Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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How Important is Biblical Doctrine?

Meditation for the week of February 28, 2010

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The word doctrine means teaching.  The things that we are taught are very important which is why our children go to school for at least seventeen years if they want good jobs in this world.  When we get done learning all there is to learn in this life, then we have to start over because the things that we were once taught were true seem to no longer be true.  At one time, the sun was thought to rotate around the earth.  Now it is believed that the earth rotates around the sun.  I believe scientists finally have it right because it makes sense to me that the sun which represents the Son should be the center of the universe.  Good doctrine keeps Him at the center of all that we believe.  The apostles’ doctrine does that and is found in the letters or epistles of our new testament.

Many churches today say that they don’t teach doctrine.  I don’t know what they mean because that sentence is redundant.  They don’t teach teaching?  I think what they mean is that they don’t teach anything that is going to be divisive or that the so-called christian church as a whole disagrees on.   So they don’t take positions on how or when to be baptized.  They don’t take positions on how or when to remember the Lord in the breaking of bread.  I suspect they are not teaching all the truths on separation or morality.  But they are teaching something.  I am afraid that many churches are teaching what the majority want to believe rather than what God says we should believe.  As a result, they shy away from the truth that there is only one God manifested in three persons.  They shy away from the Biblical teachings about hell and the lake of fire.  They don’t get too occupied with the Lord’s second coming.  They avoid the doctrines having to do with the distinctive roles of men and women in the local church.  Many people would like to believe that we can be right with God without the new birth. 

The Bible says we must repent and believe.  I personally believe that means that we must repent TO believe.   The teaching of good sound wholesome doctrine from the Bible changes our minds where we disagree with God.  The unsaved are brought to saving faith when they hear the doctrines of the Gospel as taught by the apostles (Romans 10:17).  The saved are taught how to please the Lord and worship Him acceptably as they hear the apostles’ doctrine.

The Lord was a teacher.  He taught with stories that had applications to real life, and He taught straight up unadulterated clear principles.  Then He says in Luke 6:46, "But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?”   He says that when we hear His teaching which also became the teaching of the apostles, we are building our houses or lives on a rock.  If we base our lives on anything else, we are building our houses on sand and the foundation will not stand when the storms of life come. 

Doctrine is the basis for fellowship or partnership.  Some would say our fellowship is based simply on the fact that we are saved.  But we aren’t saved unless we have believed the doctrines of the Gospel.  So doctrine is what brings us into fellowship, even if that fellowship is somewhat limited because of our disagreement on what pleases the Lord after we are saved.  As we hear the apostles’ doctrine and agree with it, our fellowship becomes broader and we find ourselves associating with those who also agree with what the apostles said.  The more we find ourselves agreeing with God, the sweeter will be our fellowship with each other.  John says, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).”  It is possible to have agreement and partnership apart from the apostle’s doctrine, but that fellowship will be man-made and will not bring us into partnership or fellowship with the Lord.  But fellowship based on the apostles’ teaching will keep us in fellowship with the Lord, and ultimately, we will be in fellowship with those who are in fellowship with the Lord.  That kind of fellowship is based on bedrock truth and is sweet.

What we teach and what we believe greatly affects us.  It will determine who are friends are, how we behave and how we worship.  We need to make sure that we who teach, teach only what we can support based on the doctrine of the apostles.  And as we listen to teaching, we need to make sure that the teaching is Biblical so that we are kept in fellowship with the Lord.  Then we will have sweet fellowship with those who are in fellowship with the Lord. 

Bruce Collins

1 Comment »

Comment by Dennis Hill

March 1, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

Your meditation points to the timeless, if not seasonal truth found in 2 Tim 4:3…

4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound [1] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Keep up the good work…contending for the TRUTH.

In Him,DH

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