Paul writes in Titus 2:1: “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. “
The word ‘doctrine’ in a lot of places is unfashionable. They say that doctrine belongs to a time gone by, and that new experiences of God and miracles from God are all that matters. Some churches teach only what they think people want to hear, tickling the ears instead of exposing them to biblical truth led by the Holy Spirit and therefore stirring them into living transformed lives for Jesus Christ.
What is Doctrine?
The words translated as “doctrine” are found frequently in the letters written by Paul, primarily 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. The original words are didache (the act of teaching) and didaskalia (that which is taught). They are used fifteen times and are translated as doctrine. Doctrine is the study of God. For Christians, our doctrine is revealed through the pages of the Bible. The more you as a Christian learn about the God you have chosen to follow, the more you will be able to deal with the daily pressures of living in a world who does not want to know about God.
You will continue learning and understanding the very nature of God and therefore be wise in your actions and reactions to conflict and circumstances. You will continue to develop the relationship between yourself and the God you serve. Doctrine is for all Christians, regardless of education, time of knowing the God personally and status within your church. Indeed, everybody, Christian or not, have doctrines whether they want to have a doctrine of belief or not – that includes atheists who have a doctrine of non-belief!
So, for all people, Christians particularly, doctrine matters. Doctrine matters because what you believe about God, ultimately affects how you will behave. If as a Christian you have solid, biblical doctrine being practised in your life, you will be living a life of total obedience to Jesus Christ. For Christians are to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6) and this only comes through the continuing work of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
As the mind is renewed and transformed (Romans 12:1) with teaching about Jesus Christ, what the mind learns is put into practice, and your life is being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. People will start asking you about the reason for the hope you hold onto. That way the Gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ is spread. This hope is also an unending hope, which will enable you to endure to the end and run the race marked out for you.
Finally, learning solid doctrine is important is so that you will be able to discern true Apostolic & biblical teaching from the false teaching of heretics and those who want to lead you astray from the truth. Experiences and miracles are important, but to base your Christian life upon them, and not on solid biblical doctrine, produces a rollercoaster effect and not the constant reliance on the indwelling Holy Spirit for direction, guidance and trust.
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