Doctrine: why do we bother with it?
by, Jan 11th 2010 at 03:43 AM (3514 Views)
Most of the issues concerning this are represented in one chapter of Holy Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:
Now, Paul asked the Corinthians to receive what belonged to them--i.e., the doctrinal teaching from Paul, Apollos, or Peter (Cephas) or anyone else. (All things belonged to them, indeed.) This, of course, required some maturation of the part of the Corinthians--because they were saying the following:1 Corinthians 3
1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.
2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?
5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”;
20 and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.”
21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you,
22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you,
23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.
and so on.
Thus, we can conclude successfully that "doctrine" is not going to go anywhere at all.
So, what can we do about this?
Well, I am developing this premise in my own life:
So, as we have clear understanding of "the Gospel of Jesus Christ", we can develop sufficient "discernment" with respect to "truth" and "error" in our lives.All true doctrine--if it is true--must achieve congruence with the message of "the Word of the truth of the Kingdom of Christ Jesus."
The issue here, though, seems to be this: our God allowed Jesus to "descend" and "ascend" and endure everything for us, and specifically so that we could "have all of the gift ministry" that we have. This resource of "gift ministry", then, is given by Christ--and is not going anywhere at all either.
Nevertheless, the most important resource we have for consideration of correct doctrine is Jesus Christ Himself (along with the Holy Spirit). As we know, the writer of the Revelation gives us several examples of false teaching among the people of God--and Jesus confronts it personally:
Now, our Lord loves us so very much. Therefore, He comes on the scene Himself often and "rebukes and chastens us" so that we might "be zealous and repent;" indeed, He does this so we might bear "more fruit" and so on.Rev. 2:14-16
14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
16 ‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.
Even the Laodicean Church was told by Christ "I am about to spit you out of my mouth--unless you repent." (This is the literal Greek configuration of this concept.)
Now, all of us want to listen to Jesus--He is truth, indeed, and perfect and so on.Rev. 3:14-16
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will (the literal Greek has "I am about to") spit you out of My mouth.
But, our Savior has said that "His people can represent Him in His Name" in this world--and He often uses His people to "build His Body"--so that the "gates of Hell would not prevail" and so on. Of course, people are still developing--and are not so perfect yet.
Nevertheless, don't be concerned about how YHWH will get doctrinal truth to His people--He's got all of this covered, and has a variety of avenues to get Gospel Truth to His people:
1) The Lord Jesus Himself.
2) The Holy Spirit (the abiding anointing that teaches--I John 2:27).
3) ALL of the SAINTS--as they would be used in "gift ministry."
4) The Heavens and The Creation (Psalm 19).
5) etc. . . .
With this arsenal, we will be just fine . . .
My hope, of course, is that we will all develop in discernment.
Let us hold to the good, and discard the bad:
Let us all learn the correct answer(s) to the question "What is the Gospel?" and we will be just fine also.1 Thess 5:12-22
12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,
13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
16 Rejoice always;
17 pray without ceasing;
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit;
20 do not despise prophetic utterances.
21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
22 abstain from every form of evil.