Doctrine…why is it so important?


Huge question, that unfortunately gets very little thought these days by many. Doctrine after all is just another word for”teaching.” In the biblical sense, it is what the Scripture teaches us about our faith and how we should apply our faith to everyday life. It helps to form our worldview. Doctrine is what we have been taught and or what we teach, in the end doctrine is what we believe. Take the doctrine of hell… most of that doctrine comes from Jesus Himself, written out in the New Testament. Take Matthew 7: 13-14; here Jesus teaches us that many enter through the wide gate and few find the narrow gate. Jesus warns at the beginning of this passage “Enter by the narrow gate.” Our Lord’s wish is that we do not enter though the wide gate (as in the gates of hell). Mark 9:42-48; there is no question as to the what our Lord is describing here. The sense of urgency in this passage is unmistakable…Hell is certainly a real place from the teachings of Scripture. So why do so many professing Christians think hell is not a real place? Answer: Their doctrine is not sound…what they have been taught is not sound and ultimately what they believe is not sound. These folks have allowed worldly pressures of acceptance, sincerity, relativism and such to nudge out sound biblical doctrine that is 2000+ years old. Sound Biblical doctrine stands the test of Scripture as well as Church history. 

How about all the Scripture that describes Biblical doctrine itself? What are we to make of 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 1 Timothy 6:3-4 should put an end to the question why is doctrine so important. “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,”

What about all the nay-sayers that claim that doctrine is not important…I’ve actually had folks tell me that “all you need is Jesus and doctrine isn’t that important.” When I thank them for explaining their doctrine to me, they look so confused and then the light bulb goes off in their minds and they smile. Point is, everyone has doctrine and no matter how much you might think doctrine doesn’t matter…your thinking is transformed by your doctrine. Without doubt the Bible is very clear on the importance of doctrine in Titus 1:9 “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

All the Scripture quoted in this article has an underlining theme that is not written out per say, but none the less is still there. Words such as Scripture, the Word, teaching and doctrine all point to the Bible itself. Where do we get our doctrine from? The Bible. Where does the material come from that is used during sermons, Sunday school classes and Bible studies? The Bible. Everything points to the revealed Truth from God as written in the Bible. Maybe that’s the issue with the importance of doctrine…when doctrine doesn’t matter the Bible doesn’t matter. Everyone would have to agree you can’t have one without the other. You see…this is the rub. Apart from the Bible, there is no Biblical doctrine. In the end the only Truth we can ever know is the Bible, God’s revealed Word.

Ultimately, the Bible teaches us that our doctrine, our belief will determine whether we see heaven or hell…there is just no getting around it. If our doctrine and belief is that man was created by some far off extraterrestrial race and there is no god, well its hell for us. On the other hand, if we teach and believe in the doctrine of repentence and the doctrine of Grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ, we will have eternal life. God does hold us accountable to His Word. What we believe…and how we treat His revealed Truth. When it comes to the folks that say “doctrine is not important” John MacArthur said it pretty well. “I have in my library a book by the spiritual father of a quasi-Christian cult. It argues that structured doctrine and systematized theology are contrary to the spirit of Jesus’ ministry. The idea that Christ is anti-doctrine is a foundational belief of that cult. But no idea is further from the truth. The word doctrine simply means “teaching.” And it’s ludicrous to say that Christ is anti-teaching. The central imperative of His Great Commission is the command to teach (Matthew 28:18-20).”

until He come,

JC Johnson

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Government in Biblical Perspective


Very good audio by John MacArthur dealing with many issues here in America as well as abroad. We have all watched over the last few weeks the events in Egypt. It will serve us all well to remember what our Lord has to say about this subject. There is just no getting around the truth… 

until He comes,

JC Johnson

Government in Biblical Perspective. click on the listen or download button, it’s free.

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Timeless Instruction


Timeless Instruction.

Outstanding sermon by John MacArthur.

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Why are all these pieces leftover?


