Monday, February 9, 2015

Bible Doctrine – Introduction

The word doctrine simply means teaching. The ones that we are mainly concerned with are the ones in the Bible. The study of Bible Doctrines is an attempt to organize the Bible in component parts. For example, what the Bible says about God, Christ, Man, Church, End Times, etc. Are they important to know? Yes, indeed. As a matter of fact, the average Christian knows very little about either. Oh, they know what they have been told to believe, but they are not able to go to the Scriptures for themselves to prove it. That is the purpose of this writing.

Bible Doctrines are important for several reasons. The first of which is the most important, God wrote them. The Bible is the only book on earth that was written by God.

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

Here are some facts about the Bible. It is divided into two prominent sections called the Old Testament and the New Testament. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. It was written over a period of 1400 years by 40 authors. Its primary subject is God himself.

Philippians 3:10 “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;”

2 Peter 3:18 “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

The only way one can know God is through His Word. (We will discuss General and Special revelation a bit later.) It has been said that, “All we know about the Living Word is found in the Written Word.”

The study of the Bible is not optional for a Christian.

1 Timothy 4:15-16 “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”

Following that same thought, the Bible says that a Christian shows his love for God by keeping the commandments of God. It is not possible to keep commandments that one does not know.

John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."

John 14:23-24 “Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.”

John 15:10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.”

John 15:14 "You are My friends if you do what I command you.”

As Christians, we need to know not only what we believe, but why. The world in which we live today demands it.

1 Peter 3:15 “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”

Sometimes the best way to know what you believe is to determine what you do not.

1 John 4:1-6 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

In pursuing what we believe, we must also learn how to let the Bible speak for itself without pressing what we want it to say on its pages.

Isaiah 55:11 “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

There are nine principle doctrines in the Bible that we will be studying one at a time.

1. Bibliology – The study of the Bible                          
2. Theology – The study of God                                    
3. Christology – The study of Christ                                             
4. Pneumatology – The study of the Holy Spirit        
5. Anthropology – The study of Man
6. Soteriology – The study of Salvation
7. Ecclesiology – The study of the Church
8. Angeology – The study of Angels
9. Eschatology – The study of Last Things


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