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 -  And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  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 -  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— 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.  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,  but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.  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 -  But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.  Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,  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 -  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  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.  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.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  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,  and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (ESV)
Romans 12:1–2 -  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.  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
Here is a link to some resources that could be of great help.