FOF-01 - Good Doctrine
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FUNDAMENTALS OF FAITH
The apostle Paul asked a great question in Romans 4:3, “What does the Scripture say?”
We’re going to be discussing those doctrines and teaching of Scripture that are
fundamental to one understanding God's word and New Testament Christianity.
As we think about fundamentals of the faith, laying the correct foundation, it is so
important to have that fundamental idea of knowing where our faith comes from. Let’s
begin by talking about having the right source and the right doctrine, as our fundamental
guide. When you think about the word doctrine, it’s a big word, or a word we don't use a
whole lot, but it just simply means teaching. The Greek word didasko, just simply meant
teaching. So, when we talk about doctrine, we’re talking about following the right
Let's begin by asking, whose doctrine and whose teaching does the Bible
encourage us to follow? In Scripture there are three sources of doctrine specifically
mentioned, but only one of those is approved by God. The major fundamental source of
doctrine is that of Christ and of God. John said, in 2 John 9, “Whoever transgresses,”
listen now, “and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, does not have God. He abides
in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” Whose doctrine, teaching,
must I abide in to have God as my father? God's doctrine. Titus 2:10, “It is the doctrine
of God that records godliness and creates the spiritual life that God wants us to have.”
We want to emphasize and put our focus on the teaching of Christ and the teaching of
God, as the fundamental source in our doctrine.
But as we mention, there are two other sources and these are sources that one
needs to be aware of. For example, in the Scripture there is mentioned the doctrines of
demons, which in reality, was a departure of the faith. 1 Timothy 4:1, the Bible says,
“The Spirit expressly says that the latter times some will depart from the faith.” What you
mean Paul? “Giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, forbidding to
marry, commanding abstain from food, which God created to be received with
thanksgiving by those who know and love the truth.” What is this doctrine of demons?
It's false doctrine. It's doctrine that emanates from the depths of hell. It is trying to sway
people away from God & the truth, and align them with the devil and his teaching. So,
the idea there is false doctrine or doctrines of men that do not bring about Godliness.
Then there's a third doctrine that's mentioned. It’s this doctrine that we especially
want to encourage people to be on the watch for. There is also mention in Scripture the
doctrine of men, and we absolutely must be aware of that. In Mark chapter 7, we find a
great example. As well as in Matthew 15:9, Jesus said of the religious elite who were
putting their trust in the doctrines of men, Jesus said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about
these people saying, they draw near to me with her mouth, honor me with their lips, but
their heart is it far from me.” now listen, “in vain do they worship me teaching as
doctrine, the commandments of men.”
When we think about doctrine, it's not what a commentary says that matters; it's
not what men say that matters; it’s not what the popular opinion says that matters; it's
not any of those things that originate with men; our doctrine, to have good doctrine and
to stay true to the Scripture, must be based off of the word and the will of our Heavenly
Let’s ask another question. Once we consider that the source must come from
God, what type of doctrine then are Christians encouraged in Scripture to look for?
Friend the Bible teaches that we need sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1:10, Paul encouraged
Timothy to, “give heed to sound doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:3, upon the heels of saying,
“Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort
with all long-suffering and teaching, for the time will come when they will not endure
sound doctrine.” What is that idea of sound doctrine really mean? When we say ‘sound
doctrine’ that really doesn't carry the connotation may be that it originally did. The word
sound means healthy. It means well. It means solid. It means a pure is the idea. We’re
talking about healthy doctrine. We’re talking about that which promotes spiritual health
and growth. I want sound doctrine. What is that sound doctrine? How do we have true
sound doctrine? If our teaching comes from God in the Bible, it will promote spiritual
well-being. The Scripture says that God's word is, “A living and powerful, sharper than
any two edged sword able to pierce even to division of soul and spirit joint tomorrow it's
a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Sound doctrine is based on the
words of this book. “God's word is able to build us up and give us an inheritance among
all those who are sanctified, Acts 20:32.” This book, God's word, is the power of God
unto salvation. And thus, when we think about the right doctrine, we want to be sound.
We want it to be well. We want it to be healthy doctrine that comes from God and his
message of salvation, not from the ideas and teachings of men.
We then ask the question, where do we get this doctrine? As we've alluded to,
that doctrine is going to come from the Bible. I want you listen to the words of Jesus in
John chapter 7:17, as he spoke about doctrine. Jesus said of the doctrine that, “It is not
my own, if anyone desires to do my will, he shall know, concerning the doctrine,
whether I speak of only my own authority or from God.”
