Focusing on Doctrine
by Dr. Timothy Hoflund
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All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
God tells us that it is His Word that profits us with doctrine ... so what exactly is "doctrine"?
The best definition I can give you is...
TRUE Doctrine is the composite of teachings that God gives for us to base our existence upon.
Remembering that we are eternal beings ... once conceived, our existence continues forever! Now that certainly places the matter in an entirely different emphasis on the matter of doctrine, doesn't it?
In a simpler fashion, we could define True Doctrine as ... "Truth to live by".
Isn't that one main reason why Jesus got so upset with the religious leaders of His day? "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:8-9 KJV)
Why is doctrine so important? Well beyond the foundation of our eternal reality ... the doctrine we hold is the basis of our worldview, or how we interpret life and interact with the world around us!
Think about this ... if our doctrine is faulty, then our worldview is flawed! Why is that important? Because if we don't hold the same (or increasingly the same) perspective that God has on life & the world ... we will not have the same interests and concerns as our Heavenly Father ... and aren't we supposed to be about our Father's business?
The danger of holding a human substitute for Divine Doctrine is that we begin to develop a human(istic) perspective on life and so we draw further and further away from what God says we are to be concerned with ... and involved in!
Looking at the passage in 2 Timothy above, we find that doctrine is also the first "ingredient" that prepares us "throughly" (through and through) for good works!
Finally (for this look at doctrine), True Doctrine is a protection factor from deception and being misled by doctrines of demons!
• "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" (1 Timothy 4:1-2 KJV)
What risks do we run by holding to wrong or false doctrine? God's warning is plain and clear ... and I ask you, what kind of abundant life can a person expect if their conscience has been seared with a hot iron? What kind of fellowship with God as FATHER can a person expect if because of wrong doctrine they begin to give heed to seducing spirits?
Remember this, just because the devil has lost control of your soul doesn't mean that he isn't going to try to gain the next best thing ... controlling influence! I don't know about you, but I much prefer to be under the controlling influence of my Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ!
Until next time ... be most richly blessed!
Dr. Timothy Hoflund
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Very insightful piece - doctrine really is key to all of this, isn't it? Thanks for sharing!