Have you ever assembled something, only to find out you forgot to install this tiny part? Or you have several pieces left over and you don’t know why. Now that you have spent several hours assembling the object, it will not work or works only part of the way…

Modern Christianity is similar. A tiny part is missing or bits and pieces are missing. Nevertheless, Modern Christianity doesn’t work, not even part of the way… 

What is Modern Christianity? Here are some examples: Christianity without Christ…Heaven without hell…The Holy Spirit nowhere in sight…Forgiveness without Repentance. If these examples had a sum total it would have to be without question Idolatry in the highest degree. Modern Christianity has made up a God that is easy to worship, never in judgment and bent sound biblical doctrine to meet the ever-changing world’s point of view. Tolerance to other beliefs is the new and most important doctrine. This false Christianity is not biblical and certainly not a saving faith. Let’s look at the above examples.

Modern Christianity believers have an intellectual belief in Christ. They don’t have an experiential belief in Christ. That is they know what a parachute is, how it works and that it will help you land safely on the ground. They just won’t jump. The jump is the experiential faith, the saving faith. Joel Osteen as well as other well-known Pastors have stated publicly something to the effect of Jesus is a way to salvation as in not the way to salvation. John 14:6 These guys are followed by millions of folks. Do their followers really believe that? More importantly, can a true follower of Christ question that? You can spot a modern Christian church a mile away. The Holy Spirit is no longer desired by the congregation on Sunday when you have motor-cross riders jumping over the Pastor in the Sanctuary; all in an effort to keep the people coming back. John 14:16-17  These so-called Christians are in attendance for the show, to be entertained and when the entertainment stops, they stop coming. What about fellowship…what about obedience to God…what about feeding your flock men of God…No, you will find little of this at a Modern Christian Church.

 The modern way is to never mention hell because everyone is going to heaven. I’ve even heard some Christians say “Oh, I don’t believe in hell.”  A life full of sin is easily justified with that thought process. Matthew 7: 13.  Judgment Day is all but forgotten and certainly never preached. Hebrews 9:27 Repentance is the old way and not required in regeneration these days. Mark 1:15 There are so-called Christians out there that claim they have been forgiven; but don’t have a clue as to what they have been forgiven of. Want proof; ask them to define sin. God’s Moral Law, the Ten Commandments have been mislabeled, misused, or set up on a dusty shelf in an attempt to be never used again. 1 John 3:4

 

“It comes down to a question of truth. Every false religious expression is a religion of darkness. That doesn’t mean there are no good things in that faith. It’s not an effort to fail to notice the value of these things. But if Jesus is to be taken seriously when he says, ‘No one comes to the Father but through me,’ every other proposal is one of darkness.”

PAIGE PATTERSON President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Brothers and Sisters open your eyes….. Biblical doctrine is being pushed out, watered down or not being taught at all. Look at the dangerous cocktails of Post-Modernism, Relativism, Atheism, Darwinism and the likes of Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses; they all claim some part of or relevance in the Christian faith. They are not. Christianity is definable biblically… Our faith has a definition. So if we can define Christianity we should be able to live like Christians and be defined as such; a person who believes in the essential doctrines of the Bible: The deity of Christ, which involves the Trinity. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Salvation by Grace through faith. Let’s focus on these essentials, straight from the Word. Let’s not add too them or twist them to fit a certain situation in the name of tolerance. We have a charge from our Lord; we are to preach this Gospel to the very people who it does not fit. We are not at liberty to distort it or to only preach parts of it. All of it, nothing more, nothing less. Matthew 28: 18-20

 Why am I saying this….I used to be a member of that modern church. I know what I’m talking about. I said “I believed in Christ” but would not jump. I thought being a “Good Person” is all it took to squeeze through the narrow gate. I read the Bible without the Holy Spirit and did not mature a bit. I thought sin was horizontal and not mainly vertical towards God. I didn’t have a clue sin was transgression of the law. And “yes” God’s Moral Law still matters because God is still God and He has a standard. Why do I speak as if I’m not tolerant of others….It’s not a matter of being tolerant, it’s a matter of knowing what is to be tolerated. Look, when people say they are saved, what are they saying they are saved from? Hell, Damnation or an eternity away from God…what’s non-tolerant about preaching that? When we preach about forgiveness, it only makes sense to also  preach about what we are being forgiving from, sin. Half truths (concerning Biblical truths) have this irresistible appeal to them, they somehow make us feel as if “we’ve said enough to squeak by without offending anybody, when all we have done is spread some non Biblical dogma that is more harmful than not saying anything at all. When we share the Gospel with the world, don’t forget the bits and pieces that may make you or the person you are talking with feel uncomfortable. Part of the Gospel just doesn’t work.

