We started a series at Journey called “Doctrine” where we began to explore the fundamental beliefs of our faith. The next few posts will include notes from the series to hopefully help in your own journey of faith. The notes aren’t meant to be complete, but to give you an opportunity to think about some of the main components of thought and belief.
What is Doctrine? Simply, set of beliefs or standards.
So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. John 7:16-17 (NLT)
God has always chosen to communicate with us from the beginning.
- Creation came into being as “God spoke”
- God spoke before Adam and Eve’s sin and he continued to speak after
- God’s desire is to be known. He already knows us.
2 Types of Revelation – God Speaking
- General Revelation – What God has spoken to everyone through nature, through prophets, and through the Bible.
- Special Revelation – Specific insight about God to someone of God’s choosing, the kind of knowledge that leads to salvation, and specific instructions to the follower of God.
Any way that God chooses to reveal Himself to us is because of His love for us.
Scripture is God speaking his truth to us in human words. – Mark Driscoll
When you read God’s word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, “It is talking to me, and about me.” – Soren Kierkegaard
Primary Doctrines about Scripture
- Verbal Plenary Inspiration – The Bible is word for word, God’s word spoken through people of His choosing.
- Inerrant – There are no errors in what God reveals.
- Infallible – The Bible can be trusted in all arenas of life and study
- Complete – Nothing is to be added to the Bible
Interesting facts about the Bible
- Canonized 150-300 AD years after Jesus (Put in its current Form)
- 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament
- Written over a 1500 year period
- Over 40 authors
- 1205 – Stephen Langton (archbishop of Canterbury) started using chapters as reference points
- 1240 – Cardinal Hugo of St. Cher gave us our current chapter divisions
- Robert Stephanus, a book printer, added verse numbers while fleeing for his life
Can the Bible be trusted as a source for our most intimate beliefs?
Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NLT)
The Bible must be read and applied to make a difference in our world and our lives.
The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed. – Thomas Paine
3 way test for the trustworthiness of discovered literature.
- Number of original copies – The Bible has over 24,000 discovered remnants of early copies of Scripture that tell the same story
- How close authors were to the actual events – The writing of the New Testament was complete by 100 years after Jesus death, burial, and resurrection and was written by eyewitnesses or trusted authors who interviewed eyewitnesses.
- What impact has it made over time? – The most read book of all time and it is still changing lives.
What is the purpose of the Bible for us today?
Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:12-17 (NLT)
- Reveals who God is and how we can know truth.
- Communicates how to be saved from sin
- Gives us the tools to grow spiritually
- Tells us the stories of those who have walked in faith before us
- God Continues to speak to us today
God continues to reveal Himself to us, today!
“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’ John 16:12-15 (NLT)