When we talk about the source of doctrine, that doctrine emanates from the
throne of heaven, from God himself, from Jesus Christ, who is our Savior, that's where
we get that that doctrine. Now someone says, ‘Okay, well that's all good and well, but
you are you saying God speaking to me? Christ is speaking to me today?’ Only as he
has told us in Scripture. Where does our doctrine come from, if it comes from God? It's
found in the pages of the Bible. That's how God speaks to us today. How do we know
that? Listen to the words of Hebrews 1:1. The Scripture records, “God who at various
times and in various ways spoke in time past, to the fathers by the prophets,” listen now,
“has in these last days spoken to us by his son.” How is God speaking to me and you
today? He's speaking through Jesus Christ. Where are the words of Christ at? They’re
found in the pages of the word of God. Do you member that passage in 2 Timothy 3:16-
17? Paul is writing to the church and through Timothy speaking to the church in
Ephesus, and he reminds them of their source of authority being the Bible from God. He
says these words, the Bible says, “All Scripture,” not some, not a few, not most, “All
Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” That means God breathed, “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 complete, thoroughly
equipped, thoroughly equipped unto every good work.”
As we think about our Bible, and as we think about how important it is that we get
our doctrine from God, from Jesus Christ, from the Holy Spirit, the only way I can do
that is right here in the pages of this book. “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved
by the Holy Spirit,” 2 Peter 1:19-21. Jesus promised his apostles that the spirit was
going to come upon them and they were going to be guided into all truth, John 16:13.
We open to Acts 2, “And the spirit did come upon those men they began to preach and
speak by the power and spirit of God.” And what they said and wrote which we have
today in the Bible comes from God and is the absolute source we need to trust on this
Now, as we think about doctrine, please understand there is a sense in which in
the Lord's church, God's elders do have doctrine in matters of fulfilling the word of God,
and in matters of expediency, and elders have the responsibility to labor in doctrine.
Meaning that they're going to study; they're going to teach. 1 Timothy 5:17 says that,
“Elders are worthy of double honor especially those who labor in word and doctrine.” So
when we think about elders, they have a big responsibility in shepherding the flock and
making sure that it's taught and fed as it ought to be. Acts 20: 27 and following, elders
have the responsibility of keeping the flock pure by convicting and exhorting those who
contradict true doctrine. Titus 1:9, they're told to stop the mouths of those who are
contradictory good doctrine. Elders do play a role in this. They are to study and to teach
and to make opportunities where people can learn God's doctrine in the Lord's church.
And they are to stand up and oppose those who do not teach the doctrine of God as
they ought to teach.
But you know, as we think about that good doctrine in the Lord's church and
especially as it relates to teaching and preaching, Bible class teachers from every level
starting at the youngest all the way up, gospel preachers have a great responsibility as
it relates to doctrine. A good evangelists and teacher must follow the doctrine of Christ
closely. 1 Timothy 4:6 Paul said, “Give attention to doctrine, to reading, to exhortation
until I come.” Part of the teacher’s work is to focus on the doctrine of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. You know, I understand there's a place for an application, there's a
great place for application, understand there's place for illustration there's no doubt
about that, but we want people to leave when they’ve come; we want them to leave with
their bucket full of the word of God and what does the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
says. Part of the work of a good teacher is he must make sure his doctrine is in a life
with the harmony of the Scriptures. The Bible says Paul said that, “I discipline my body
and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should
become a castaway, 1 Corinthians 9: 27.
We also want to emphasize this idea, a good teacher, preacher, and evangelist
must preach sound doctrine. Paul said in Titus 2:1 to Titus, a young evangelist, “As for
you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.” 1 Peter 4:11 the Bible says,
“If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.” “Preach the word,” 2 Timothy
4:2. Bible class teachers, preachers, evangelist, we’re not in the business of saying
what society wants us to say. We’re not in the business of reading up on the latest
commentary and divulging that. That’s not what we're about. We’re about saying what
God says, preaching the gospel, and only emphasizing from Scripture what God wants
to be emphasized and taught according to the Bible.
It is sad that we live in a day and age where there is a mass amount of false
doctrine that's being taught. And listen very carefully, that false doctrine breaks our
heart. And it breaks the heart of God, because those who buy into it listen to it, and live
it and die in that state; they're not living according to the teaching of Christ. 2 John 9
says, “They do not have God as their father.” And so, we must be aware of any doctrine
that places man's teaching and ideas above God. Remember again Matthew 15:9,
“They draw near to me with their mouth, they honor me with their lips, but their heart is
far from me.” But why Jesus? “In vain do they worship me teaching as doctrine the
commandments of men.”
