- Pastor Brad Wilt
Is Doctrine Still Important?
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
All I need to do is believe and I’m all set for heaven. Is belief alone the boarding pass for the heaven bound train or is biblical doctrine important? Doctrine is defined as sound teaching; therefore, biblical doctrine is defined as sound teaching of scripture. Paul was astonished that the Galatians were abandoning the Gospel that was preached to them, leaving the doctrine of justification by faith, a biblical doctrine essential to our faith, accepting the notion that they had to become Jewish proselytes and submit to the Mosaic law before becoming Christians. Doctrine is important, it educates you to keep you from being drawn away and to have a better understanding about faith and the will of God so that we understand our salvation and relationship with our Father.
What is sound biblical doctrine? What doctrines are important and are there doctrines that may be negotiable? Biblical doctrine defines each attribute of our triune God, the inerrancy of scripture, sin, the afterlife, and a host of other topics. Attacks have been made on doctrine since the very beginning when the serpent questioned God’s instructions to Adam and Eve. Therefore, I would argue that the doctrine of God would come before the doctrine concerning scripture because scripture is God breathed. However, scripture is vitally important in gaining a human understanding of the essence of God, God can be known apart from scripture. Psalm 19.
The Apostle’s Creed sums up the doctrines most important to our faith, denying one or more of these essential doctrines would nullify our faith and our hope would therefore be in vain.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.
God is one yet, God exists as a Triune being God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
Human depravity, if we had no sin, we would not need saving.
Christ’s virgin conception by the Holy Spirit, necessary in fulfilling prophecy, necessary biologically to have God the Father’s blood in His veins to be an unblemished, perfect sacrifice.
Jesus’ sinlessness, necessary for a perfect, final sacrifice for sin.
Jesus is fully God and fully man (deity of Jesus) able to be tempted, choosing not to sin.
The necessity of God’s grace, the unmerited favor of God, if we could earn it there would be no need for a Saviour.
Necessity of faith, the pathway to receiving God’s grace.
Jesus’ substitutionary atonement, being the perfect sacrifice, He is able to pay the price we owe, voluntarily taking our punishment upon Himself.
Christ’s bodily resurrection, because He was resurrected from the dead so too shall we at His coming.
Jesus’ bodily ascension to heaven, the necessity that He leave so that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit would come to indwell every true believer.
Jesus’ intercession, He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf as we walk in this world of sin interceding on our behalf thus removing any necessity for another, priestly intercessor. (These last two show that we are not left alone).
The second coming of Jesus, if He doesn’t come there is no resurrection and there is no hope.
Inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, God’s words of life to us without error, if it were wrong on any part, we have no hope.
Other doctrines such as tongues, raising the dead, baptism, and others while important to have a correct understanding in acting in obedience are not essential for our salvation.
The term ‘cult of Christianity‘ is used of a group, church, or organization whose central teachings and/or practices deny one or more of the doctrines or adding extrabiblical doctrine(s) which are not supported in scripture and not Christian in nature. There are many prominent groups, some now being labeled as Christian who are directly responsible for sending millions of people to hell by leading them astray, mixing a lot of truth with enough error to keep them from coming to a true saving faith. Jesus is not God’s first creation says one cult. Another says salvation is through the church or the “sacraments,” intercession and forgiveness of sin is through a priest. Yet another says your salvation is based on a feeling you get in your bosom.
There is no other scripture than that which has been given to us in the canon. You cannot work or earn the right to go to heaven. You are not bound to the law. You are saved by grace through faith and this is something that you cannot attain by yourself, it is a free, unmerited gift of God that once accepting and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit you are transformed into the person that God intends you to be, a new creation by Jesus Christ to do good works because of what He has done for us and not because we could earn anything apart from Him.
If you think you may be stuck in a cult and can’t find your way out, you can contact me through this webpage or Facebook posting.