The Value of Biblical Doctrines
Bible doctrines are boring for many people. Studying them is not fashionable in our time. One pastor has observed that today those who hold to solid Biblical teachings are called dogmatic, intolerant, and outdated.
But the 19th century English theologian and pastor Joseph Parker, a contemporary of the famous London preacher Charles H. Spurgeon, vigorously defended the vitality of Biblical doctrines.
Parker said, "These may be old-fashioned doctrines, but they created missionary societies...orphanages, and refugees of penitence; they gave every child a new value, every father a new responsibility, every mother a new hope, and constituted human society into a new conscience and a new trust...Let us be careful how we give up trees that have borne such fruits, and in whose leaves there has been such healing."
This quote is a relevant reminder for us who were raised in a non-Evangelical Christian family or community and are converted to a more Biblical Christianity.
The same Joseph Parker quote is quite helpful for us who are tempted to give up or abandon the old Biblical doctrines, the ancient paths, according to prophet Jeremiah (see Jer. 6:16).
These old Bible doctrines are never outdated because they are eternal truths revealed by God in His Word. The challenge is for us who claim to believe them but do not bear the fruit that these doctrines ought to bear in our lives.
Orthodoxy or right doctrine must result in righteous living, that is, living in the Spirit bearing His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, humility, compassion, and many other Christian virtues.
We should never be ashamed of these gospel truths. They are means by which God causes us to better understand who He is and who we are in Christ. We're sinners redeemed and cleansed by the precious blood of the Lamb, justified by faith, adopted by God, and sanctified by the Spirit.
Knowledge of these truths helps us grow in our love for God who loves us in our Lord Jesus Christ. How can we love God better without growing in the right knowledge of Him? It's not going to happen.
We should not be afraid or ashamed of these truths just because they are old and many deny or despise them. Truths are timeless. They remain true even when others reject their validity and truthfulness.
A. W. Tozer, the 20th century Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor and magazine editor in Chicago, wrote about these old evangelical truths saying, "Nothing is new that matters and nothing that matters can be modernized. The old way is the true way and there is no new way."
Paul exhorted his younger co-laborer in the ministry, Timothy, saying, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:14, 15).