The Bible and Doctrine


      Not a few preachers and religions today claim that doctrine should not be preached. If it is preached at all, they explain, it must be "obscure." Some religions go to great trouble to conceal their official doctrine. For example, I understand the Church of Scientology had their doctrine copyrighted.

     Doctrine, according to the scriptures, is necessary. The word "doctrine" is from the Greek didache. Didache means "teaching" (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Vol. 1, pg. 331). We read of the doctrine of the Pharisees (Matt. 15: 9). Jesus said of them, "…Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Every religious group has its own doctrine, this is what distinguishes one religion from another. Beloved, pure doctrine is necessary. Doctrine is necessary to receive Jesus. In order for the Romans to be "made free from sin," they had to "obey from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered" them (Rom. 6: 17, 18 see verses 1-16). Regarding the necessity of doctrine, John wrote: "Whosoever trangresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God…" (2 Jn. 9). We must only receive (fellowship) those who "bring this doctrine" (vs. 10).

     One cannot preach Jesus without preaching his will, teaching or doctrine. This concept is involved in Paul's language to the Ephesians: "But ye have not so learned Christ" (Eph. 4: 20). Proper conduct is part of "learning Christ" (vss. 17-20). The eunuch had Jesus preached to him (Acts 8: 35). The man immediately said, "…See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (vs. 36).

     Beloved, God's plan of salvation for the alien sinner - belief, repentance, confession, and baptism - must be plainly taught (Acts 2: 36-41, 8: 37). The church, divorce and remarriage, and how to live as a Christian are all part of the presentation of truth (Matt. 16: 18, 19: 1-9, Acts 24: 25, see also 2 Tim. 3: 10, Acts 20: 27, 20).