Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doctrine, Part 2 of 3

Clearly, our Lord took doctrine seriously, as anyone giving the New Testament an honest reading would likewise conclude. It is actually very simple: God gave us His written and infallible word to be the basis and ground of our life. It contains the message of our creation, sin’s entrance, the promises and prophecies of the Redeemer, their realization, and the gospel that saves.

The Bible reveals the person of God. Paul told us that apart from divine revelation we could only perceive God’s power and deity; nothing more, Romans 1:20. In other words, without doctrine we would not know who God is because this (the written word of the Bible) is how He chose to reveal Himself to mankind. Likewise, we would not know the gospel of salvation without sound doctrine. More importantly, God chose to relate this vital message through the preaching of men. Paul writes:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things…So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10:14-15, 17.

So earnest and serious is this issue within the professing church of Jesus Christ that Paul also wrote: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple,” Romans 16:17-18. James writes and tells us that we are to receive with meekness the implanted word which is capable of saving our souls, James 1:21.

Paul writes and commends the Roman Christians that though they were once slaves of sin they obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine they were delivered to, Romans 6:17. John, in his first epistle, uses the word “know” in its various forms more than twenty times. What point is the apostle impressing? That knowing God—that is, having a genuine relationship founded on knowledge—is vital to our salvation. One must hear the gospel before they can believe it; also, the gospel must be clearly given in all of its beautiful simplicity. For this we rely on doctrine. Paul writes that the proper reception of the gospel, believing its message, is what saves a man, 1st Corinthians 15:1-2.

Where does this leave us concerning sound doctrine? We as Christians have a serious choice to make. Do we capitulate to the masses of the day, even within our own church, who are unsaved, unspiritual, and enlightened only by worldly ideals? Or do we hold fast the word of truth and proclaim what God says is right, just, and necessary for men to be saved? The Bible warns us that dark times are coming, and we as Christians without exception are called upon to stand fast in the doctrine and not let it go. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry,” 2nd Timothy 4:1-5.

What does Scripture say regarding those who forsake or reject sound doctrine? Much, actually, and here is a sampling:

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do, 1st Timothy 1:3-4.

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself, 1st Timothy 6:3-5.

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed, Galatians 1:6-9.

1 comment:

  1. God's warnings to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 are primarily about doctrine. Some had accepted a perverted doctrine, while others had accepted doctrine that had no basis in God at all. Still others had decided to just ignore doctrine as irrelevant. While sound doctrine does not ensure a church is right with God, it's absence makes it impossible to be.

    Great post.

    ReplyDelete

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2nd Timothy 3:16.

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