Q & A with Pastor Jon – “Why is doctrine important?”

Q & A with Pastor Jon is a teaching time dedicated to looking directly at Scripture as we answer questions that I have been asked over the course of my ministry.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as a listening guide each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Wednesday at 6:30 on Facebook. We also provide the services through YouTube. You can find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer Lists, and other resources at our Church Website.

Why is doctrine important?

This question touches on other aspects of the Christian life:

  • Why truth matters.
  • The importance of the theological beliefs of a church (not all churches are the same)
  • The joy we have as believers to mature in our faith as dig deeper into the Word of God.

A couple of my go to phrases…

  • “All Christians need to know what they believe and why they believe it.”
  • “Our theology drives our methodology” (as a person and as a church)
  • So goes our thinking so goes our life (when we see people make terrible decisions we will ask “what were they thinking”)

A few statements I have encountered over the years:

  • Why can’t we all just get along.  We need unity at all costs.
  • I have the holy spirit and I have my own relationship with God therefore, I do not need the “church” to tell me how to live or what to believe.
  • We can have different interpretations of the Bible. It can mean different things to different people.

As always… we must biblically define the terms:

  • Doctrine – something that is taught. A set of beliefs
  • Doctrine is what we believe about God and the Christian faith.
  • True Doctrine – The substance of what separates true biblical Christianity from other religions and philosophies of the day.
  • The Biblical truths that shape and mold our faith.

Why is it so important?

Jesus told us to go and make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20

A disciple is someone:

  • that has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord
  • that is growing daily in their relationship with Him
  • that is serving Him by their involvement and ministry within the fellowship of His Church
Acts 2:42–47 - [42] And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. [43] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. [44] And all who believed were together and had all things in common. [45] And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. [46] And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, [47] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)
Titus 1:5–9 - [5] This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—[6] if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. [7] For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, [8] but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. [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. (ESV)
Titus 2:1–8 - [1] But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. [2] Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. [3] Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, [4] and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, [5] to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. [6] Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. [7] Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, [8] and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. (ESV)
Ephesians 6:10–20 - [10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [14] Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. [16] In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, [19] and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, [20] for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (ESV)
Romans 12:1–2 - [1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

Truths to embrace:

  • Teaching and Learning are key components within the church… handed down from the early church. (Maybe it is time to get back to how we used to do church)
  • Our doctrine must be Biblical (sound and good)
    • TRUTH MATTERS
  • It is not an option for a true child of God.  Each believer is responsible for their growth and maturity.
  • The intake of the Word (Doctrine) is what shapes our mind and transform or life.  A transformed life is a life doing the will of God. (THE WORD: Read, Meditate, Live Out)

We must be people that are:

  • Teachable – I do not know all the answers.
  • Maturing/Growing – I need to be showing progress in my walk with the Lord.
  • Diligent – It is going to take an effort on my behalf.
  • Humble – Do not let knowledge “puff you up” 1 Cor. 8:1  The more we grow in knowledge the humbler a servant we should become.

God has given us all we need to believe right and live right. God has provided the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God.

I believe every Maturing Christian needs these resources as part of their personal library:

  • A study Bible
  • A Systematic Theology
  • Commentaries

Here is a link to some resources that could be of great help.

1 Corinthians 4:6-13 “Not Prideful, but Humble”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Jan. 23rd.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as a listening guide each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook. We also provide the services through YouTube by Sunday afternoon.  You can find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List, and other resources at our Church Website.

1 Corinthians 4:6–13

[6] I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. [7] For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

[8] Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! [9] For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. [10] We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. [11] To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, [12] and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; [13] when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. (ESV)

INTRO

  • We learn from the text that the Corinthian church had a pride issue
  • Pride – a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements.
  • There is nothing wrong with confidence or self-assurance.
  • Yet, if we begin to put more focus on us and others…rather than Christ… it is a problem.
  • The church/believers were boasting in their wisdom, talents and positions.
  • LOOK AT US… LOOK WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED
  • They were boasting in men rather than God.
  • We need to strive for humility so that we do not fall prey to the same sin.
  • Once we consider the WORD… who can boast?

