Why at Doctrines Important
- Isn’t loving Jesus enough?
- “doctrine” comes from a Latin word meaning “teaching” - doctrine shouldn’t be just an intellectual exercise
- doctrine = “the teaching of Christ” (II John 2:9)
Significance of Doctrine
Knowledge enhances relationships–even relationships with God - Think of your best friends: they are the people you know the most about - Deep relationships are rooted in a knowledge of one-another’s deepest thoughts, feelings, motives - relationship with Jesus, is deepened by reflection on who he is, what he did, etc
Belief and Experience are closely related
- “The fatter I get, the closer I get to God”
- actions grew out of a view of death and the after-life
Doctrines fulfills a practical need
- many alternative courses of action
- some are dangerous–but seemingly attractive sometimes - examining the truth will help prepare us to discern the error. - a small variation from the truth may have drastic consequences over time - Doctrines in scripture have practical value
– Ex 23:12 – Sabbath to provide rest for slaves and work animals – I Thess 4:13, 18 – Second coming present to comfort the grieving
God created us with minds and wants us to use them to his glory – Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord your God ... with all your mind” - dealing with the biggest questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What’s going on? Who is Jesus? What did he do? What does he require of me? - not a continuum: Faith – Reason but a grid:
The Doctrine of Revelation
- dealing with God’s communication to us
- scripture opens with a picture of God talking face-to-face with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden - sin created a barrier to communication (on which more later) - Adam and Eve told God that basically they didn’t want him - however, they now needed his guidance and counsel more than ever.
- Revelation of God in Nature
- referred to in scripture:
- creation: “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Ps 19:1) - relationships: “As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him”
- the natural world is marred by sin
- Is God seen in the cyclone, the earthquake
- Is God seen in the relationship of the incest victim with his/her abuser - the revelation of God in it is obscured
- God the mathematical genius, the engineer, the builder but not as a God of love. - God can be seen in nature, but he can also be missed
- cosmonauts: we went to heaven and didn’t find God there.
- a specific revelation by God focusing on those aspects of his being and work not readily discerned in nature - found specifically in scripture/Bible
- II Tim 3:16 – all scripture is given by the inspiration of God - II Peter 1:21 – “Holy men of God” who were “moved by the Holy Spirit” - a common claim in scripture
- “Thus says the LORD” (messenger formular) in the prophets
Evidence for the inspiration of scripture
- NT: produced by an illegal sect which was heavily persecuted in the first three centuries - possession of a NT could be a matter of life or death
- extremely difficult and expensive to copy
- yet the NT survived in greater abundance than any other work in the ancient world - more certain what Matthew wrote than we can be with Julius Ceasar or Plato.
- Daniel 2; Ezekiel 26:3-5, 12-14
- Ps 119:105
- challenge and an invitation: the God of the universe wants each one of us to be his friend, he has written us a message of his love - changed many other; what about us?
- revelation = making something know
- God is made known generally in nation and in more specific (special) ways in scripture
- what does scripture reveal?
- what is scripture?
- 66 book written over a period of c. 1500 years...
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