one of his book New York Times best seller. It was discovered that he plagiarized materials in many of his books. The list could go on. Several elders of his church have recently resigned in light of the numerous scandals and they have also called for his resignation. This pastor has not watched his life. He has allowed his desires to cloud his thinking which has cause his actions to be less than godly. These men have come examples for us to be watchful of our life and doctrine. There is no separation between these two, they go together. My friends hold fast to the truth and godly living so that you may persevere in your salvation and that some may be saved along with you.