When we think about false doctrine, we need to be wary of those who teach
other ideas that are not found in the Scripture. Paul mentioned the idea of fables and
endless genealogies and that a suchlike would, bring false doctrines that we need to
avoid. You know there are things in Scripture that God tells us clearly on, and we need
to follow those. The idea of fables or somebody’s got an idea about this or that, or
whatever it may be, let’s just stick to the Bible, and let’s not get caught up in all the other
stuff goes on in our world today. In fact, Scripture teaches that the false doctrine that's
out there has the ability to sear one’s soul. The Bible says of those doctrines of demons
in 1 Timothy 4:1-2, “That some had their conscience seared with a hot iron.” That
searing makes it hard for the word of God to get in, into their life, and affect them
spiritually as God wants them to. And so, false doctrine, it hardens one's heart against
the truth and makes it difficult for the word of God to penetrate that, and really be what
God wants it to be. Hebrews 13:9 mentions it this way, Paul says, or the writer of
Hebrews says that, “there are strange various and strange doctrines.”
I think we live in a world today where we can see that's the case. There are a lot
of strange doctrines, a lot of strange doctrines about salvation that you don't find in the
Bible. Saying the sinner’s prayer, did you know that is not even in the Bible? Where is
that sinner’s prayer that you've heard likely and I've heard? People say, ‘you need to
say the sinners prayer,’ and then they'll say something like this, ‘dear Jesus I accept you
in my heart, I now ask you to come into my life and help me to live for you,’ whatever
maybe. Where is that at in the Bible? Friend, that's a strange doctrine, meaning it's not
in the pages of the Bible. It's foreign to the teaching of the New Testament. Another
strange doctrine that we have in our world today simply relates to the church. And it
says, concerning the church, that you can just go out and choose the church of your
choice, and God's can be happy with you. Is that really what God has taught in the
Scripture? Friend, I think as you read the Bible, you can see that's a strange doctrine.
God never teaches that. In fact, Jesus said, “I'll build my church,” Ephesians chapter 1
verses 21 through 23. Jesus taught that the church belong to him, Matthew 16:13-18.
The Bible teaches, “There is but one church, one body,” Ephesians 4:4. God adds one
to the church when he obeys the gospel, Acts 2:47.
Now I want to take just a moment, and I want to emphasize the importance of
Christian doctrine, good Christian doctrine, and why that is so important, such a high
value. It ought to be such a high value in my life and yours. Do you realize that we can't
know God's will without knowing the doctrine? I want to direct your attention to the
words of Jesus again. They’re found in the gospel of John 7:17. Remember we can't
know God without knowing his doctrine. John 7:17 Jesus said, “If anyone wills,” and the
idea there is to want, “If anyone wants to do his will, he shall know concerning the
doctrine whether I speak of God, or whether I speak on my own authority.” If you want
to do God's will, you've got a make sure you're following the doctrine of Christ. And so I
can't do God's will, without first knowing the doctrine. Some people say, ‘well give me
Jesus, but always commands and all these various ideas, I don't need all that.’ Friend,
you can't know God and Christ and be a Christian, without the teaching or the doctrine
of Christ. You can’t be free from sin without it. John 8:32, Jesus said, “You will know the
truth and the truth will make you free.” “Buy the truth and sell it not,” the proverb writer
said in Proverbs 23:23.
Then we emphasize the importance of God's doctrine, Christ’s doctrine, because
that doctrine has the power and the ability to set me free from sin. I want to direct your
attention to Romans 6:17-18. As we think about the importance of Christ’s doctrine,
God's doctrine, in making sure that we’re free from sin. Listen to these words, Romans
6 beginning in verse 17, Paul says, “But God be thanked that though you were the
slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which we’re
delivered, and having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteous.” In this
context, what is it that set them free? They were slaves of sin, what set them free? “God
be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart, that form
of doctrine which was delivered to you.” The doctrine of Christ has the power to free me
from sin. What's that mean? “All have sinned and fallen short of the word of God,”
Romans 3:23. “The wages of that sin is death,” Romans 6:23. But the Bible says, the
gospel, the doctrine of Christ, the good news of Christ, it's God's power to save.
