Is Doctrine Really Important?
By Rev. Lee J. Muncy
2 John 9: “Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God.”
Our subject for consideration is in the form of a question: Is Doctrine Really Important?. We might enlarge on this by putting forth several other questions along with this one–Does It Matter What One believes? Is It Necessary for Us to Be Doctrinally Right? Does Doctrine Have To Do With Our Salvation and Our Walk with God? Does the Bible Teach Doctrine? Did Jesus Preach Doctrine? Did the Apostles Teach Doctrine? Was Doctrine a Part of the Early Church Preaching? The answer to all these pertinent questions as to whether doctrine is really important is an EMPHATIC “YES”!
The word Doctrine means “Teaching” or “Truth”. It is impossible to teach the Bible without teaching doctrine. Doctrine is the backbone and frame work of all preaching and teaching Doctrine gives strength, form, and beauty to the message we preach.
Let us look at the Importance of Doctrine from a Biblical Standpoint. 2 John 9: “Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the DOCTRINE OF CHRIST has not God.” John here declares the person who is not abiding in the Doctrine of Christ to be a transgressor and DOES NOT HAVE GOD! The simple teaching is that God is with the Word, and the Word is with God. Where you find the truth of the word preached you will find God. When men part with the Truth they also part with God. A person cannot be with God, and not be abiding and walking in the
Matt. 7:2 “They were astonished at His Doctrine–thus Jesus taught doctrine. He taught as one having authority and not in the Scribes. Acts 2:42-And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship. The apostles taught doctrine. Peters preaching on the day of Pentecost was “Strong Doctrine.” Repentance from sin, water baptism in Jesus name, the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues is the fundamental Doctrine of the Pentecostal Church. This is the Bible Standard of full salvation. It was first spoken by the Lord, and confirmed unto us by those that heard him.” (The Apostles” Hebrew 2:3.
The Bible definitely teaches one must obey the Doctrine of Christ in regards to salvation, that is the teaching of Christ in regards to salvation to be saved. Rom. 6:17–“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have Obeyed From the Heart That Form of Doctrine Delivered You.” Thus these Saints in Rome had been saved by obeying the doctrine preached to them. 1 Pet. 1-22–“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth.” Ps. 119:9 Ä Where withal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. Thus salvation deliverance, cleansing, all comes by obeying the truth. John 8-32 `’Jesus said ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” In view of this it is indeed strange that so many modern day theologians ignore all fundamental basic teaching and doctrine of the Bible in regards to salvation. Many have been made to believe all was necessary was to join the church of their choice–raise their hand and make a decision for Christ–lay their hand on the radio or television as a “point of contact . . .” Be sincere in whatever they believed . . . Repeat the sinners prayer . . . Accept Christ as their personal saviour.
Many today teach their converts to ” . . Just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved . . .” What they do not teach though is John 7:38– That their is a scriptural way to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “He that believeth upon me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” The scriptural way to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, is by Repentance, Baptism in His Name and Receiving the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of the speaking in other tongues.
Corrupt teaching, corrupt doctrine, ever issues in Corrupt Living”, a corrupt doctrine and a corrupt life, seem to go together. Wrong believing leads to wrong living, wrong doing. This is why it is so necessary that we keep a clean ministry that preaches a straight message from the Word of God. Sometimes we are criticized because of not recognizing and fellowshipping “Out eiders . . .” ‘Free-Lancers . . .”, but the ministry of this church knows the dangers of corrupt teachings that might be brought in via those we do not know, and since they are on the “Outside of Us . . .’ we deem it best to “Leave Them On The Outside till they have been screened by the District Board, and questioned on matters of Faith and Morals, and licensed to preach among us.
WE ARE WARNED AGAINST BEING CARRIED ABOUT BY DIVERS AND STRANGE DOCTRINES
Eph. 4:14–“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.” Heb. 13:9–“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.” False
doctrine . . . Strange doctrines . . . Winds of doctrines . . . seem to have a way of “Just Carrying Folks Around.” One thing that the writer has noticed that those who in my experience were taken up with erroneous and false teachings “left the fellowship of the general body.” It is a “Satanic way of moving one out of’ the true way of God.” Most of those that I have known who carried away with “Latter Rain” and never got straight were.
Sometimes young preachers have taken up strange teachings that carried them away from the truth . . . usually these wind up “Backslid.” In a multitude of counselors, there is safety the Bible said. It will pay us to listen to these over us and to seasoned Godly men in regards to some of these spectacular things that ever so often seem to come. Once a minister has been led astray his ministry has suffered a mortal blow. It is doubtful If his ministry would ever amount to much if he did recover and get straight again. Some might say “but how do folks get off into this strange doctrine and teachings?” It is often by reading the wrong literature, listening to the wrong tapes, reading the wrong kind of books, going to the wrong place, attending the wrong meetings, running with the wrong kind of people Even if they are raising the dead and working miracles, if their doctrine and teaching is not right, “Would best leave them alone.”
This was the teaching of Jesus along these lines of those who were not with them. The best thing for saints to do is to get “settled in a good church under a pastor”, work in that assembly pay their tithes and not be “running around all over the surrounding area to every kind of meeting that might be going on.” Some who have gone after these strange things have come back after being “prophesied over, called to some special ministry or have been given some special gift, or sent to some far field” only to wind up down the road In deception, delusion, confused bewildered their Christian experience shook to its very foundations and their ministry gone. These things alone should suffice us to say, “Yes It is important to have the right doctrine.”
DOCTRINE IS TO BE PREACHED AND TAUGHT
I Tim. 4:13~”Paul told Timothy to give attendance to reading, to exhortation and to doctrine.” In verse 16 of that same chapter Paul told him to: “Take heed unto thyself and the doctrine, continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.”
It is evident then that continuing in the doctrine and truth is necessary to salvation. I Tim. 5:17–“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” Ill Timothy 3:16~”All scripture is given by inspiration of’ God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
We can never be fully equipped, fully developed, mature or perfected without the doctrine of Christ. Nobody is established as they need be in the things of God who is not established in the doctrine and truth. This is why it is so important for us to attend Bible studies, listen and give attendance to doctrine, instruction, teaching, truth for us to get rooted, grounded, settled anal established in the faith.
Titus 2:1–Paul told Titus to “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” Paul instructed Timothy when he left him in Ephesus to charge the ministry there that “they teach no other doctrine.” Pro. 23:23-“Buy the truth and sell it not.” Get it at any price, and sell it at no price.
The Above Material Was Published By Christian Newspaper, August 1998. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.