Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15
Doctrine is essential! It is the careful, organized study and understanding of the truths which God has revealed to us in the Bible. In the Bible God tells us about who He is, what He has done, what He will do. He also reveals why we are here, what He expects of us, how we can know Him, and how He wants us to live so that He is pleased. He tells us history, where the world is headed, and how to make sense of life this side of heaven. These truths are all part of the doctrines found in the Bible.
The Scriptures are filled with all that God intends for us to know in order to be all that He has called us to be. However, interest in understanding Biblical doctrine (also referred to as theology) has fallen on hard times. Today’s Christian is more interested in subjective experiences than objective truth. Instead of sermons with thorough teaching and conviction, the preference has moved to shorter, anecdotal homilies on popular subjects.
Without a solid understanding of the truths found in the ”whole counsel” of God’s Word, we will be like ships without a map or compass, “tossed here and there by waves, and blown around by every wind of doctrine”(Ephesians 4:14). We need to be prepared as godly men & women, competent to “wield the sword of God’s Word” and minister God’s Truth in our needy world!
Second Timothy 2:15 expresses the right approach to the priority of knowing God’s Word. “Study to show yourselves approved by God… a workman that needs to not to be ashamed… rightly dividing the Word of Truth. “Rightly dividing” refers to the exercise of separating out and studying various major Bible doctrines and then coming to correct understandings of what the Bible teaches. Christians need to take this verse seriously! The ministering of the Sword of Truth is so desperately needed in our homes, churches and communities. We are the ones God has put in our spheres of influence to hold the sword with strength and skill!
The Biblical View of Doctrine
Bible Study Journal
You will these Study Journal entries frequently in our Stay in the Word studies. Whether you use a computer or a paper journal, please be sure to take time to work through these questions and make notes on your findings.
What do the following verses teach about the importance of understanding Truth in the life of the people of God?
- Psalm 19:7-9 – God’s Word is perfect
- Note the words in this Psalm that refer to the Bible: law, testimony, precepts, commandment, fear, judgments –what other words are there?
- What does the Bible do? It restores, makes wise, causes rejoicing,enlightens, endures, true & righteous – can you find more in this Psalm?
- 2 Tim. 2:15 – We need to be approved as diligent workmen in the Word
- How are we “approved?
- How do we demonstrate “diligence”?
- 2 Tim. 3:15-17 – The Bible is God-breathed, profitable (by teaching, reprove, correct, train in righteousness)
- How is the man of God to be adequately equipped?
- What is the man of God equipped to do?
- 2 Pet. 1:3-4 – The Bible provides all Truth…
- pertaining to life & godliness – for every aspect of life?
- precious & magnificent promises – what promises?
- enabling us to be able to partake of God’s nature – how does this happen?
The Essential Doctrines
What would you suggest are the key, “no compromise” essential doctrines of the Bible, the ones we should never allow to be altered or set aside? Here is an outline of the doctrines that we will study in this series.
- God – Theology Proper
- Angels & Satan – Angelology, Satanology
- Man – Anthropology
- Sin – Hamartiology
- Christ – Christology
- alvation – Soteriology
- Holy Spirit – Pneumatology
- Church – Ecclesiology
- Last Things – Eschatology
1. The Lord Jesus said that God’s Word (the Bible) is ______________ (John 17:17).
2. The Lord Jesus also said that the Scripture cannot ______________________ (John 10:35) and that the Scriptures must be ___________________(Mark 14:49).
3. WHO moved (carried or guided along) the Bible writers (such as Moses and Paul) in such a way that the words they wrote were accurate, without mistakes, and exactly the words God wanted them to write (2 Peter 1:21 and compare 2 Samuel 23:1-2)?
4. The Lord Jesus said that the Scripture must be _____________________ (Luke 24:44), even every ________ and ____________________ (Matthew 5:18). (Small marks like what we use in English to dot an “i” or to cross a”t”). In God’s Word, every word and even the very letters themselves are inspired by God!
5. Match the following: The Word of God is…
A. 2 Tim. 3:16
B. Psalm 138:2
C. Isa. 40:8; Matt. 24:35
D. Psa. 119:89
E. Lu. 24:27, 44
__ Settled in heaven
__ Magnified above God’s Name
6. We know that the books of the Bible were written by men, but is the Bible just the Word of men or is it more than that? What did the believers in Thessalonica do that made Paul so thankful (see I Thessalonians 2:13)?
7. Psalm 138:2. If we as believers are very careful about honoring God’s Name (Exodus 20:7), what should our attitude be about how we treat and handle God’s Word (2 Corinthians 4:2)?
8. How do we know that God’s Word is true and that God will never break His promises (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18)?