Dr. Dan Hayden •
For many people, doctrine is a nasty word. They see doctrine as that which divides believers and causes arguments within the church. Well, doctrine is not the bad guy – contentious people are the problem.
Doctrine is absolutely essential to our Christian faith. Without doctrine, we’d have nothing to believe. In 2 Timothy 3:16 the Bible says,
“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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
In this great passage on the importance of the Word of God, the first thing it says for which the Bible is profitable, is “doctrine.”
Now the word “doctrine” in the Greek text is didaskalia , which is a word that simply means “teaching or instruction.”
It’s from this Greek word that we get our English word didactic, meaning “to instruct or teach others.” Both the New American Standard version and the New International Version translate this word “…and is profitable for teaching…” So here’s the point: the Bible is profitable for the purpose of teaching you what God wants you to know. You see, the word “doctrine” simply means “what the Bible teaches,” and if you believe anything the Bible teaches, you are believing Bible doctrine.
Now I know there are areas of controversy with regard to some things the Bible teaches: is it free will or is it sovereignty? Is it baptism by immersion or by sprinkling? Do elders rule the church or is it congregational rule? And on and on… So because of these things, people have gotten a bad taste for doctrine. They see doctrine as a divisive thing.
Well, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Doctrine is everything the Bible teaches, and as a Christian, you desperately need good teaching in order to grow and mature.
Are you getting good Bible teaching? Your spiritual growth depends on it!