What Is The Role of Biblical Doctrine In The Life Of The Church?
The role of doctrine plays a very important part in the life of the church in various aspects. The word “doctrine” simply means “teaching.” Christianity is a teaching religion (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2). Elders (1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:9), preachers (1 Timothy 4:6,13,16; 6:1,3; 2 Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:7,10), and all Christians are to teach (Titus 2:1-10) and practice true and sound (healthy) doctrine.
The church began (and the Christian’s life begins) by obeying the doctrine of Christ (Acts 2:38, 41, 47; Romans 6:17). The early church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42). We are to imitate that same example (2 Timothy 3:10). Doctrine serves as a proper foundation. If we know true doctrine, we can build on the right foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). Doctrine is important because it helps the church ascertain truth from error (Ephesians 4:14-15; Hebrews 13:9). Only truth contained within the doctrine of the New Testament can set us free from the bondage of sin (John 8:31-32; 17:17; Romans 6:17; 2 John 1:9-11). Any other doctrine is forbidden (1 Timothy 1:3) and is considered the doctrines of demons and of men (2 Timothy 4:1; Colossians 2:22). Jesus stated to His disciples to beware of the leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:12; Mark 7:7). Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men causes one’s worship to God to be in vain (Matthew 15:8-9); whereas true doctrine is among the vital components that make the church’s worship acceptable to God (John 4:23-24). We are not to be led astray by the philosophies of men (Ephesians 4:14; Colossians 2:18, 22). Jesus warned many of the seven churches of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:14,15). A church in its work, worship, and way of life will be removed by Christ if it does not adhere firmly to the doctrine of Christ (1 Timothy 1:8-11; 6:1; Revelation 2:5). Even members of the church are to withdraw themselves from those who do not consent to the doctrine of Christ (1 Timothy 6:3-5). Paul urged brethren to note those who caused divisions and offenses that were contrary to the doctrine that they were taught (Romans 16:17; Hebrews 13:9). The work of the church is to fill cities up with the doctrine of Christ (Acts 5:28; 17:19; Acts 8:3-4).
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