Lucia's Blog: DOES DOCTRINE MATTER?
Google Logo
Image Caption goes here.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

DOES DOCTRINE MATTER?

“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.  He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” 
2 John 9 



The few words of 2 John 9 are very hard to escape. Leave it to crafty men to weasel out of the clutches of responsibility by redefining the keyword “doctrine” as if it had an extremely limited application. The point of limiting the word “doctrine” to the teaching about Christ instead of the doctrine that Christ taught is obviously to diminish the judgment of Christ against all practices contrary to His written will.

Does Doctrine matter?  Is it vital to our salvation?  The word doctrine means teaching.  So do the teachings of Jesus matter to our salvation? Are His teachings vital to our salvation?   Let’s think for a moment about this question.


I.  DOCTRINE IS VITAL TO SALVATION:
  • Does Doctrine Matter?  

Yes!  It is vital to salvation.  And though doctrine is vital to our salvation, many insist that doctrine does not matter.  The word doctrine means teachingSo do the teachings of Jesus matter to our salvation? Are His teachings vital to our salvation?

Jesus told His disciples as He was getting ready to ascend into heaven after He had died, was buried and rose again:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).

So by what means did Jesus tell the apostles to “make disciples of all the nations”?  By the preaching and teaching of the Gospel of Jesus, our Lord.  The Gospel of Mark records Jesus' instructions to them. 
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:15-16).   

You see, preaching is a form of teaching.  Jesus instructed the apostles to “make disciples of all the nations” by teaching the Gospel to them.  Those who believed their preaching and teaching were baptized and became disciples.  The apostles were commanded to continue “teaching them to observe all things” that Jesus had “commanded” them.  You see, teaching is not just important.  It is vital to salvation!  

For one to develop faith, he must hear the Word of God. 
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).  

One of the most fundamental ways to hear the Word of God is through teaching.  When one teaches God's Word, he is teaching the doctrine of God.  The apostle Paul through the Holy Spirit, declared God's plan to "save those who believe" (1 Cor. 1:21).  How?  Again through the same teaching form, approach, or method commanded by Jesus, that is, preaching the Gospel.

The more that we learn of God's Word, the better we will understand its teachings (doctrine), and the stronger and more sound our faith will be.  It is not enough just to learn something, for we must correctly learn the vital teachings of God’s Word to be saved.  So we must focus on "sound doctrine."  Again the word doctrine simply means teachingThus sound doctrine refers to Jesus' teachings that are scripturally correct and accurate.

In Titus 2:1, Paul urged Titus to teach “the things which are proper for sound doctrine.”  When we have a strong grasp of "sound doctrine," it is easier to recognize and refute false teaching (Tit. 1:9).
"He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it."

When our way of living contradicts “sound doctrine,” it will lead to eternal condemnation.
"Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted (1 Tim. 1:8-11).  

Paul has urged and warned us about not giving proper attention to “sound doctrine,” for it will lead many to turn away from God’s Truth.
"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; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.  3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (teaching); but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Tim. 4:1-4).

In Colossians 1:28, Paul wrote to them, saying,
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28).  

Paul linked preaching with teaching.  God specified the methodology (the manner, approach, design, or method) of preaching and teaching that must be used to teach or lead sinful men to salvation.

Unfortunately, many try to use a different approach to teaching the Gospel, making a distinction between teaching the Gospel and teaching Doctrine, as if to separate one from the other.  So what does the word doctrine mean?  Simply teaching!  Again, what did Jesus command the apostles and us to teach to “make disciples of all the nations”?  First, the Gospel and then “all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).  The Gospel must be taught first because it is God's power to save everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16).

In 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Paul equates “sound doctrine” with “the glorious gospel.”  That “gospel” included in verses 8-10, all the laws that govern our conduct as Christians. He describes those laws as “whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel …” So it is easy to infer that without doctrine, there is no Gospel!  Period!  The Gospel is the very essence of God’s doctrine communicated to us through the Scriptures.

