Tag Archive | Bible Study

Doctrine?

All this talk of doctrine, so what exactly is doctrine?

Doctrine is any teaching or set of beliefs.

Generally though in the Church, doctrine is the teaching of Scriptures.  That can range from as simple as “Jesus Loves Me” to end times, eschatology, and everything in between.  So you can see there is a wide range of depth from simple to deep.  If you’ve ever taught a preschooler “Jesus Loves Me” then you’ve taught doctrine.  Nevertheless, it is very important to have right doctrine.  Doctrine also explains the meaning of the words we use in church such as salvation, regeneration, repentance.   The doctrine we at NCBC espouse for Salvation is different from the doctrine of the Mormon Church, even if we both use the same word Salvation. { see http://www.contenderministries.org/mormonism/know.php  Don’t really know anything about this site beyond this one page which explains Salvation in Mormonism.  So use caution.} If we don’t understand the differences we can’t effectively communicate with them.  Doctrine is necessary in order to have a right view of God.

A.W. Tozer said in The Knowledge of the Holy:

It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate.”

According to John MacArthur:

Doctrine matters. What you believe about God, the gospel, the nature of man, and every major truth addressed in Scripture filters down to every area of your life. You and I will never rise above our view of God and our understanding of His Word.

Joshua Harris in Why We Need Doctrine:

Doctrine can never take the place of Jesus himself, but we can’t know him and relate to him in the right way without doctrine. This is because doctrine not only tells us what God has done but what his actions mean to us.

Often though we don’t realize how important doctrine is because we don’t recognize doctrine when we hear it or even think it.  Everyone, absolutely everyone, even an atheist, has doctrine as the foundation to their thinking and living.  Every culture has at its core doctrine. That is why “culture” is not morally neutral. The real question is what doctrine? Biblical doctrine or Satan’s doctrine?  There aren’t any other doctrines.

1 John 3:10 (ESV) By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

 

Oh, we can label Satan’s doctrine by many different labels.  You’ll recognize these.

False doctrine

Worldliness

Feminism

Humanism

Socialism

Communism

Notice how many end in –ism?   What does –ism mean?  A distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice.

But most doctrines aren’t so clearly labeled for us.  Wouldn’t that make things so much easier if they were?  Such that if when you read or heard an idea, up would pop a banner “This is Feminism“, “This is Socialism” or “This is of Satan”.  However, those are the easy ones to recognize.  The hard ones are those that you’ve been raised with or learned through out life.  Or even those that you hear as an adult and you think, “You know that does make sense, I see that, I see how that can be.”  Some of us have been taught false doctrine even in seemingly sound churches.  When we fill our minds and renew them each day we will get to the point where what I call “red flags” will pop up when you hear false doctrine.  Filling our minds with right doctrine along with the leading of the Holy Spirit will help us to see the false doctrine.

My mother was a single mom who had divorced several times.  Growing up there was a picture on our wall.  The picture said “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”  The picture showed a fish riding a bike.  Cute right?  She thought so.  But she didn’t realize she was teaching doctrine.  What doctrine?  The doctrine of Feminism.

It is very easy to be swayed by false doctrine by spending too much time with it.  How do we spend too much time with false doctrine?  Media of all kinds is one of today’s most insidious means of spreading false doctrine.  The music we hear, the books we read, the movies we watch and the TV we watch all impart doctrine.  Even the internet imparts doctrine?  Take a guess at whose doctrine is most easily found? ….  Satan’s.

Vance Havner said:

It is possible to fraternize with unbelievers until false doctrine becomes less and less objectionable.

If you have children or grandchildren are they spending time hearing Satan’s doctrine in their media choices?  At their activities away from you?  With their friends?

John Stott said:

Good conduct arises out of good doctrine.

 

1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) Do not be deceived:  “Bad company ruins good morals.”

 

Are you hearing Satan’s doctrine so regularly such that you are becoming desensitized to it?

Everyone’s heard the frog analogy where you cannot put a frog in boiling water because it will jump out but you can put a frog in cool water and gradually turn up the heat and it will stay right there.  We do the same things to ourselves, maybe a movie or TV show has one instance of using the Lord’s name in vain and then a few weeks later the next movie might only have two or three objectionable words.  Before you know it we have become desensitized and we don’t even notice them unless some else points them out to us.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series

 


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Do Women, Wives and Mothers Really Even Need Doctrine?

We as women, wives, mothers, daughters don’t really need to worry about doctrine, right? Doctrine is for preachers and those in Seminary.  Doctrine is what the men sit and discuss after church while we clean up.  We, as women, don’t have time or the need to discuss doctrine.

Or do we?

Not sure?

Ever heard these ideas or even thought them yourself?

Doctrine is something that we should leave up to the men to learn; there is no point in my trying to understand such deep subjects.

It would be usurping male authority for us to focus on things like doctrine when we have homes to manage and children to raise.

Doctrine isn’t practical; we as women need the real, nitty-gritty, everyday stuff.

Evangelism is more important than Doctrine. {This point got a lot of discussion because several ladies have heard this used recently.  Evangelism is very important but without the right doctrine you just may end up evangelizing people to be very good Mormons or Catholics.  Right Biblical Doctrine matters.}

There isn’t enough time to spare for studying Biblical doctrine when there are meals to cook, diapers to change, and school to teach.

Some of us may have even been in churches that have taught us to not “worry our pretty little heads about such deep matters” leave the serious Bible Study up to the men “as God intended it.”

 

First we will look at why doctrine is important for women no matter what stage in life they find themselves in.  Next we’ll look at what the Bible says about doctrine.  Then after that we will look at some Biblical examples of women depending on correct doctrine.

Now you may be wondering, oh, no, here she goes off into the five Solas, the points of Calvinism or transubstantiation…..

No, I’m not going there, although you might find each of those to be very valuable areas of doctrine to study, at some point. We’ll start off with areas that impact our lives and my hope is to get each one of you so excited about studying God’s Word that it will seem to be all you can talk about and that it will affect the way you live your life each day.  To create a burning fire that you can’t hold in just like Jeremiah.  This is Jeremiah speaking of his talking about God.

Jeremiah 20:9 If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart

Last night our church had our Titus 2 get-together.  It is hard to get a large group of ladies together regularly because someone is bound to have a conflict.  I had several who could not attend ask me to post the Titus 2 teaching or else email them the notes. I’ve broken the study into more easily posted parts.

I have been working on a series called Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart based on the verses in Romans 12:2 and Ephesians 4:22-24.

Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)

22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart

 

Since this is Titus 2 let’s look at the verses that it is based on.  My “Baby” wanted to know when we will finish Titus 2 and what we are going to study next.  He thinks we’ve spent too long (years) on these verses.  I told him we would never finish.

Titus 2:3-5 (ESV)

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,

4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,

5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

I’m not sure that implementing Titus 2:3-5 should necessarily look like one “older” woman teaching a group of “younger” ladies.  That is an area I’m still studying and working through.  But I am sure that it does entail more than just skills like cooking and caring for children.  Those skills are more suited to individual instruction anyway.  Why do I think “Titus 2” entails more than just skills?  Because verse 3 says “teach what is good” and then verse 5 ends with so “that the word of God may not be reviled” or in some versions “blasphemed.”  Most of us aren’t going to blaspheme by our cooking and housekeeping, maybe, but doubtful.  We blaspheme by our lives.

Also notice that back in verse 1 of Titus 2 it begins with Paul’s instruction to Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine”.  We as women don’t pay much attention to this verse because it is Paul instructing Titus as a pastor.  But it does apply to us also.

Titus 2:1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

If you’ve worked with horses you will understand the term “sound” here.  Sound means healthy.  A horse is sound when it is not hindered in gait, fully healthy in its legs, able to do all it was intended to do.  Is your doctrine sound, healthy and good, does it enable you to glorify God in all you do?

The expressions “sound doctrine” in verse 1 and “teacher of good things” in verse 3 are actually more closely related then you might think.

sound doctrine” is healthy teaching or instruction – didaskalia

teacher of good things” is teacher of the right – kalodidaskalos

Notice from the Greek base word we get our word didactic, which means:

1. Intended to instruct. Or   2. Morally instructive.

Both of the Greek words encompass teaching good or healthy things.  Healthy doesn’t mean in a nutrition sort of way but in the sense used in Matthew 6:22, a spiritual sense:

Matthew 6:22-23 (ESV)

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,

23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

So as women we are to teach what accords with sound doctrine and teach what is good so that God’s Word is not blasphemed.  Those go together.  They can’t be separated; sound doctrine is good and if it is good it is sound doctrine. 

Next we will look at Do Women, Wives and Mothers Really Even Need Doctrine?


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Backsliding – Bunyan

The Steps of Backsliding according to Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress.

1. They draw off their thoughts, all that they may, from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.

2. Then they cast off by degrees private duties, as closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow for sin, and the like.

3. Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.

4. After that they grow cold to public duty, as hearing, reading, godly conference, and the like.

5. Then they begin to pick holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the godly; and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming colour to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmity they have espied in them) behind their backs.

6. Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose, and wanton men.

7. Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret; and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they may the more boldly do it through their example.

8. After this they begin to play with little sins openly.

9. And then, being hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, they everlastingly perish in their own deceivings.

Are you traveling along the steps of backsliding?

Do you know others that need to be made aware that they are backsliding or at least moving in that direction?

Has prayer and Bible study faded into the distance?

Are you toying with “little” sins?

Do you pick apart the lives of others:

“They’re not as righteous as they seem to be ….”.
“He ignored me when I said hello last Sunday.”
“They are too judgmental ‘judge not’.”

 

Bible Study based on the book Pilgrim’s Progress in Today’s English.


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Right Fear – Bunyan

True or right fear is discovered by three things:– 1. By its rise; it is caused by saving convictions for sin. 2. It driveth the soul to lay fast hold of Christ for salvation. 3. It begetteth and continueth in the soul a great reverence of God, his Word, and ways, keeping it tender, and making it afraid to turn from them, to the right hand or to the left, to anything that may dishonour God, break its peace, grieve the Spirit, or cause the enemy to speak reproachfully.

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The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan

Bible Study based on the book Pilgrim’s Progress in Today’s English.


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David Danced Naked and Other Common Misconceptions

Funny, how you can come across strange misconceptions about the Bible and then the next thing you know they are repeated over and over. Much like quotes attributed to sources who never said what they are credited with. Why do misconceptions get repeated so often? What misconceptions about the Bible do you still hold? Are you willing to give them up when told about them? Do you regularly attempt to find your misconceptions?

I have no clue what misconceptions I may still hold; however, I have thrown out many over the past few years. There are less and less misconceptions that I find I have been taught and still believe. Nothing is better than just serious Bible study for clearing up false teachings.

It is obvious that other people are doing the same at times. Back in 2009 I posted Did David Dance Before the Lord Naked? That was three years ago! However, it is consistently being visited on the website. It averages three to four hits everyday. That may not sound like much but over three years that adds up to quite a few. The first week or so a post will generate around 300 plus hits then gradually decrease. I don’t think there is a day that goes by that someone is not searching for the answer to “Did David dance naked?” I’m thankful people are questioning misconceptions and getting down to the truth of Scripture.

Some false teaching is easy to discount. Like with the question about David, it is easy to find verses that point out what David was wearing:

2 Samuel 6:14 (ESV) And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.

1 Chronicles 15:27 (ESV) David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod.

But others get much harder particularly when they are adding to the Scripture things that aren’t really there, such as the gap theory. The idea that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 there is a huge amount of time. Maybe even millions of years in order to fit evolution and creation together. However, this idea negates the fact that death occurred as a result of Adam’s sin and not before Adam was created.

What other misconceptions and false teachings have you had to throw out when you got back to the actual Biblical information?

Are there others which you are struggling with tossing because they have been so ingrained in your teaching previously?


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The Bible on Thinking

Here are some verses on thinking from the Bible.  First of all let’s start with the verse which is the basis for this website.

Acts 17:11 (ESV) Now these Jews {Bereans} were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

The basis for thinking and discernment can be found here.  Take everything and compare it to Scripture.

Proverbs 14:15 (ESV) The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

Don’t fall for every new fad that comes along.  Give careful consideration to what you believe and what you do.

Proverbs 19:2 (ESV) Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.

Enthusiasm is great but only when knowledge and careful consideration is given.  Running around half-cocked without careful consideration is dangerous.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

While thinking is important what you think and how you think are also just as important.  We should corral our thoughts and keep them in obedience to Christ.  We are even told what to think upon.

Not upon earthly things:

Philippians 3:19 (ESV) Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

But upon the good and excellent things:

Philippians 4:8 (ESV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.


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Wise Counsel

Do you seek wise counsel in God’s Word?

Are you listening to the Lord?

Is calamity, terror, storms, distress and anguish your lot for ignoring counsel?

Must the Lord mock you for your disdain of His Word?

Are you dreading disaster?

Proverbs 1:5 (ESV) Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, {or wise counsel (NKJV)}

Proverbs 1:24-27 (ESV)
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.

Proverbs 1:29-30 (ESV)
29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,

Proverbs 1:33 (ESV) …but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”


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God’s Will Is Not Thwarted

God’s will is not thwarted even by our foolish decisions.

We do have a responsibility to make wise decisions or to discover the will of God, whichever term we may prefer to use. But God’s plan for us is not contingent upon our decisions. God’s plan is not contingent at all. God’s plan is sovereign. It includes our foolish decisions as well as our wise ones.

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Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges



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