OceanSide church of Christ

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A STUDY ABOUT DOCTRINE

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   For some reason, doctrine has taken a bad rap.

1.     People frown upon being indoctrinated.

2.     Brethren do not want to hear about “doctrinal issues.”

3.     In interviews, preachers will sometimes be asked:  “Are you doctrinally oriented?”

4.     Congregations of the Lord’s people will be criticized for being too doctrinal.

 

B.    All of the negativity about doctrine seems strange since doctrine is a Bible topic.

1.     The word “doctrine” is used 51 times in 50 verses in the KJV.

2.     It is especially a New Testament word, being found in 44 verses.

3.     The first time it is found is in Matthew 7:28.  This is interesting because it is describing “The Sermon on the Mount.”

 

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, The people were astonished at his doctrine.

 

C.   The title of our lesson this evening is:  “A Study about Doctrine.”  We will briefly touch upon some things the Bible teaches us about doctrine.

 

I.           THE DEFINITION OF DOCTRINE

 

A.   In the Old Testament, there are three Hebrew words that are translated “doctrine.”

1.     3948:  something received (mentally) instruction

2.     8052:  Something heard, that is, an announcement

3.     4148:  chastisement, figuratively, warning, reproof, instruction

 

B.    In the New Testament, four words are translated “doctrine.”

1.     Two words (1319 & 1322) are from the same root word and simply mean teaching, instruction, that which is taught.

2.     The third term is the Greek word “logos” which means “something said, a word uttered by a living voice.”

3.     The fourth word is a negative form of the word “doctrine” (2085).

a.     It means to instruct differently, to teach a different doctrine, to deviate from the truth.

b.    Paul told Timothy to forbid that such a thing be done (I Tim. 1:3).

 

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou might-est charge some that they teach no other doctrine.

 

II.         MANY DOCTRINES CAN, AND DO, EXIST

 

A.   Doctrine is simply teaching or instruction.

 

B.    Many different kinds of teachings can, and do, exist.

1.     Jesus warned of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt. 16:6, 12).

 

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees…Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

 

2.     The doctrine of Baalim (Rev. 2:14)

 

But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast them there that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

 

3.     The doctrine of the Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:15).

 

So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

 

C.   In Ephesians 4:13-14, Paul longed for the day when the complete written revel-ation from God to man would be given.  In verse 14, he tells why.

 

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftifness, whereby they lay in wait to deceive.

 

1.     In the first century, anyone could claim to be inspired and have a message from God.

2.     Paul saw the early church tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.

 

III.       THERE IS ONE, APPROVED DOCTRINE

 

A.   This doctrine is called by several names in the New Testament.

1.     The apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42)

2.     The doctrine of the Lord (Acts 13:12)

3.     The doctrine which is according to godliness (I Tim. 6:3)

4.     The doctrine of God our Savior (Tit. 2:10)

5.     The doctrine of Christ (II John 9).

 

B.    Four times in the New Testament, this doctrine is referred to as “sound doctrine” (I Tim. 1:10; II Tim. 4:3; Tit. 1:9; 2:1).

 

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.

 

1.     Sound

a.     Strong (5198):  to have sound health, that is to be well…figuratively to be uncorrupt (true in doctrine)

b.    Thayer:  of Christians whose opinions are free form any mixture of error

2.     I Timothy 6:3 correlates “wholesome words,” “the words of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and “the doctrine which is according to godliness.”

 

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness…

 

C.   As God’s children, we are to continue in this doctrine (II John 9).

 

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.

 

D.   This sound doctrine must be protected from that which is unsound and contrary to its message.

1.     It is the preacher’s duty to protect the doctrine of Christ (I Tim. 1:3).

 

…that thou mightiest charge some that they teach no other doctrine.

 

2.     The elders have a responsibility to protect the doctrine also (Tit. 1:9).

 

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayer.

 

3.     Individual members must protect the doctrine (II John 10-11).

 

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  for he that biddeth him God speek is partaker of his evil deeds.

 

 

4.     Churches must protect sound doctrine as well (Rom. 16:17).

 

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

 

IV.        OTHER OBLIGATIONS TO THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST

 

A.   In addition to abiding in the doctrine of Christ and protecting sound doctrine, we must carry out other responsibilities to this doctrine.

 

B.    Two obligations of members:

1.     We are to adorn the doctrine of Christ (Tit. 2:10).

 

Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

 

a.     The little word “adorn” means “to decorate” and “to embellish with honor.”

b.    We are to live in harmony with the doctrine of Christ and do so with joy.

c.    When others see us, they should see a life that is one they desire for themselves.

2.     We should not live to cause the doctrine of Christ to be blasphemed (I Tim. 6:1).

 

Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   The doctrine of God is not evil.  In fact, the Bible reveals it to be a blessing to mankind (Deut. 32:2).

 

My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herbs, and as the showers upon the grass.

 

B.    To become a Christian, one must obey doctrine (Rom. 6:17-28).

 

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

 

1.     The form or pattern of doctrine involves death, burial, and resurrection,  just like our precious Lord.

2.     One dies to sin; the old man is buried in the waters of baptism where all sins are forgiven; and he arises a new creature in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:3-4; II Cor. 5:17).