The Importance of Sound Doctrine in Christianity

I. Introduction: The Importance of Doctrine in Christianity

II. The Danger of Dismissing Doctrine

  • Romans 16:17-18 – Warning against those who cause divisions contrary to doctrine
  • 2 John 1:9-11 – Importance of abiding in the doctrine of Christ

III. Understanding the “Doctrine of Christ”

A. Common misconception: Doctrine about Jesus vs. Doctrine taught by Jesus
B. Examples from the Gospels:

  • Matthew 7:28-29 – People astonished at Jesus’ doctrine
  • Matthew 22:33 – Multitudes astonished at His doctrine
  • Mark 4:2 – Jesus taught them many things by parables in His doctrine
  • Mark 11:18 – People astonished at His doctrine
  • Mark 12:38 – Jesus warned about scribes in His doctrine
  • Luke 4:32 – People astonished at His doctrine
  • John 18:19 – High priest questioned Jesus about His doctrine

IV. The Problem with “Doctrine Divides, Jesus Unites”

  • Ephesians 4:3-6 – One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God

V. Identifying Those Who Cause Division

A. Three characteristics (Romans 16:17-18):

  1. Cause divisions and offenses contrary to doctrine
  2. Serve their own belly (based on feelings rather than scripture)
  3. Use smooth words and flattering speech

B. The vulnerability of the “simple” (Romans 16:18)

VI. The Role of Church Leadership

  • Hebrews 13:17 – Obey those who rule over you

VII. Matters of Judgment vs. Matters of Doctrine

A. Examples of matters of judgment:

  • Church building features (kitchen, gymnasium)
  • Meeting arrangements (house groups)
  • Elder qualifications (number of children)

B. Importance of discerning between judgment and doctrine

VIII. False Doctrines in Modern Christianity

  • Examples: Inherited sin, denial of hell, acceptance of sinful lifestyles, women in church leadership

IX. The Possibility and Responsibility of Knowing Truth

  • 2 Peter 3:16 – Acknowledgment of difficult passages
  • Emphasis on studying and understanding true doctrine

X. Conclusion: The Call to Abide in and Defend True Doctrine

  • Romans 16:17 – Note those who cause divisions and avoid them
  • 2 John 1:10-11 – Do not receive or greet those who bring false doctrine

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