The Necessity of Teaching Doctrine

By Tim Vaughn
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The word doctrine comes from the Greek word didache. A doctrine is a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative. We can further define doctrine as a teaching that is intended to be accepted and believed as truth.

Hundreds of years ago, Cyril of Jerusalem (315? – 386) warned Christians against holding to any doctrine not taught in the Bible.

Not even the least of the divine and holy mysteries of the faith ought to be handed down without the divine Scriptures. Do not simply give faith to me speaking these things to you except you have the proof of what I say from the divine Scriptures.For the security and preservation of our faith are not supported by ingenuity of speech, but by the proofs of the divine Scriptures.” (Cat. 4).

Cyril’s comments are in accord with Acts 2:42. The first believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.” The apostles received revelation from God and put in writing for us the great doctrines of the faith. Paul urged his Roman readers to look to Scripture, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

As Christians we must hold only to those doctrines revealed in the Word of God. If American church culture moves further away from the teaching of doctrine in the name of “cultural relevancy,” will there be genuine faith?  In a day and time of rampant Biblical illiteracy, self-help gurus in the pulpits of many churches with huge followings, and even one of the most popular (arguably) teachers/preachers in the USA recently stating that “The foundation of our faith is not the Scripture . . . the Scripture is simply a collection of ancient documents that tells us that story (of who Jesus is),” we MUST see the need for the teaching of sound Biblical doctrine now more than ever!

If a revival of faith in Jesus Christ and a return to the One, Holy God is what we genuinely desire, then the question is even more pressing – how will faith come without the teaching/hearing of the Word of God, without a strong presentation of the central doctrines of Christianity such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection, the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and salvation by grace through faith?

Tim Vaughn is the Pastor of Life Church of Athens.

  • Chas Williams

    Great post Tim. Thank you