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Importance of Sound Doctrine


What difference does it make?


Does it matter what one believes, so long as he is sincere?


“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13.  


Note – Doctrine affects the life. Truth leads to life and God; error, to death and destruction. No one would think of staying it matters not what god one worships, so long as he is sincere, any more than he would think of saying it matters not what one eats or drinks, so long as he relishes what he eats and drinks; or what road he travels, so long as he thinks he is on the right road. Sincerity is a virtue; but it is not the test of sound doctrine. God wills that we shall know the truth, and He has made provision whereby we may know what is truth.


Did Joshua think it immaterial what god Israel served?


“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land we are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14,15. 


Note – The influence of all idolatrous worship is degrading. (See Romans 1:21-32; Numbers 15; 1 Corinthians 10:20; 1 John 5:21.)


What advice was given to Timothy while preparing for the gospel ministry?


“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of the Scripture, to preaching and teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Preserve in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:13,14.


What solemn charge was given him concerning his public work?


“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:1, 2. 


What similar instruction was given to Titus?


“You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned so that oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2, 1, 7,8.


Warning Against False Doctrines


Of what kind of doctrines should we beware?


“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:14. (See also Hebrews 13:9.)


What is a “wind of doctrine?”


“The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done with them.” Jeremiah 5:13.


Note – Calling a doctrine a wind of doctrine does not make it such. That is a wind of doctrine that is not sustained by the Word of God.


What danger attends the teaching of false doctrines?


“Who have wondered away from the truth. They say the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.” 2 Timothy 2:18. 


What kind of worship results from false teaching?


They worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

 Matthew 15:9.  


“By what doctrines are some to be misled in the last days?


“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1. (See 2 Peter 2:1.)


To what would men turn their ears?


For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4. 


The Test of True and False


How may we determine the truthfulness of any doctrine?

“Test everything. Hold on to the good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21.


Note – The Bible is the test of all doctrine. Whatever does not harmonize and square with this, is not to be received. “There is but one standard of the everlasting right and the everlasting wrong, and that is the Bible.” T.De Witt Talmage.


For what is all Scripture profitable?


“All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16.  


What will sound doctrine enable the faithful teacher to do?


“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Titus 1:9.


Our Personal Attitude Toward Truth


Who are the disciples of Jesus, and what gracious work does the truth do for those who receive it?


To the Jews who had believed on him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31,32.


Through what are they to be sanctified?


“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17.  


Can we close our ears to truth and remain innocent before God?


“If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.” Proverbs 28:9.


What did Christ say of those who will do God’s will?


“If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” John 7:17. “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Psalm 25:9.


Results of our Choice


What will God allow to come to those who reject the truth?


“And in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.  


What fate awaits blind teachers and their followers?


“Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:14.


To whom will the gates of the heavenly city finally be opened?


Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates of the city.” Revelation 22:14. (See also Isaiah 26:2.)



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