Praise the Lord Saints
The transition of the Old Testament covenant to the new is through the teaching of the apostles- that’s our doctrine. John wrote “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you – The apostles made it known by the Scripture- we can share in the same revelation, knowledge and grace that they did. (2 John 1:9). The repeated emphasis on “sound” or “healthy doctrine” (1Tim 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim.1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1), “good doctrine” (1 Tim. 5:22) throughout the New Testament implies that a body of teaching has emerged by the appointed apostles. The faith has been delivered once to all the saints. This has become the body of truth (Jude 1:3). The apostles had a teaching/ equipping ministry to the church. The teaching ministry is about explaining Christ and answering people’s questions.
Many want to be a Christian without the confines of doctrine explicitly or implicitly stated in the New Testament. The theological implications of this separation is nothing short of disastrous, because it makes the church into a liberal organization that has no roots in the original church started by the apostles. The Pastoral and General Epistles are the revelation based on the new covenant of grace and are instructions on how to conduct ourselves until Jesus Christ comes again. They are to be continually taught to each succeeding generation.” The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also”(2 Timothy 2:2).
John wrote, “Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God” – If someone is consistently going beyond the words of Scripture or abandons the doctrine which Christ taught, or what the apostles wrote respecting Him they are not in Christ.
Doctrine is like the lines on the road. People who do not stay in their lane or do not pay attention to the signs or stoplights are like those who make up their own doctrine. They can hurt, or destroy themselves and others.
The New Testament focuses on the teaching ministry more than any other facet. Because we learn by communication- by seeing and hearing. It must be done but someone who has proven to have studied and learned, not a novice. Too many times a church puts in anyone into ministry because they have a zeal and willing to do work. Its been said that less than 10% of the church does 100% of the work. This should not excuse their finding anyone to work, what pastors need to do is begin to train individuals who believe they are called for ministry, make it hard to see who has endurance, willingness and the fortitude to actually be in leadership as a servant to the people. They will know who is called by those who persevere in the hardships of the discipleship process. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ – In the true teachings of Christ they will grow spiritually.
More often people depart from the truth because they did not have sound doctrine as their basis, so their living become affected. We preach with our life but not our life only, words need to be spoken.
Paul wrote in Phil. 3:15-17 “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.”
Mature in what? The teachings, in Christ and the spiritually minded all walk by the same rule. When you find someone who is not willing to hear about their being wrong or open to discussion, they are prideful. If they are in leadership, they are turning into a cult. Paul says to look the apostles as the model for ministry.
So how do we avoid this from happening to us? 1 Timothy 4:6 Paul writes for us to be “nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.” The Greek word for carefully is parakoloutheo- to follow one as to be always at his side; to accompany; to follow up a thing in mind so as to attain to the knowledge of it to understand, and to follow faithfully, that is, a standard or rule, to conform oneself to. How careful are we in doing what we hear. “You obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Romans 6:17). Doctrine is our guideline that educates and trains us to obey God so we can do His will and have His blessings.
Till next week,
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD