Summary: When those who should be eating meat need milk again. This is the first in a series of the essential doctrines of the Christian Faith.
Back To The Basics (The essential doctrines pt. 1)
By Kenny McKinley
2nd Tim. 3:16 – 4:5
(Read Text) Today I’m starting a sermon series that I’ve titled “Back to the Basics”. In the Scripture we just read, Paul was writing to his protégé Timothy, and he tells him, (my paraphrase) “That all Scripture is given to us by God. And because it’s given to us from God and by God it is good. It’s good for doctrine (teaching), for correcting those in error, and for instruction, or basic training for righteousness. So that God’s people can be equipped for every good work, doers of the Word, and not hearers only.” Then beginning in chapter four, Paul gives Timothy his final instruction on how to be a minister. So in a nut shell Paul was saying, “This is what the Gospel is, and what it is for, and you Timothy, being a minister of the Gospel, this is what you are supposed to be doing.” But notice in verse three of chapter four where Paul gives him a warning (read vs. 3 & 4).
Now I want you all to look back at that word doctrine. Some Bibles translate it as teaching, and that is basically what the word doctrine means. A lot of times people hear that word doctrine and they thing of some kind of legalistic nut case. And that is because they either don’t understand, or don’t know what the word doctrine means. For the most part, it simply means teaching. And that is what we are going to be dealing with in this series, the basic Christian doctrines, sometimes called the essential doctrines of the Christian faith.
A few years ago a poll was given to church people, and in this poll they asked two questions. The first question was, “Are you a Christian?” And the overwhelming majority answered, “Yes!” The second question was, “How did you become a Christian?” And some of the answers were pretty wild. Some people said they were automatically a Christian because they were born in America, others said that because their parents were Christians they automatically assumed that they were Christians too. Some said that because they went to church every Sunday that is what made them Christians, while others said that because they were nice to other people that made them a Christian. But none of those answers are correct. Being born in the United States does not automatically make a person a Christian. Having parents who were Christians does not necessarily make a person a Christian. Being nice to others, and going to church every Sunday does not make a person a Christian.
You say, “Ok Kenny, so what makes a person a Christian.” The only way a person becomes a Christian is by receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. But… hold on a second. You have to make sure it’s the right Jesus… is it the Mormon jesus? The Jehovah’s Witness jesus? That’s jesus with a little j. The jesus that the Mormons talk about and the jesus that the JW’s talk about is not the Biblical Jesus Christ that gives eternal life. So you see, that’s why we need doctrine, that’s why we need teaching.
The Bible itself gives us those doctrines which are essential to the Christian faith. There are four of them, The Deity and humanity of Christ, Salvation by Grace alone – through faith alone – in Christ alone, The resurrection of Jesus Christ – and the gospel.
Now there are many important teachings in the Bible, but these four are the only ones declared by Scripture to be essential. And every other religion, every cult, and every non believer will deny one or more of these essential doctrines.
Today what were going to talk about is the Deity and humanity of Jesus Christ. Jesus was and is God. But He also came in the flesh, when He was born in Bethlehem. Turn with me to John chapter 1:1-2; 1:14 (read). This is speaking of Jesus. God the Son was with God the Father in the beginning, and God the Son is God, and God the Son became flesh. Now turn over a few pages to John chapter 10:26-30 (read). Now flip over the book of Hebrews chapter 1:1-3; 1:8 (read). Jesus is God! He is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. Now some people will say that Jesus was not God, that He was created, or that He was some kind of angel or something like that, others will say that Jesus was God, but that He didn’t literally come in the flesh. Turn with me to 1st John chapter 4:2-3 (read). Now remember this is the same John who wrote the Gospel according John where we see that Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God, and Jesus came in the flesh. What John is saying here is, if you deny that Jesus is God in flesh, then you are not a Christian, you are of the spirit of Antichrist.