Contending for the Faith in Doctrine-Part (1)
GOD SEEKERS’ OPEN MIC
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH IN DOCTRINE
Text: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3 (KJV)
Dearly loved friend, I was fully intending to write to you about the amazing salvation we all participate in, but felt the need instead to challenge you vigorously defend and contend for the beliefs that we cherish. For God, through the apostles, has once and for all entrusted these truths to his holy believers. Jude 1:3 (TPT)
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42 (KJV)
Every believer was faithfully devoted to following the teachings of the apostles. Their hearts were mutually linked to one another, sharing communion and coming together regularly for prayer. Acts 2:42 (TPT)
Are you wondering why we are looking at this topic?
- It is because sound biblical doctrine is more important than any gift, calling, office or tenet in the scripture. Once the doctrine is wrong everything is wrong; because it is the foundation upon which everything is built. These doctrines were built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:20. Another reason why this is important is that you cannot save your life or others once you fail to know, understand and follow God’s doctrine in a particular aspect of your life. You cannot live a life beyond what you believe.
- Though several denominations have several doctrines, there is ONLY ONE DOCTRINE. It is just that someone added something to it; the bible calls it THE FAITH in Jude 3 and stated that it was ONCE delivered to the saint. It doesn’t matter that we have several denominations today with different doctrines; THERE IS ONLY ONE DOCTRINE delivered in the Bible and it is your responsibility to find it out exactly what it is; it is not the responsibility of someone to find it out for you because they may be biased in their interpretation.
- You need to understand that Biblical Doctrine is different from Church Administration and that should be very clear! You are accountable to God for Biblical Doctrine but only accountable to the Church for administrative tenets of the Church, please don’t ever mix up these two; that is the beginning of error. Once you subject yourself to the administrative tenets of the Church, you should not complain about it, you personally subject yourself to it and once you decide to change you have not sinned.
Question 1: What exactly are the confusions people have about Biblical doctrine and Denominational Tenets?
It is the way the central themes of God’s revelation in Scripture are summarized and taught. This doctrine underlies and, indeed, explains the practice of the Christian faith. There is, in fact, no Christian ethic without a foundation of Christian doctrine. The daily practice of this faith is the daily living out of its doctrine. Apostolic Christianity was nothing if it was not about knowing, believing, living, and preaching apostolic doctrine.
This is key, one verse does not qualify to be a doctrine, for instance, several men have a personal view of not dancing and only pick where David danced and was naked and said because of that dancing is wrong. That is not how doctrine is framed. It must be done with rigor and labour and a serious search to look for the repeatability of the nature of God, and his word and look for the trend all along the scriptures, especially the 3 key dispensations. 1Tim 5:17 “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”(KJV)
The framing of Doctrine is not done by a single person, just the same way a constitution is not done by one person, and the elders have to labor in word and doctrine …not one bible verse “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine 1Tim.5:17”. These are the Key topics we shall review:
-What are Christian Doctrines?
-What qualifies tenet as a doctrine?
-How do you labour in doctrine?
-How to know if something is not a biblical doctrine?
-What is the difference between a Doctrine and Church Administration?
This teaching, this doctrine, is an enduring body of truth to which the church is always bound. It is “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Faith in its truthful content cannot be individualized. Christian belief cannot mean one thing to one person and something different to another. It is not different from one age to the next, nor is it different from one culture to another. Genuine Christian faith is genuine only when structured around the same enduring biblical doctrines. Christian faith is always the same because the God at its center is always the same, and because the redemptive acts on which it is based, centrally the cross and resurrection, can never be changed. There is only “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5).
Our greatest challenges come from when people come with different doctrines as the mind of God, God means something to everyone and it has been clearly revealed in the scriptures. Today, check all that you believe if you truly believe or just you’re following the dictate of men. The word translated “doctrine” also means “instruction, especially as it applies to lifestyle. In other words, the doctrine is a teaching imparted by an authoritative source. The Bible which is the word always refers to spiritually related fields of study. The Bible says of itself that it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Any doctrine that is not inspired repeatedly by the Bible is not a biblical doctrine. One other reason it is very important to understand doctrine is that, as stated in 1 Tim 4:16 16 “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” We have to be very careful of the doctrines that we keep exposing ourselves to daily. It may wreck a person’s faith and also influence others negatively.
HOW TO KNOW IF A TENET QUALIFIES AS BIBLICAL DOCTRINE
- They are built on teaching and development through the Old Testament.
- It should culminate in Christ’s incarnation, words, work, and teaching (Matt. 7:28)
- It is expanded and applied by the Apostles.
- Paul placed his own teaching side-by-side with the “preaching of Jesus Christ” (Rom. 16:25; cf. 1 Thess. 4:2). All of this was committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. These inspired writings are now preserved within the biblical canon. This revealed word defines for us how we should think about God, ourselves, our world, the church, and the future.
Question 2: Can you bring any doctrine and let’s check it with the requirements below? Salvation, Healing, Judgment, Eternal Life, Holiness, Heaven and Hell… All these pass the above test. But can you show me some that never passes these tests: Women should not talk in Church, Yes, was in the scripture but was for a particular people at a time in Corinthians. It was not in the order in the Old Testament, it was not taught by the Apostles, and it was not taught by Jesus ….Therefore it does not qualify as a doctrine but can be used as administration where such an issue happens.
Question 4: What are the key biblical doctrines that reveal God to us today which were all consistent through the Bible?
- Purity and Holiness- Heb. 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. It was consistent in the scripture from Genesis to Revelation.
- Faith! This is the core foundation of almost all teachings in the OT, NT, and the Apostles.
- Eternal Life: This has been consistent from the Garden of Eden to the coming of Jesus here on earth to redeem man and give eternal life.
- Heaven, Hell, and Judgment: This was consistent from the Garden of Eden; man was judged and lost the nature of God, and all through the scriptures we hear of it.
- Healings: Healing was consistent with the Old Testament, even when he created herbs; it was for their healing and the Prophets raised the dead. When Jesus came, he was healing and the Apostles were healing as well.
- Giving without Praise: It was clear from the Old Testament that God wants all giving to be done without others knowing. The offering boxes during the tabernacle worship was placed where none will see it, when Jesus came he taught the same thing with the widow’s mite and the Apostles taught the same thing. It qualifies as a doctrine; we are not to give things with public praise.
When we talk of doctrine today, we are not just referring to the one in our Church; it is the totality and foundation of what defines our walk with God.
- Servanthood in Leadership: This is one core doctrine that God taught us through Jesus and the Apostles as well.
Father, we thank you for the privilege to study these matters. We ask for divine insight to pursue the weightier matters and as we learn under your feet. Thank you Jesus for all you have done; in Jesus’ name.
This is an excerpt from the God Seekers Open Mic which is scheduled on Telegram Every Sunday 3 PM WAT, if you wish to join in this discussion every Sunday you can indicate in the comment section.