The word “doctrine” means “an instruction” or “a teaching” and for Christians, doctrines refer to what Christians belief based on the entirety of scripture. In this series, we will be studying, quite carefully what sound doctrine is, and what it means for our faith in these times….
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”
Doctrines must be distinguished from theology. While theology, strictly, is the study of God, doctrines refer to the different ideologies that can be understood from reading the Bible. Doctrines are classified in different ways – systematic, thematic, historic, etc. Doctrines may also simplistically be categorised as true or false. Several criteria are used to determine whether a doctrine is true or false, namely, origin, authority, consistency, quality, benefit, value, and responsibility. True doctrine originates with the Creator (origin), comes from the Bible (authority), and agrees with the whole of scripture (consistency). Such doctrine is sound (quality), is healthy (benefit), profitable to us (value), and we are responsible for holding to it (responsibility) (Tit. 1:9). False doctrine however originates with man or the devil (origin), does not come from the Bible (authority), and contradicts portions of scripture (consistency). False doctrine is unsound (quality), unhealthy (benefit) and unprofitable for us (value), and as a result we reject it (responsibility).
It is so crucially important for us believers to have and hold on to the right doctrines, because doctrines inform our belief systems about our faith, which then informs how we live out those beliefs. It is possible to love God truly and live that love out incorrectly because of false doctrine. Every one of us is called to spiritual growth, and spiritual growth means that we must know for ourselves, rather than being spoon-fed, what the underlying and overlying tenets of our faith are. This revelation is not limited or restricted to members of the clergy, and because you have the Holy Spirit, you have the same access to the true and correct revelation of the Word of God. Otherwise, you live as an ill-informed Christian, carried about with every wind of doctrine.
What are some of the dangers of holding on to false doctrine? False doctrine confuses truth and error, prevents godliness, promotes sin, elevates ungodly leadership, permits false teachers, removes God’s blessing, weakens the church for times of difficulty, and weakens her for the future. But you are a child of God, imbued with His wisdom, and the Holy Spirit in you will lead you into all truth. Your diligence to study the Word and know the truth for yourself will give you the strength to withstand the massive onslaught of false doctrines that have become pervasive in the Church today. Your spirit is taught of the Lord, and you are growing in truth and wisdom. You cannot be deceived by these ploys of the enemy. As you stay in Him, His Word abides in you, and you will keep growing stronger in revelation and in grace. God bless you.
…to be continued on Thursday.
Have a blessed day – Carl Erinle