Why Teach Doctrine? There are many that feel that it is unnecessary, even divisive, to teach doctrine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bible doctrine is the truth of God’s Word, which needs to be taught. Jesus said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me” (Jn. 7:16). Paul said to Timothy, “But thou has fully known my doctrine, [and] manner of life…” (2 Tim. 3:10). Doctrine should lead to life, practice, and application. As believers we are told to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The Apostle Paul said, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine… And shall turn away their ears from the truth” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
Three Sources of Doctrine. There are three sources of doctrine: (1) God. (2) Man. (3) Satan. In Matthew 16:13-23 we see all three sources revealed. When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (v.v. 16-17). This was the doctrine of God coming to Peter.5
When asked the same question, many people said Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or some other prophet (v. 14). This was the doctrine of man, that is, only human thinking. Jesus said that traditions and doctrines of men make the Word of God of none effect (Mk. 7:7-9,13). Believers are warned not to be carried about by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14).
In verses 21-23, Peter rebuked Jesus for saying He was going to the cross. Jesus replied, “Get thee behind me Satan…” (Mt. 16:23). This was a doctrine of Satan. The Apostle Paul states that “in the latter time some will depart from the [Christian] faith and give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Proper understanding of God’s Word is the only way to correct the false teaching of man and the doctrines of demons.
Doctrine Must Be Sound. Sound doctrine is revealed as (1) The doctrine of God (1 Tim.6:1-3; Titus 2:10). (2) The doctrine of Christ (Heb. 6:1). (3) The Apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42). Contained within these doctrines are: Repentance from dead works, Faith toward God, Baptisms, Laying on of Hands, Resurrection from the dead, Eternal Judgment (Heb. 6:1-2), the words of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 6:3), the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43), godliness (1 Tim. 6:3), love (1 Cor. 13:1-2), and all that the scriptures reveal that is profitable to be taught; that is, for doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16).
Do You Have Sound Doctrine? Sound doctrine keeps back nothing that is profitable (Acts 20:20), declares the whole counsel of God (not just your favorite verses – Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 3:16), it builds up (Acts 20:32), rebukes, corrects and instructs in right living (See 2 Tim. 3:16). It holds firmly to the whole counsel of the apostle’s doctrine that was delivered unto the saints through the apostolic letters written to the churches (See 1 Timothy 4:13-16; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27).
Are You In Heresy? Heresy means to pick or choose. I have forty Scriptures on two pages and I choose ten verses I want to believe and teach (while ignoring the thirty). I am already in heresy to some degree. Vine’s Greek Lexicon states, “Heresy means to choose, especially the choosing of a self-willed opinion. It is frequently because of personal preference or the prospect of advantage.” Whatever the reason, it will lead to spiritual ruin and destruction. Without acknowledging all the Scriptures on all subjects, we will be led to wrong conclusions that result in wrong doctrine. How sad it would be to deceive others and be deceived (See 2 Timothy 3:13). Paul told Timothy to “watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:16, NIV). I personally adhere to the first-century church and what the early believers understood when they first heard a New Testament letter read to them. I personally do not adhere to a twentieth-century mystical interpretation that reads into the passage doctrines that the early church did not know nor perceive.
A Personal & Intimate Relationship with God. The purpose of all Bible doctrine is that man may come to know God in a personal and intimate way, as revealed in Jesus 6 Christ (Jn. 17:3; Acts 9:5). Not a god of our own making by picking and choosing what scripture we will believe and not believe. In doing this we make a god of our own invention.
Don W. Krow