Once we embrace the example of Christ… WHO CAN BOAST?

Phil. 2:6-8 – He humbled Himself

Matt. 11:29 – Gentle and humble in heart

Once we understand the gifting of the Spirit… WHO CAN BOAST?

The Church is made up of redeemed people that working together as a body and family.

  • We are individually called and uniquely gifted Rom 12:3-8
  • To Reach people with the Gospel
  • To Build up one another IN the Gospel

I have applied all these things – v. 6

  • Farmer – Working the fields for harvest
  • Building – Together with Christ as foundation
  • Servants – Under-rowers
  • Stewards – Managers of God’s gits

We are different by design – Working together – FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. FULFILLING THE GREAT COMMISSION

Once we evaluate our heart… WHO CAN BOAST?

Three Questions to ask – v. 7

For who sees anything different in you?

  • Do we consider ourselves as superior

What do you have that you did not receive?

  • Everything we have was given to us.
  • God has given us everything

If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

  • We boast as if we created… rather than received.

Three (sarcastic) Statements to consider – v. 8

  • You have all you want!
  • You have become rich!
  • You have become kings!

THE KEY… THEY HAVE OBTAINED SUCH THINGS… BECAUSE OF THEM…

Once we consider the meaning of the cross… WHO CAN BOAST?

The apostles… as men sentenced to Death

  • They are a picture of the sufferings of Christ

JUST AS CHRIST WAS TREATED!!!!!

A spectacle to the world

  • Treated lowly and on display
  • Slave in the coliseum

A nobody to the world

  • Fools, weak, dishonorable

A sufferer to the world

  • Hungry, poorly dressed, buffeted, homeless, laboring, reviled, persecuted, slandered

Worthless to the world

  • Scum. Dirt, Nothing

Therefore, we are humble and not prideful

We are Fools for Christ’s sake

We are Wise in Christ

  • We labor
  • We bless
  • We endure
  • We entreat

Q & A with Pastor Jon – “How do our prayers affect God’s Will?”

My teaching notes for Wednesday night, Jan. 19th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the teaching. They are provided as a listening guide each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Wednesday at 6:30 on Facebook. We also provide the services through YouTube. You can find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer Lists, and other resources at our Church Website.

This question addresses the impact and effectiveness of our prayers.

  • Do our prayers really matter?
  • How do our prayers and God’s will relate?

Consider the two extremes

  1. God is sovereign and so our prayers do not matter.
  2. God is limited by our prayers.

It would appear we either sacrifice God’s sovereignty or we sacrifice our responsibility/free will

Consider what Scripture teaches:

  • Eph 1:11 – Works all things according to the counsel of His will.
  • Psalm 103:19 -His kingdom rules overall.
  • James 4:2 – You do have because you do not ask.
  • James 5:16 – The prayer of a righteous man avails much
  • Matt. 7:7-8 – Ask and you will receive

REMEMBER… all of Scripture fits together.  Verses do not cancel each other out.

  • God is absolutely in control of every aspect of the universe that HE CREATED.
  • My prayers really do matter
    • They avail much.
    • I do not have because I do not ask

To me the issue is not the effectiveness of our prayers, but the condition of the heart of the one praying.

  • RIGHTEOUS MAN (pure heart, motives, desires) avails much.
  • Why am I praying?
    • Prayer is not a grocery list
    • Prayer is not informing God what we think is best
    • Prayer is not asking for something and then knowing we will question the outcome… if not of our choosing.

Prayer is not getting God on my agenda, but rather ME GETTING ON GOD’S AGENDA

  • God hears my words and knows my heart.
  • He knows and does what is BEST
  • WHAT IS THE BEST… FOR THE KINGDOM…HIS GLORY!