 

until He come,

JC Johnson



 

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Might be the most mis-quoted bible verse ever……


 Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” 

Last sentence of this short audio: “When a person is truly regenerate it shows up in the way they live their life.” Very powerful indeed, revealing as well, particularly as I reminisce on my own life before and after receiving the gift of grace. My God in Heaven, what a fool I have been……

until He come,

JC Johnson

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What is a dichotomy?


Here’s a standard definition; a dichotomy is a split into two parts which are considered to be either contradictory or mutually exclusive.

For example, the colors black and white represent a classic dichotomy: either something is black, or it is white, with no room for overlap or alternatives (neutrality). Dichotomies are used in a number of ways, and on this blog will discuss them in the biblical sense.

While researching for this topic I came across the following on the internet, it’s a typical view of the world:

“A well known example of a false dichotomy is the saying “you’re either with us or against us.” In this case, the dichotomy leaves out a third option, neutrality, setting up an “us vs. them” mentality which can be very dangerous. Such flaws in logic are often used in arguments, in the hopes of brow beating an opponent into conceding a point by setting up a false dichotomy and thereby forcing the issue.”

Wait, what? Leaves out the third option…neutrality…….What? Setting up a mentality which can be very dangerous????? Flaws in logic….. Brow beating….. So what that appears to means is there are no dichotomies in the Bible and or the Christian faith, just false dichotomies.

Let’s look at Luke 11:23 “He who that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” Remember, Jesus spoke these words and there is no neutrality here. The Lord means what He is saying. I don’t see any mental dangers with this verse, just eternal dangers. It does come down to an “Us vs. Them” mentality, if someone chooses. I agree, this verse is not a classic dichotomy, it’s the ultimate dichotomy.

Which leaves us with this, what does Luke 11:23 mean? It’s simple: Heaven or hell. Oops! Another dichotomy….can’t get more contradictory than that! Mutually exclusive…..I would say Radically Exclusive.

So why doesn’t the world think dichotomies exist in the Bible? In a nutshell, the “illusion of control.” The world despises the Almighty, when they should recognize Him as worthy of our honor and obedience. Neutrality is easier than worshiping a God that is the Creator of all things, the Sustainer of all things and the Lord of all things. The thought of some “spiritual being” in control of the universe from beginning to end, frightens them. In the mind of the world, man knows best.

until He come,

JC Johnson

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Bathed in a text of Scripture…….


1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”                                                                                                             

“Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!” –Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Let’s face it, at one point or another we have all had times in our lives when reading the Bible was the last thing on our mind. I would stand and say that would be the norm for most Christians. Do you carry a Bible around with you or does your Bible come off the shelf on Sundays only? How about, does your Bible have the same amount of dust on it as the top of your doorways? What Paul is saying here is that all Christians should have an appetite for the Scripture; it’s a must in order to grow in maturity. Why? Because to not have a desire for God’s word is a sin. In context, this is a command to all Christians.

Can one obtain an appetite or desire for the Word? Absolutely, let’s look at the first verse of this chapter: 2:1 “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking.” In other words, stop the hate in your life, when you come to church feed off the word then go home and study what you have heard. Most importantly, get your mind and heart off worldly wants and desires turn from the sins that keep the Word from you. Only then will you desire the milk of the Word and mature.

How does the Holy Spirit do his work? Through the Word. Don’t let pride get in the way. You need to face the fact that you don’t have all the answers and you need to cultivate your relationship with the Lord and that is done by reading what He has to say, then comes the Spirit.

Lastly, if none of the above seems to help concerning reading God’s Word, then I would at least go to the following Scriptures. Read and study them. Pray to God that you will have understanding. 2 Cor. 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test?” Psalms 119:59 “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto your testimonies.” Lamentations 3:40 “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.” Talk with your Pastor or a Deacon, seek advice from them. Seriously consider and more importantly pray on the possibility that your lack of desire for God’s Word could be because you have an unrepentant heart. Without a doubt, reading God’s Word is an element of being a Christian.

until He come,

JC Johnson

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