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Summary: Baptist Faith and Message

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Why Doctrine Matters

Introduction:

• In this day and age, it is more pressing than probably ever to stand up for the message of Jesus Christ as set forth by the Word of God.

• We are living in a culture today with and “anything and everything goes” mentality.

• We have reduced human interaction and behavior even in our churches into a pop psychology approach.

• Our culture is rested in a feelism mentality.

• We want a quick excuse for everything.

• The declaration from fallen people of the world is that they do not need doctrine. They do not need boundaries. Leave them alone and let them do their own thing.

• John Gardiner put it this way; “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will neither have good plumbing no good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”

• As Southern Baptists, we have developed and implemented doctrines for the church that we are convicted are within complete cooperation with the message and intent of the Scriptures.

• The Scriptures describe to us the necessity of sound doctrine.

• What is doctrine?... Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system.

• The Greek analogue is the etymology of catechism.

o In the OT the word occurs chiefly as a translation of leqaḥ, meaning ‘what is received’ (Dt. 32:2; Jb. 11:4; Pr. 4:2; Is. 29:24). The idea of a body of revealed teaching is chiefly expressed by tôrâ, which occurs 216 times and is rendered as ‘law’.

o In the NT two words are used. didaskalia means both the act and the content of teaching. It is used of the Pharisees’ teaching (Mt. 15:9; Mk. 7:7). Apart from one instance in Colossians and one in Ephesians, it is otherwise confined to the Pastoral Epistles (and seems to refer often to some body of teaching used as a standard of orthodoxy). didachē is used in more parts of the NT. It too can mean either the act or the content of teaching. It occurs of the teaching of Jesus (Mt. 7:28, etc.) which he claimed to be divine (Jn. 7:16–17). After Pentecost Christian doctrine began to be formulated (Acts 2:42) as the instruction given to those who had responded to the kērygma (Rom. 6:17). There were some in the church whose official function was to teach this to new converts (e.g. 1 Cor. 12:28–29)..

• Repeatedly Jesus was asked about His doctrine...Paul charged Timothy to preach sound doctrine..Titus emphasized the need for sound doctrine in a world gone mad...Jesus outlines false doctrines in the Book of Revelation.

• Sound Biblical Doctrine serves as the bedrock for faith - it is the compass or the looking glass for consistency across the generations - as philosophies come and go, sound doctrine should remain steadfast and true.

• Where the knowledge of God diminishes, faithfulness cannot exist.

• There is only one safeguard against error, and that is to be established in the faith; and for that, there has to be prayerful and diligent study, and a receiving with meekness the engrafted Word of God. - A.W. Pink

• The Dynamics of Doctrine...

o Christian doctrine is unique in that it is an intellectual response to the historical activity and revelatory disclosure of God.

o Doctrine is rational reflection upon God’s saving activity in Jesus Christ.

o Foundational to the idea of “doctrine” is the fact that we need to be told what God is like.

o It is not ours to determine what kind of God we will believe and obey. It is God’s to determine to show Himself to us. Too many times we worship the God of our imagines rather than the God of Scripture.

o Doctrine is our effort to articulate what He has made known.

o Doctrine is the divinely authorized attempt to describe God in accordance with how He has revealed Himself in creation, in history, in Jesus Christ and in the Scriptures.

o Doctrine also serves to expose false interpretations of reality, false concepts of God.

o Doctrine makes sense of the individual’s and the church’s experience of God as He has made Himself known in Jesus Christ.

• The heart cannot exalt in what the mind rejects.

• It must be made clear that doctrine not based on the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT true doctrine.

What Does the Bible Have to Say About Doctrine?

1. God’s Doctrine Is Pure.

• Job described the doctrine of God as pure.

• Solomon in Proverbs describes God’s doctrine as good.

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