Matthew 6:9-13 – Lord’s Prayer

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread,12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

HIS MAJESTY AND GLORY (WHO HE IS)– vv. 9-10

  • His Holiness – v. 9
  • His Reign – v. 10a
  • His Rule and Purpose – v. 10b

OUR NEEDS – vv. 11-13

  • Our Physical – v. 11
  • Our Spiritual – vv. 12-13
  • God knows what we need before we ask. v. 8

A few closing thoughts:

  • Do I believe God is completely in control of all His creation? Yes I do.
  • Do I believe God has a plan and will complete His plan perfectly? Yes I do
  • Do I believe God commands us to pray and pray with expectation? Yes I do
  • Do I believe my prayers matter? Yes I do.
  • We pray with expectation because WE KNOW WHO GOD IS.
    • What good would praying do if we did not think God was really God?
      • Our belief, trust and confidence in Him
    • Because of His attributes it gives us the confidence to pray.
    • The more I “biblically” pray the more I can embrace the hope of God’s will.
      • His will not my will
  • It takes praying as a true child of God. As a child cries out to their earthly father, we too should cry out in hope and dependence to our Heavenly Father.
    • Our dependence upon Him for everything.
  • Praying with POWER, PURPOSE and PASSION
    • Takes Belief, Trust, Confidence and Dependence
  • THEREFORE
    • We pray for the lost because we know God is the redeemer of souls.
    • We pray for the sick because we know God is the great healer.
    • We pray for the discouraged because we know God is the great God of comfort.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 – “Faithful Servants”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Jan. 16th.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook at Tabernacle Facebook Page. We also provide the services through YouTube by Sunday afternoon at TAB YouTube.  You can also find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List and other resources at our Church Website.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

[1] This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. [2] Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. [3] But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. [4] For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. [5] Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. (ESV)

INTRO:

  • This portion of Scripture (1:10-4:41) is dealing with the division within the church.
  • In this section vv.4:1-21 Paul stresses the importance of our SERVICE to the Lord and His work.
  • The division was because they had lost their focus and direction.  A great way to stay focused…SERVE THE LORD AND HIS CHURCH
  • Today we consider the life of a FAITHFUL SERVANT

How are we Regarded?v. 1

Servants and Stewards

Servants

  • Under rower – under the authority of others
  • Lowly position.

Servants under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Serving him.
  • To serve Christ is to be “servants of the Word”
  • Luke 1:2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, (ESV)

Paul gives a great description of the servant’s life

  • 2 Corinthians 6:4–10[4] but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, [5] beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; [6] by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; [7] by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; [8] through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; [9] as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; [10] as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. (ESV)

Stewards

  • Household manager
  • Responsibility of the belongings of others
  • 1 Peter 4:10–11[10] As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: [11] whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)

Steward of the mysteries of God

  • Hidden, only known by divine revelation
  • Managing what God has given us.
    • His Divine Truth as revealed in Scripture
    • THE WORD
  • God is known as the Word is proclaimed.
    • Taught, Shared and lived Out

How will we be Found? – v. 2

Faithful

Required to be found faithful

  • Loyal/Faithful to one’s master
    • MORE THAN…I go to church, I believe in God, I do good things
  • Faithful with the divine truth given us
  • Faithful with our mission
  • Faithful with our life… our character…above reproach
  • Titus 1:7–9 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, [8] but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. [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. (ESV)

As stewards… what God has GIVEN US to manage

  • Too often we look for what we do not have
  • We need to realize what GOD HAS GIVEN US and be SATISFIED! (Content)
    • The Spirit – The Holy Spirit abides within us
    • The Word – Preserved and Perfect
    • Divine Power and Purpose – The Sovereign God of the Universe has saved us and called us.
    • Unique Giftedness (you be you!!!!)

Who will Judge us? – vv. 3-5

The Lord

There are two ways to consider this:

  • Do not get discouraged as the world wrongly accuses and judges you… God sees your heart.
  • DO BECOME CONVICTED if you think you can live a hypocritical life and fool the world… GOD IS NOT FOOLED
  • Galatians 6:7–9Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. [8] For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. [9] And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (ESV)

Who judges the faithfulness of our life (the eternal impact of our ministry)

  • No person
  • No Earthly Court
  • Not Even myself

King Jesus alone is the judge of the impact of my life and ministry

  • He knows my heart
  • He knows my motives
  • He knows the impact that has been made

We too often focus on the here and now, but remember that it is the Lord that sees ALL THINGS from a heavenly perspective.

The key is living out 1 Cor. 10:31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (ESV)