Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- April 28, 2012
“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
Doctrine is a belief system that is accepted as authoritative. For followers of Jesus Christ, the Bible contains Christian doctrine that is believed, understood, and lived. Doctrine is critical because what you believe can be the difference between heaven and hell; it is critical because it determines your behavior. Doctrine is valuable because it provides structure around faith, bolstering and encouraging you toward a lifetime of growth and learning. Doctrine is not to be feared but accepted as a support for abundant living.
Doctrine helps you understand what you believe in a logical fashion, so you in turn, can explain it to others inside and outside of the faith. Yes, doctrine can be abused, used as a club to knock others into line. But doctrine is not designed to discourage, but to encourage. Doctrine is not meant to be an intimidator. Rather, it is designed to lovingly lead disciples toward the ways of God. Your motive for understanding and learning doctrine is that you can know God more deeply and intimately. Doctrine is not an end in itself. If your desire is to simply gain more knowledge then doctrine will work against your Christian maturity. Sound teaching also helps you discern false teachers.
The Bible says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). Indoctrinate your children at an early age with God’s belief system so that they can begin lifelong learning. What better way to mold their tender and teachable hearts than with the doctrine of the Christian faith?
Some of the doctrines of the Christian faith are the Deity of Christ, His death and resurrection for man’s redemption, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers. God is your loving heavenly Father who judges fairly. Traditional tenets of the faith are the inerrancy of the Bible, the second coming of Christ, salvation by grace through faith in Christ, and the reality of heaven and hell. Other compelling truths are eternal rewards, God’s ownership of everything, and the power of prayer.
Allow your mind and heart to marinate in these and other doctrines. Let them become the foundation of your belief and behavior. Read about them, learn about them, and let them give you confidence that God has laid out a logical and inviting explanation for living and dying. This applies equally to His followers and those who still need Christ. Be sure doctrine has been distilled into a life change for you. This is evidence of authenticity in disciples.
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (John 8:31b). The major teachings of the Christian faith are clear; camp out there and do not be confused over other distracting issues. Make sure your doctrine leads you to evangelism and discipleship as it exists for your encouragement and defense of the faith. Above all, keep doctrine from feeding your pride and boring others. Use it wisely and do not abuse it.
Taken from April 29th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE
Post/Tweet this today: Humble disciples distill doctrinal teachings into personal life change. #doctrine #disciples
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