The Value of Sound Doctrine

"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the
doctrine; continue in them: for in doing
this thou shalt both save thyself, and
them that hear thee" (I Tim. 4:16).

I have found in my experience and time in Christ that so many of God's people have been somehow influenced to believe that the very word "doctrine" is something to be avoided. In light of our text scripture I believe we should all ask the question, "Why is that?" I believe that the only true answer we can have for that question is that there is a lack of knowledge of the true doctrine of Christ, and an inevitable lack of regard for that knowledge. Jesus said that if we would continue in His word that we would be His disciples, and that we would know the truth, and be made free thereby (Jn. 8:31,32). To be certain, the real knowledge of God's truth (s), if we possess it, is going to make us free from the confusion and fear that dictates that we should avoid speaking of doctrine among one another. And it will also make us free from speaking with strife and contention if and when we do speak of doctrine. Because in reality, really knowing the truth will eventually make us free from EVERYTHING that is unlike the mind and nature of God! But the key word in this equation is "continue." To truly continue in learning of God's word, means to continue pressing into His Spirit through overcoming the flesh and the spirits of this world, and seeking Him diligently in every way. If we do these things with an honest heart, then we will surely know "what the Spirit is saying unto the (congregations)."

But going back to our text scripture: I would really like for you to consider the magnitude of this statement made by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, whom he ordained a Pastor in the body of Christ. And as zealous as God's people are of spiritual gifts, like healing, miracles, etc; there is no scripture like our text, that emphasizes these gifts in relation to the hope of salvation, as is the case with sound doctrine. And please don't misunderstand me here: We absolutely and desperately need all of the gifts of the Spirit to be operating among us; and certainly we should desire these things, as the scripture also states (I Cor. 14:1). But our calling is to love one another with God's love, and to be one, even as the Father and the Son are one (Jn. 15:12; Jn. 17:11, 21-23; I Cor. 1:10; Rom. 15:6: Philip. 2:2). And the simple truth is that we can do neither of these if we do not collectively know the true doctrine of Christ. Understanding doctrine is the chief thing that enables us to continue to circumcise our hearts from our fleshly nature, as well as our fleshly minds. This is evident by the apostle's statement in Eph. 5:26: "That he (Christ) might sanctify and cleanse it (the body of Christ) with the washing of water by the word." Hebrews 4:12 tells us, "the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." The preaching of the real truth (doctrine) to God's people is the only way that the conviction of the holy Spirit can continue to lead us further into His holiness, and cause us to take on more of His nature, which is holy love (Jn. 16:13; Gal. 3:27; Rom. 12:2; I Pet. 1:22; etc.).

In Eph. 4:14,15, the Apostle Paul makes a very strong statement that we should all take a closer look at: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" The thing that we need to look at here is that just before writing the above statement, the apostle set forth seven powerful, irrefutable points of the doctrine of Christ which our faith should be grounded in (Eph. 4:4-6). A close and honest study of those seven "ones" can show us that the doctrines that are upheld and highly esteemed in the body of Christ today simply are not of the true doctrine of Christ. Let's consider another admonishment of this great apostle of the Gentiles: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving" (Col. 2:6,7). Now the scriptures surely inform us that we are all to be taught by the Spirit of God (Jn. 14:26; I Jn. 2:27; Isa. 54:13; etc.). And the only teachers in the body of Christ that are teachers indeed, are those who are teaching God's people what the Spirit of God is also teaching them! Praise God, how I feel the stirring of God's Spirit within me with that powerful statement of truth! And if what we are being taught is NOT what the Spirit is also saying to us, then we are not being "rooted and built up in Him," and consequently cannot "grow up into him in all things."

So it becomes evident that the true doctrine of Christ is what gives us the capacity to be developed in God's love, because erroneous doctrine about Jesus and His gospel can only come from one source, and it's not the Spirit of God. If we embrace erroneous teaching about Christ, then we are receiving and being hindered by the spirit of error that brings it, which spirit is the Devil himself. Satan is in fact that "other Jesus" that Paul warned the Corinthians about, and his spirit is the one that is behind this "other gospel" that has confused God's people from the voice of the holy Spirit of God (II Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6). The body of Christ today is in more confusion, division, and disarray than at any other time in history; and God is not the author of that confusion (I Cor. 14:33). We simply cannot love one another with God's love, or be one with one another in the same manner that Jesus and His Father are one, as long as we accept this condition of confusion and division of minds.  And we can't cure the condition unless we become willing to launch out of our comfort zone and "Examine (ourselves), whether (we) be in the faith; (and) prove (our) own selves" (II Cor. 13:5). If we are truly in the faith then we are going to be in one mind; and rather than shy away from the topic of doctrine, we will be drawn to it with an abundance of joy and true fellowship! Friend, let me invite you to make a thorough, honest, and prayerful study of this website, and to "Prove all things; (and) hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21). May God bless you in all things.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ..."
(I Cor.12:13)

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