At the very outset of this post I want to openly and before the â€œSanhedrinâ€ proclaim my belief in the importance of doctrine. Doctrine is just another way of saying truth and Paul tells us the Scriptures are profitable for doctrine so without doctrine we can get deceived quickly. Being grounded in the Word means not only quoting verses but comparing Scripture with Scripture and coming to a fuller and more complete knowledge of Godâ€™s truth. It takes perseverance and time to study to approve ourselves as workmen in Godâ€™s Word and it has a reward inherent in the pursuit itself. It is not enough to know the first principles of Christ, we must be diligent about learning the Word both by faithful teachers and in our personal study. It is part of the difference between being a babe in Christ and moving on to maturity.
Studying doctrine is not just for the preacher or Bible college students, it is for every and all believers. Sadly it is evident that many if not most believers do not take that admonition seriously and the result is a baby church that is tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. To be versed in the Scriptures and what they teach is what brings a believer into maturity and it protects us from deception. Studying and learning Godâ€™s truths is a wonderful journey of revelation and faith that feeds the spirit and opens passageways of glory that we could never know with the limited power of our own minds.
Just as a believer who is lazy in his Bible study is shallow and venerable to error, so is the believer who makes doctrine his place of devotion and becomes vulnerable to settling for a form of knowledge as worship. There is a wonderful mystery available for every believer where God can take the truths we have learned with our minds and infuse them into our spirits and hearts and incorporate them into our devotion to the Savior. Many people live their Christian life looking through the eyes of their particular doctrine or systematic theology and have been robbed of the blessing of a broken and contrite heart of worship before God. And many Christians are more interested in debating doctrine than sharing Jesus.