#BE SURE OF #YOUR DOCTRINE
Has anyone ever told you you are not saved because you are wearing pants? Or, if you don't spend the majority of your time in church, you are not saved? Or, have you heard it said you are not saved because you wear lipstick or don't wear lipstick. Lastly one, you are not saved if you wear dreadlocks? Fact checks the Word of God. What did Jesus say? What does the Word of God say? Know the relativity to the time that it is written. Know ancient bibical history and how it relates to you. Is it out of context with the Word of God? There is a difference between church traditions, policies, laws, protocols, and standards that differ from denomination to denomination within the body of Christ. To help us out, let's look at Bible doctrine versus the doctrine of men. One is a matter of a man's opinions and thinking, and the other is a matter of God's spoken Word and His soveriegnty. When a person has an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ, they will not be the same. There is a transformation that takes place in the heart, and a new person emerges. In the process of spiritual growth, there are fundumental procedures that must take place in their life. The beginning process is to intitiate the building of the foundation to one's faith in Christ. But before we go further, let's think about these things further. Let's think about the use of words and the imagery that can arise from the use of certain ones.
Some words in the English language when spoken trigger unpleasant responses in us when we hear them spoken, here are a few words and phrases as an example. No. Listen. Wait. Don't. Stop. Look. Be Quite. Don't take things personal. Don't be so sensitive. There are some words and phrases in the church world that will have the same effect and make the flesh show up and show out. Words like No. Listen. Wait. Holiness. Sanctify yourselves. Money. Kneel before the Lord. Lift up your hands to the Lord. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord. Be to church on time. It's time to pray. The church is going on a fast. Study your Word. Give God your best and many more.
The word "doctrine" is such a word, and it triggers unpleasant emotional responses to the church world and secular world alike. When some of us hear the word doctrine, it brings up imagery and childhood memories concerning standards, policies, laws, protocols, church laws, church history, or church traditions from a given denomination or nondenominational church. For some of us the thought of this word sends us into a tailspin of childhood rebellion. All because we did not understand what the word meant or because we were confused with church standards, polices, or protocol and not ever getting the true foundation of the Word of God within us, as our first foundation. If I haven't said it, doctrine means teaching or instruction of the content of what is taught.
In the church world, doctrine is good order, unity, and discipline, as well as keeping structure and lines of authority in the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:8-16). God is not the author of confusion because confusion creates schism (1 Corinthians 12;25; 14:33;1Corinthians 14:26, 40; Romans 16:17). Doctrine is necessary to maintain standards, polices, laws, protocol and the teachings within the church to govern it, operate it, and to bring operational administrative and minsterial functions within the body.
However, we must keep in mind that teachings/doctrines of man can become flawed by the fallen nature of mankind, regardless of how good our intentions are. The doctrine/teachings of man is just that, it is man-made. And as man changes, his culture, thoughts, heart, laws, standards, policies, protocols, and traditions, so too will the doctrine of man. Therefore, our doctrine must not be based upon opinions or culture of men but upon the Word of God. Everyone has an opinion in the body of Christ, however our opinions does not override the Word of God. Every denomination has tradition, standards, polices, and church laws that are different and sound and works good to each persuasion, however those persuasions does not override the Word of God.
When thougths of negative emotional imagery from childhood comes up at the sound of the word "doctrine," ask yourself this question. Is what I am hearing referring to the Word of God doctrine or man's doctrine within the church? If it is man's doctrine within a certain denominational persuasion, I shall study and search to understand the teachings of the denomination. When I have understanding, I shall make an informed decision concerning my faith and the teachings. Understaning both views is important for ones growth, for salvation and kingdom living. The Bible and its teachings should always be our first foundation. Standards, polices, church laws, protocols, rules, programs, and church traditions are just that, teachings of men that are necessary for us in the church.
With that said, it is of the utmost that our doctrine is in the Word of God. The Word of God is everlasting, and it never changes. The Word of God is God's Word. His Word declares that He will never change. It is eternal and God is eternal, because He is Sovereign God over all creation in heaven and the earth.
When we as believers anchor our lives in the Word of God, we can have confidence that we will never be lead astray. The word "doctrine" is nothing to be afraid of. It merely means the teachings of. In our case as believers in Christ, it is the teachings of God, the Bible, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Angles, Demons, Man, Sin, Salvation, The Church, Last Things, and Water Baptism all based and taught from the Holy Bible, God's written Word.
As we are the temple of God, our foundation must actively be connected to Him and the Word of God. Man's doctrine/teaching must be compatible and balanced with the foundational truth of the Word of God, the plumbline of life. But if the former is offline with the latter, the previous doctrine is not worth keeping it in your life. The teachings of man are essential and needed within the daily confines of operation, functions, order, and discipline within the church. Jesus said that the traditions of the Elder do not overrule the Word of God. Man's doctrine must not be esteemed higher than the eternal Word of God.
The teachings of the Word of God are paramount in our development and relationship with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let's not get the two confused, the doctrine of God and the doctrine of man. They both are essential, but man's teachings must never be evelated over God's truth and Word.
So saints of God, be sure of the teachings you allow to come into your mind and heart. Be clear on whether they are from God or man. The intricately woven teachings of the Word should be throughout our whole being. So, when the trial of life tests us, and when society's laws change, we will not be deceived and lead astray by the doctrine of man. Therefore, know the two different branches of doctrines of your church. One is the foundation of the Bible, and the other is the teachings of man. Remember, one is eternal, and God and the other is temporal and man.