Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"Error" Part II

2Ti 4:3  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;
2Ti 4:4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Tit 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Tit 2:1  But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

I have asked individuals and ministries before what their statement of faith was, I often received in response very similar answers. Sometimes it was something like, "We just believe the Bible" or "The Bible is our only creed and rule of faith." It really does sound good and spiritual, the problem is, it doesn't tell me very much. Likewise, I have heard preachers begin their sermon by saying, "I don't preach that doctrine stuff, I just preach Jesus." When I have heard that done, most always the congregation would give numerous "Amen" responses and sometimes an applause. The problem is, all that does is show our ignorance concerning spiritual things. On the surface they sound good and make us feel spiritual and above controversy.  In reality none of these statements have any roots below the surface.

What I need to know is what you believe about the Bible and what you believe about Jesus. That is called doctrine, and if you don't preach doctrine then you don't have anything to say about Jesus.

As you can see from the opening statements, the scripture speaks much of sound doctrine. One might ask what is sound doctrine? It might be stated as statements of faith that are solid, beliefs that have been affirmed and re-affirmed by good authoritative and original sources. This is what we are looking for in Christian doctrine. Sound doctrine is our guard against error and keeps us in the right paths. In our day and time, doctrine is a word that seems to be avoided. When it is spoken, it is usually a statement about how doctrine divides and how we should avoid it. For a congregation that has been avoiding it, it probably will divide.  However, if it is sound doctrine, its greatest strength is that it unites around the truth.

What would be an example of sound doctrine? One example is The Apostles' Creed. It is a statement of faith dated around 140 AD. It sets for us a basic foundation for our faith. It provides a confession from the early church revealing what the scriptures informed them concerning these elements of faith. It is a statement of faith that has been held throughout history within the Church, it is very sound doctrine.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    the Maker of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
    born of the virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
    and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
    from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
    the holy catholic church;
    the communion of saints;
    the forgiveness of sins;
    the resurrection of the body;
    and the life everlasting.

If your Church does not believe in God the Father, that Jesus Christ was his Son, that He was conceived in the womb of a virgin named Mary by the Holy Spirit, that this Jesus was crucified, buried,  rose again, then ascended into heaven and will be the judge of the living and dead in that day of judgment, if you don't believe in the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit and one holy catholic Church, and if you don't love communion of the saints and trust in the forgiveness of sins and a resurrection of the body to eternal life, then you are not a Christian and the Church you attend is not a Christian Church. That is how important sound doctrine is. Understanding sound doctrine can make the difference between salvation and judgment. It is imperative that we take a serious look at what we believe. It is of great necessity that we expend the energy to search out sound doctrine through our history, compare it to scripture, and judge by it what we believe. This is what happened in the reformation, this is what must happen in our lives. We must continue to be reformed to more accurate understanding of scripture. In our next post we will take another step forward.

May the Grace of God be upon each of you,


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