“According to the Christian conception, a creed is not a mere expression of Christian experience, but on the contrary it is a setting forth of those facts upon which experience is based. But, it will be said, Christianity is a life, not a doctrine. The assertion is often made, and it has the appearance of godliness. But it is radically false... But if one fact is clear, on the basis of this evidence, it is that the Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work [or ‘practical living’/results], but upon an account of facts. In other words it was based upon doctrine.” Christianity and Liberalism, p. 19 and 21.
"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...
Friday, January 13, 2012
The believer is always distinguished from the unbeliever by how they respond to Jesus’ Word. This forces us to ask the question: how do I respond to the Bible?
We have people today who claim to be Christians but they do not like the Word of God, or they do not believe all of the Bible is the Word of God. You became a Christian by putting your faith and trust in Jesus.
But the outgrowth of true saving faith is that you grow in your trust in the Bible. At some point in your Christian experience you should be moving to recognize that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God.
You see, just as you responded to Jesus word of salvation--the gospel-- how can you not respond to all of God’s Word?
The true believer will remain and abide in God’s Word.
On a scale of 1 to 10-- 10 being the most important: how important to you is sound doctrine? How concerned are you that we stick to the teachings the church has always believed?
Two grave errors often arise in our day:
(1) People today believe that doctrine evolves and develops over church history. I do not mean to deny the complexity of church history--the creeds said the same old truths with a new vocabulary to fight error. But the truth confessed did not evolve or change. The language of the creeds became important because people were trying to change doctrine. Knowing Church history can actually help us abide in Jesus’ Word.
(2) People today will make “practical” and enemy of “doctrine.”
There is nothing more practical than sound doctrine. Why? Because knowing the truth sets of free. People today think that Christianity is a practice, a life to be lived. Christianity is first a truth to believed. There is nothing to practice--there is nothing practical--if it is not first a truth to be believed. Do you believe Jesus’ Word are “true because ‘they work’” or do you believe “they work because they are true”?
J. Gresham Machen has said:
The first confession: “Jesus is Lord” --it is a doctrine, it is a creed. It is a statement of fact--something true. It is a Word we are to abide in.