Is doctrine important?

Published 11:39 am Thursday, March 31, 2011

The truth came walking into Athens, Greece, one day with the malformed positive and the feeble gait of the Apostle Paul.

He said, “I’m going to tell you the truth, which will show your superstition for what it is” and that is just what he did. Many there that day believed.

There were others that said, “That sounds right, let us hear more.” We can be certain that they did.

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Superstition is the proper name for the devotions of the uninformed and the misinformed. Superstition is always present when sound doctrine is not.

Proper doctrine is the only way we can bridge the gulf between an honest heart and an honest truth.

Passion, desire and an honest heart may bring you close, but correct doctrine is the necessary ingredient overlooked by many today.

True doctrine is generally far more simple than it is superstitious counterparts. Paul said “I fear, lest by and means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted, from the simplicity that is in Christ,” (2nd Corinthians 11:3).

The time Jesus asked the woman at the well for a drink, she obliged.

He said, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (St. John 4:10).

The only thing missing in this woman’s life was proper teaching. If she had had that knowledge, everything would have been in place for her to never thirst again. With five failed marriages in her past, and the moral failings of her present lifestyle, Jesus saw the greatest lack of doctrine. If she knew truth no failed relationship of the past and no moral sickness of the present could keep her from salvation.

God’s love is a doctrine. Salvation is a doctrine. Baptism, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment are all doctrines.

Mercy, grace, forgiveness, atonement—all are doctrines. Redemption, righteousness, glory—all are doctrines. The blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, the return of Jesus all are doctrines.

What are we to propagate if not doctrine?

How does anyone hope to find God without the correct doctrine?

There are doctrines over which there is little disagreement, and there are doctrines that are less widely accepted, but we are not to accept a doctrine based upon how widely it is accepted, but rather on the basis of the Scripture-Less popular doctrines such as the numerical integrity of God, godly living and separation from the customs and fads of the world are scriptural doctrines that are equally binding.

The wise men traveled two years following a star. These men from the Far East were practitioners of astrology. They had the passion, the desire, and the intellectual curiosity necessary to get as far as Jerusalem, so they stopped and asked where the child would be born. It was then that the scribes quoted Micah and told the wise men that he would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).

They had made it as far as Jerusalem, only five miles from the lowly manger, where the savior of the world was laid. The scribes had the correct doctrine, but they had no passion or desire.

It is essential that the proper information be injected into our passion or it becomes pointless. The importance of true doctrine cannot be overstated when given to the sincere and to the wandering. But it serves as little more than fodder for argument when given to the insincere and the self-satisfied.

Biblical doctrine is the only way we can distinguish truth from superstition. The moment we decide doctrine is not important, we have forfeited the value of our passion and desire. Our good intentions and desire may take us close to God, but we will never find him without correct doctrine. Doctrine is the guidance system for our passion.

Between the years AD 100 and 312, there was a downward spiral from deeds of doctrine. Certain practices and teachings that were never sanctioned by God or his word were woven into the fabric of Christian doctrine through the passing of time.

It is important to us to value true doctrine and to care enough for it to matter to us. True doctrine and holy desire will always lead us to the fill of our Savior.

At a feast held in Galilee, Jesus taught in the temple saying, “My Doctrine is not mine but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (St. John 7:16-17).