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The Truth That Is In Jesus

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Doctrine Matters (7)


But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus…
--Ephesians 4:20, 21

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There is one measure, one standard of sound doctrine which we must always keep in mind as we take up the study of this subject: sound doctrine brings us to Jesus. Jesus, after all, is the very truth of God (Jn. 15:6). He embodies all the promises of God’s Word (2 Cor. 1:20), and all the teaching of Scripture is ultimately about Him (Jn. 5:39).

Jesus is the wisdom of God (Col. 2:3); He is the hope of glory for which we have been redeemed (Rom. 5:1, 2; Col. 1:27); the knowledge of Jesus is eternal life; and Jesus shows us the path of true discipleship along which we hope sound doctrine will lead us (1 Jn. 2:1-6).

Thus any doctrine which does not lead us to Jesus, improve our contemplation of Jesus, help us in understanding the work of Jesus, and equip us to love and follow Jesus is either false doctrine or incomplete doctrine at best. And any study of sound doctrine which does not set out and proceed along a course determined, like those ancient Greeks, to “see Jesus” will lead to doctrinal let-down and doctrinal revulsion in due course.

Paul says that the truth of God is in Jesus Christ. We are only learning truth – we are only learning sound doctrine – when we are putting off our old selves and being clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, so that, increasingly, His image, the reality of His resurrection life, shines through us to the world in all our words and deeds (Eph. 4:17-24; 2 Cor. 3:12-18; 1 Cor. 10:31).


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Studying sound doctrine, then, far from being a merely intellectual exercise, or something dry and irrelevant to life’s daily grind, or even something to puff up our spiritual arrogance, is a highly devotional activity. Through the study of sound doctrine we seek to gain a clearer vision of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to behold and engage the glory revealed in His wonderful face (2 Cor. 4:6; cf. Rev.1).

Sound doctrine exalts Christ as the beloved Son of the Father, the Upholder of the cosmos, the Redeemer of the lost, the Shepherd and Sanctifier of His flock, the Keeper of the Lord’s chosen, the Friend Who sticks closer than a brother, and the King of kings and Lord of lords. The true measure, and the highest standard, for all your doctrinal studies must be the extent to which such studies show you Jesus and engage you with Him, so that you love and serve Him more fully as a result.

So if you’re experiencing a bit of doctrinal let-down, or even doctrinal revulsion, these days, take care! Don’t let someone lure you away from the idea of doctrine per se, as if somehow doctrine were unnecessary or optional. Doctrine is unavoidable, as we have seen; but only sound doctrine will lead us to a closer walk with Jesus Christ.

And if you’re resolved to take up the study of sound doctrine and to shake off the lingering symptoms of doctrinal revulsion, make sure that the course of study you plot has Jesus in the thick and focus of it all. Don’t just read and study to gain knowledge; read and study in order to gain more of Jesus Christ.

Doctrine matters. And sound doctrine, that helps us to grow in Jesus Christ, matters supremely. Let the love of Christ constrain you to seek more of His presence, power, favor, and fruit through the disciplined and careful study of sound doctrine, and tell those who would make light of your determination to shake off their doctrinal revulsion and join you.

Download the series, "VP Doctrine Matters" Click here: VP Doctrine Matters.

faith
For more insight to this topic, get the book The Faith, by Charles Colson
, from our online store. Or read the article, “Doctrine Bears Repeating,” by Charles Colson and Anne Morse.

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved
 

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