The Doctrine of Christ
“Doctrine divides. Love unites.” You’ve probably heard that statement. It is both a true and at the same time, a confusing and dangerous statement.
FIRST, WHAT IS DOCTRINE?
Doctrine is the foundational truth, or the core beliefs and principles upon which a body of adherents is built, whether it be a church, a religious denomination, a service organization, a political party or a nation. Without core beliefs, we are like a house without a foundation. Without core beliefs, we will change daily as we are led by public opinion.
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE?
The Christian’s doctrine is based on the Bible alone. The Bible, both the Old and New Testament, is God’s inspired, infallible Word and is our only and final authority for faith and lifestyle. What applies to individual Christians also applies to the church which is an organized body of Christians gathered together to worship God and use our spiritual gifts to edify the saints to carry out Christ’s Great Commission to evangelize the lost, locally, state wide, nationally and internationally.
IT IS A TRUE STATEMENT
There are many doctrines that divide true Christians, including (but not limited to) positions on church polity, prophecy, the person and work of the Holy Spirit and the essence and methods of worship.
Christians who differ in these areas, but hold to the Bible for core beliefs, can still get to know and love one another as brothers and sister in Christ and work together in certain areas to achieve common goals.
IT IS ALSO A DANGEROUS AND DEADLY STATEMENT
That statement, “Doctrine divides. Love unites” when applied to the Doctrine of Christ becomes a dangerous and deadly statement. Let me explain from God’s Word.
All Christians will agree with the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 16:22 that true Christians ought to love Jesus. There he writes, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” That is, if any man loves not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be cursed when Jesus returns. All true Christians love the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter how confused they may be in other doctrines of The Faith.
All true Christians can be agreed on the fact that though we Christians differ in doctrine in many areas, we are agreed that genuine Christians love Jesus and those who love Jesus will be drawn together to work for His glory. That statement is true as far as it goes.
The dangerous and deadly part of that statement is that Jesus has not been identified in the statement. It’s one thing to confess that we love Jesus. It’s another thing to define the Jesus we confess.
Paul warns in II Corinthians 11:1-4 of the danger of being deceived by Satan to follow “another Jesus” whom Paul has not preached.
John warns in II John 8-11, of the danger of being led away from the Doctrine of Christ. Listen to his warning. “Whosoever transgresses and abides not in the Doctrine of Christ, has not God. He who abides in the Doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and brings not this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, neither bid him God’s speed, for he who bids him God’s speed (or encourages him and asks God’s blessing on him) is a partaker of his evil deeds.
Paul is amazed how the Galatian Christian have so quickly been led away into false doctrine by evil men and he warns them in Galatians 1:6-9 “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him who called you into the grace of Christ into another gospel: which is not another; but there be some who trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you then that which we have preached unto you, LET HIM BE ACCURSED. As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach another gospel unto you, than you have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.”
WHICH CHRIST SAVES?
The Christ of religious Liberalism does not save. They teach that Jesus was a man born to Joseph and Mary who grew up and became a wonderful teacher about God and who became known as the Son of God. He did not really perform miracles. For example, they falsely teach that the Feeding of the Five Thousand with a boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish, was accomplished as the boy shared his lunch and encouraged others to share their lunches and thus everyone was fed.
Liberalism, including Neo Orthodoxy, totally rejects the virgin birth of Jesus and His bodily resurrection and they explain away His miracles. They believe Jesus died, simply as a martyr for the things He believed and taught.
In short, Liberals do not believe that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, Creator of Heaven and earth. They deny the biblical Doctrine of Christ and must be recognized as false teachers under God’s curse.
The Christ of the Cults do not save for the same reasons. Each cult has their own doctrine of Christ which is not in harmony with the Bible.
SO, WHAT IS THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST?
We can learn that by reading our Bibles. What does the Bible teach us about Jesus?
1. Jesus is the eternal, only true God, without beginning or end, who has always existed. He is the Creator of heaven and earth. John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:13-20, Hebrews 1, Revelation 4:11
2. Jesus is the Son, the second Person of the Trinity: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit; each separate and yet they are one God. I John 5:7
3. Jesus was born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:16, 18-25, Luke 1:26-38
4. Jesus was totally sinless. I Peter 2:21-22 Hebrews 7:22-27 II Corinthians 5:21
5. Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed His blood on the cross for our sins. Apart from faith in His shed blood, there is no forgiveness or cleansing from sin. Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22, Revelation 5
6. Jesus arose from the dead bodily from the tomb on the third day and He was seen by numbers of witnesses. Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21
7. Jesus ascended back to Heaven from the Mount of Olives Acts 1
8. Jesus is returning in His glorified body to raise Christians from the dead and catch up Christians into Heaven. I Corinthians 15 I Thessalonians 4
9. Jesus will return one thousand years later to raise all the lost to stand before His Judgment to be condemned to eternal Hell. Revelation 20
That, briefly, is the Doctrine of Christ. Only by believing these doctrines concerning Christ, can one truly receive Christ as Saviour. Those who reject the Doctrine of Christ, have rejected the Jesus of the Bible and such are still lost in their sins.
To teach anything contrary to the doctrine of Christ is to be cursed by God and such should be rejected by us as a false teacher.
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