I have often said, 'It's not about doctrine, it's about Jesus.' In saying this I was only half right. It's all about Jesus and it's all about Jesus who is the Christ of God. It's about what God has done for us in Christ and as a consequence, who we are in Christ. The Bible tells us to immerse ourselves in 'sound doctrine.' Doctrine for doctrine's sake is never sound. Doctrine that is arrived at through the Jesus lens and correctly teaches about God with an accurate interpretation of the word of God is sound. This is the apostles teaching.
'You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine' Titus 2.1 NIV.
Yet the relating of ourselves to positional statements about God is not a relationship to God. It is us positioned in in some compartment of the knowledge of good and evil. This is our relationship to God in spirit and in truth: ‘Realizing that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. This is our new covenant inheritance in Christ.
Grace gives us space to get God and His plan for us right. Grace allows our floundering about in the thickets of the knowledge of good and evil to end in life to the full,
The neglect of doctrine and serious Biblical interpretation can produce people who will believe anything and whose life journey is marked by a series of misguided excursions down lane-ways not of God. The tenor of their life is confusion. They waste their own time and the time and effort of the unfortunates attached to them. As disciples and teachers we are called to rightly interpret the word of truth. There is little to be gained in asserting that we belong to the Body of Christ, if what we believe is nonsense.
People can cling to their clothes of death because of pride, a smug satisfaction in a denominational identity, ignorance, arrogance and the attempt to preserve some status for themselves arising from 'what I have always believed.'
Careers can be made from the marketing of false doctrine with a fake aura of leadership that surrounds the dogmatic upholding of legalisms. Anything that is not Christ our life is the bread of non-life: The knowledge of good and evil.
The Bible must be read through the new covenant lens. Without sound Biblical understanding our discernment will be inadequate and we will easily be diverted by religious spirits and those motivated by the flesh. To neglect serious Bible reading is to cut ourselves off from the leading of the Holy Spirit. The book of proverbs extolls wisdom. In the new testament we are told that Father wants us to be led personally by Jesus and by those who are filled with His Spirit and wisdom. Wisdom comes from being attentive to how God has related to man throughout history. This knowledge is found in the Bible. But revelation comes from Jesus.
'All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness' 2 Tim 3.15 NIV.
WISDOM AND REVELATION
Joseph Prince's book, 'The Power of Right Believing' clarifies and exposes the power of the new covenant; of Father's new and living way of giving access to Himself by His Son. We can allow the new covenant to be a meaningless theological concept if we choose. We can ignore it if we want to. We can persuade ourselves that we are living in it when we are not. Or dismiss it as some do as 'a theology.' But it is not a theology. It is God's plan revealed in Christ and not of some private interpretation. It is what God has done for humanity.
'If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing' 1 Tim 6.3,4 NIV.
We should never fear the truth and its unveiling. Revelation brings life in spades. We may ignore the new covenant if we choose and continue in an amorphous mass of religion, distributing chicken bones instead of life itself and living as chickens when we could be eagles. But the consequences are severe.
STRUCTURES OF FALSE REPRESENTATION
Jeff Turner, in Saints in the Arms of a Happy God writes,
'Eventually whole structures arise that devote themselves to brewing and distributing these doctrinal distillations to eager-to-drink disciples. Whole generations emerge from the wombs of these structures, fully possessed by and devoted to the false representations of God learned within their walls. All of us have been influenced by such ideas in one way or another, but trick ourselves into thinking that we just happen to be the ones possessing a pristine and perfect knowledge of God’s character, and then become quite enamored with our “knowledge and “revelatory insight. Like Abraham, however, many of us also eventually find ourselves in that moment where, as George MacDonald said, we stand horrified at the things we believed to be true of God. We find the doctrines we once thought so angelic to be utterly demonic, and the beliefs we thought so pure to be rotten to the core.'