What is Doctrine?

I once heard someone say…I’m not into doctrine! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! But I did hear it loud and clear “I’m not into doctrine, I just want to love Jesus and share His love with everyone I can.”

Really?

Tell me about Him, tell me about Jesus? Tell me about His love without using any doctrine, without using the word of God?

What is love?

John 15:13 is a pretty good start “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

The bible says…

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3

Doctrine is good and it matters! Especially to leaders and teachers in the church. Is it because it takes hard work to study and understand it?

I argue that the primary reason we misinterpret the Bible is not because the Holy Spirit has failed to do His work, but because we have failed to do ours.

R.C. Sproul

If doctrine is good enough for the apostle Paul, it’s good enough for you and me. Paul’s saying that doctrine is good and it should be healthy!

Look what he tells Titus…

But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.

Titus 2:1 [Emphasis Mine}

Three very important points in this one verse. Speak, Sound, Doctrine!

  • Speak (lal-eh’-o) (laleo) is the Greek verb meaning to make a sound and then to utter words. But! Not just any words…. Sound words!
  • Sound (hoog-ee-ah’ee-no) (hugiaino) from hugiés = to be sound, to be well, to be in good health, and of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error. (Thayer Lexicon)
  • Doctrine (did-as-kal-ee’-ah) (didaskalia from didasko from dáo = to know or teach) teaching, instruction, that which is taught, doctrine, teachings, precepts.

Why did Paul tell Titus But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Look at the end of Chapter 1.

10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

Titus 1:10–16 [Emphasis Mine]

Folks if you take just one thing away from this post, it’s that there are false teachers running around contemporary Christianity, men and women alike who are empty talkers and deceivers, upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach (Unsound Doctrine) for the sake of sordid gain.

[Should] the church forsake the standard of sound doctrine? On what basis would false teachers be rejected (Rom. 16:17; 2 John 9–10) or false doctrine be refuted (Titus 1:9)? How would believers know what was true and worth holding on to (1 Tim. 3:9; Rev. 2:24)? How would Christians distinguish between right and wrong? How would sin be confronted and corrected?

Taken from Biblical Doctrine by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue

As for you, Titus, as for you teacher of the word of God, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.

Paul tells Timothy, his true son in the faith…Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching (Doctrine); persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16 [Emphasis Mine]

Paul again instructs Timothy to…Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. (didaskalia) (Doctrine) 1 Timothy 5:17 [Emphasis Mine}

You see, doctrine isn’t a bad word,
doctrine is healthy teaching
from the word of God.

…and that’s a beautiful thing!


Comments 1

  • It is my understanding, and as you pointed out, that doctrine is defined as teaching. I have found that people who are “not into doctrine” mean they don’t want to get into the discussions that divide the church, which are church doctrines or church affirmed teaching or denominational teachings that have divided the universal church. Not all church doctrine is wrong, but it should not be thought of as infallible or inerrant.

    Also, as you pointed out, the only true and inerrant doctrine is the word of God in scriptures. All other teaching is subject to human error or mishandling, even the teachers.

    Unfortunately, many people are content to believe the teaching they receive in their denomination without question, rather than to be a Berean and study the scriptures to see if these thing are true. The Holy Spirit teaches the believer all things, but the believer must seek His understanding in the word of God.

    Thank you for your post!

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