2 John 9 stresses the importance of sound doctrine (that is, the teaching of Christ). 
“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.  He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

Thus, we must not separate the doctrine of Christ from the doctrines taught by Christ (Matt. 28:19-20).  We must not separate the Gospel and Doctrine, for they must go hand in hand if we want to go to heaven!
 
For many, God’s Doctrine is not attractive, especially to those who insist on living in sin. They find the Bible and its doctrines repulsive, claiming that Doctrine is not essential. Doctrine is not just important. It is essential, vital to our salvation. We cannot be saved unless we obey the complete plan of salvation, which includes obedience to all of our Lord's commands for the rest of our lives. We cannot separate Doctrine from the Gospel. We obey Him because we love Him, and there is no way to please Him without loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Anything less than that is falses Doctrine! (Acts 2:38; I John 4:1-6; 2 John 9; II Thessalonians 1:8; I Timothy 4:16; Acts 20:26-27).

The whole counsel of God is Doctrine. All the teachings of Christ are Doctrine. All children of Light must conform their lives to sound, healthy Doctrine to beautify the Word of God (His Doctrine), making the Gospel Message more attractive to unbelievers. It is impossible to convert profane people to Christ if we Christians are not walking in Truth and Spirit. That is, we must adorn the Doctrine of Christ (the Gospel) to be effective in drawing unbelievers to Christ. Our daily life communicates our faith to a watching world. It will be difficult for them to listen to us if we don't reflect the Truth in our manner of thinking, speaking, and living. It will be impossible to teach others the Gospel of Christ if we, ourselves, are not imitators of Christ (I Cor. 11:1).

So we must show the beauty of the teachings of God (His Doctrine). God is always opening doors for us to show the beauty and value of following His Doctrine. We must “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1).

Sadly, few read their Bible and meditate on the Word. They are not able to defend sound Doctrine and let their light shine, making the Gospel of Christ look more appealing! Why? Because we must live in such a way as to let others see the beauty of Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20). We must also sanctify Christ in our hearts that others may know the hope that is in us. When they ask about our hope, we must be ready to make a defense (give an answer, 1 Peter 3:15).

Only mature Christians (those who have grown in the Doctrine of God, sound in faith) can do this. It is in adorning the Doctrine of God, our Savior, that the church can carry out His work and fulfill its purposes in everything to glorify Him. It is Grace that teaches us how to adorn the Doctrine of our Savior (Titus 2:10-11). We must be compelled to adorn God's Doctrine! (Titus 2:13).


CONCLUSION:

We cannot be partially saved!

Strong or sound faith is key to our salvation (Rom. 5:1; 10:9-10).  Genuine faith is inseparably tied to the teachings of God’s Word, the teachings of Christ (the Gospel). To develop and be steadfast in our faith, we must believe, and be diligent in living by the “sound doctrine” of God’s Word.

Doctrine is not just important. It is essential. It is necessary and vital to our salvation. We cannot be saved unless we obey the complete plan of salvation.  We cannot separate Doctrine from the Gospel. Gospel and Doctrine are the same things. We obey Him because we love Him, and there is no way to please Him without loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Anything less than that is false doctrine (Acts 2:38; I John 4:1-6; 2 John 9; II Thessalonians 1:8; I Timothy 4:16; Acts 20:26-27). The whole counsel of God is Doctrine. Can we ignore the counsel of God (God's doctrine) and still please Him and go to heaven?
"Dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus" (2 Thess. 1:8).

May we learn God's Word and understand its teachings better.  May we have a strong and sound faith.  May we defend God's sound doctrine to adorn the Gospel of Christ and allow others to see His beauty living in us.  May we follow God's specified manner, approach, design, or method of preaching and teaching as commanded by Him that we may teach and lead sinful men to salvation.

Luci

No comments :

Post a Comment