Is Doctrine Important?

Yes, according to the Bible, it is very important! Jesus said, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me" John 7:16. The Apostle Paul said: mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them" Romans 16:17. In writing to a preacher, young Timothy, the Apostle Paul said it even more forcefully when he cautioned, "Take heed to thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" I Timothy 4:16. God was teaching this young man that two things had to be done if he were acceptable to God, live the right kind of life, and teach the right kind of doctrine. This scripture in I Timothy 4:16, teaches that doctrine plays a part in our salvation.

The Bible teaches that there are many doctrines. Jesus said, "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Commandments of men, even though they be of a religious nature, play no part in our salvation and worship to God, according to Matthew 15:9. The Bible warns, "Be not carried about with divers (different) or strange doctrines" Hebrews 13:9.

The doctrine that really has power in our lives is the doctrine of Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). The Apostle John, said, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" II John, verse 9. The doctrine of Christ is very important. Without it we do not have God. By abiding in it we have both the Father and the Son.

In the Bible, the doctrine of Christ includes his virgin birth, his miracles, his death, burial and resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of God. However, there are other things that are important which are in the doctrine of Christ. They include his church, worship, repentance, baptism, the Holy Spirit, the Lord's Supper, right living, and his second coming as well as others. Sometimes there is a tendency to emphasize Christian living and neglect Christian doctrine. This we must not do. They must not be separated. The great doctrines of Jesus form the foundation for righteous living. In I Corinthians 15, the resurrection inspires us to work for Christ, "knowing that our labour is not in vain, in the Lord" I Corinthians 15:58. In Acts, the seventeenth chapter, the judgement of God prompts men who knew little of God to change from their evil ways (Acts 17:30,31). The consciousness of a life and judgement after death supplies one of the most effective of all motives for righteousness and godly living. Selfishness, cruelty, vice, crime and wickedness in every form flourish among people who entertain the conviction that death is the end of everything.

Even the doctrine of baptism spurs one on to flee sin and live for Christ because of what it represents. The Bible says, ". . . buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4. Yes.-doctrine is important, especially if it is the doctrine of Christ as revealed in the Bible.

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