We emphasize as we did earlier in the lesson, you cannot, why is the doctrine of
Christ so important? You cannot have God as your father without following the doctor of
Christ. Now, that's pretty stern and that's pretty serious. And I want you to see that for
yourself from the Scripture. Notice 2 John verse 9, look at what the Bible says on this
idea of making sure, if I'm going to have God as my father, I've got to follow the doctrine
of Christ. 2 John 9 says this, the Bible begins by saying in verse 9, “Whoever
transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, does not have God. He who
abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the father and the son.” So, if I'm to abide in the
doctrine of Christ, in the teaching of Christ, I've got to have God to do that. To have God
as my father, I've got to abide in his teaching and make sure that teaching is what God
wants me to follow.
We also mention this; it is the doctrine of Christ that produces godliness in my
life. 1 Timothy 6:3, “The doctrine of Christ, which records or promotes godliness.” How
do I become a godly person? How do I really live as God wants me to live? How do I
honor the father in my everyday life? By following the doctrine of Christ. You know, the
Bible teaches in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see
your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven.” How am I to be that light? By
following the doctrine and the teaching of Christ.
Now with this doctrine, I also have a certain amount of responsibility to it and to
God. New Testament doctrine is something each Christian must learn and follow all his
life. You know, when we talk about responsibility to him and accountability, we’re talking
about my relationship toward it. We've seen what doctrine can do for us. What's my
relationship to doctrine? I've got a make it my aim, as a child of God, to want to learn
and follow that doctrine all my life. Acts 2:42, of the early church, it is said, “They
continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and in
prayers.” That early church, early group of Christians made it their aim to follow the
doctrine given to the apostles by the Holy Spirit. Friend, that needs to be my desire and
yours, to search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so.
And then, as we think about part of our responsibility to this doctrine, the
Christian is to adorn the doctrine of Christ in his life. Titus 2:10 mentions this in a
beautiful fashion. “I am to adorn the doctrine of Christ,” which literally means, I am to put
on as a beautiful outer garment; I'm to put on the doctrine of Christ every day. How do I
do that? How do you wear a doctrine? By every day letting its principles be lived in your
life and seeing of others seeing Christ living in us. This is just a beautiful way of saying,
being the type of example we all to be by following Christ. Matthew 5:16, as we
mentioned, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see our example and
glorify your father who is in heaven.” Acts 4:3, of the early Christians, James and Peter,
there Peter and John, they realized they had been with Jesus. Why? They were
adorning the doctrine of Christ in their life.
And then, if I want to have the correct relationship with doctrine, I must study and
give attention to that doctrine and do my best to teach it to others. You can't sit on this
doctrine. You can't be the Lord silent partner, as it relates to the doctrine of Christ. God
wants His people to freely and passionately speak about the gospel. “Go into all the
world,” Jesus said Mark 16:15. “Him we preach, warning every man, teaching every
man, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus,” Colossians 1:24.
As we think about the doctrine of Christ today, friend we want you to consider
seriously this doctrine in your life. We want to consider it in ours. We want everyone to
simply give heart and heed to the teaching and the doctrine of Christ. But ultimately that
teaching is the good news of Jesus. And here's that wonderful news, of Jesus it was
said, “You shall call his name Jesus, he will save his people from their sins,” Matthew
1:19 -21. Have you obeyed the doctrine of Christ? Have you heard the word about
Christ, Romans 10:17? Do you believe Jesus is the son of God Savior of the world,
John 8:24? Would you be willing to turn from sin and repent, Acts 3:19? Confessing the
beautiful name of Jesus, would you be immersed in water for the forgiveness of your
sins, Mark chapter 16:16? If you've never obeyed the doctrine of Christ, friend we love
you, God loves you, we encourage you today become a Christian. Submit to the
doctrine of Christ.
Study Questions for: “Doctrine”
1. According to 2 John 9, if we abide in the doctrine, who do we have?
2. In Titus 2:10, what does it say we should do with the doctrine?
3. What did Jesus say of the people who follow commandments of men, in
4. What does Paul encourage Timothy to do in 1Timothy 1:10?
5. What is God’s word able to do, according to Acts 20:32?
6. According to Hebrews1:1, how does God speak to us today?
7. Where does the scripture come from, according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17?
8. What does Paul say to give attention to in 1 Timothy 4:6?
9. What should we speak of according to 1 Peter 4:11?
10. According to Mark 16:15, what does God want us to do with this