The Importance of Sound Doctrine or Truth
Dr. Valson Abraham
There was a time not too long ago when “Theology” was regarded as the queen of all sciences.
Theology comes from two Greek words: Theos (God) and Logos (Word), literally “God-Word” or Word of God”. Take the words such as psychology, sociology and biology. Psychology is the “study of the mind”. Sociology is the “study of society”. Biology is the “study of life”. Theology is the “study of God”.
Philosophers, theologians and mathematicians of the renaissance period believed “theology” as the queen of all sciences. Science meaning “knowledge” is simply a matter of knowing what is true, right and factual. They believed theology as the queen of such matters because it engendered (brought into existence or caused to develop) all disciplines with a proper order, reason and orientation.
Today, reason has been replaced by emotion. This attitude has even infiltrated the church. “Don’t give me dead doctrines and theology,” some will say, “just give me the Holy Spirit.” Though this sounds spiritual, it is highly foolish.
Of course, there is a place in our Christian faith for feeling, but not at the expense of “Truth” or sound doctrine. God is an emotional Being who creates us as emotional beings, but He is also a rational Being who has constructed the universe by rational laws. We are to love Him with our minds as well as our hearts.
To underestimate the value of good doctrine threatens the essence of our faith. Without Truth or sound doctrine, we can never know if we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit or an unclean spirit. A lack of sound doctrine allows Satan, the father of lies, to exploit and destroy gullible people while they feel warm and fuzzy. We combat Satan’s lies with the Truth, and Truth begins with sound doctrine.
In the Christian faith, doctrine or Truth is not based upon decisions made by
committees of priests and theologians, or majority voting but upon facts. Christianity is not an idea, but a historical faith. Its doctrines are based upon the actual work and consistent character of God through Jesus Christ and His people over 2,000 years of recorded time.
These works of God in history are recorded in the Bible by a host of authors who never knew one another, for all to read. Doctrines are formed on the basis of what God has done in real people, not upon an enlightenment experience someone had on a mountain top.
The life of Christ, his death and resurrection lie at the crux of our faith. People saw, touched and spoke to the living Christ. They experienced His healing, deliverance and mercy in multiple ways. More than five hundred people saw Him alive after His resurrection. If these events never happened, all of our religious emotion is wasted.
The Apostle Paul says this very thing in 1 Corinthians 15:17: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” Paul, a former enemy of Jesus Christ, and the other apostles were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the gospel because they had seen the resurrected Christ. Their doctrine was based upon facts, not feelings.
Our doctrines regarding God, Jesus Christ, sin, salvation, prayer, truth, repentance, baptism, the Holy Spirit, the holy life, eternal life and death, the Great Commission, the church, scriptural inspiration-all these doctrines depend upon historical facts, not arbitrary decisions made by people who get emotionally “charged” by them.
In Christian faith, religious emotion is never the beginning or end in itself, but the product of what God does in our lives. We can know what is or is not of God only if we have sound doctrines based upon God’s workings in history that help us to discern genuine from counterfeit.
We develop sound doctrine as we regularly study our Bibles and its record of God’s work. Soon, we begin to sense that certain ideas in our culture are right while others are wrong. We become less likely to become cultural victims and develop a foundation for true transformation by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2).
The Bible, Truth or sound doctrine are profound gifts of God’s grace. Let us grasp them, thanking Him who has given His life to free us from the enemy’s lies. Let us also remember to pray and give so that hundreds of millions of people in India and around the world still without this truth will walk out of darkness and into His Light and embrace the Person of Jesus Christ.
Father God, thank you for the facts of faith recorded in the Bible for all to see. Help me to develop a core of truth that begins with sound doctrine. Help me to apply this sound doctrine to my life so that I may live a life that will please you and bless others as well as myself and those whom I love. In the Name of JESUS CHRIST, who is the source of all LOVE, LIFE AND TRUTH. Amen.