I welcome you to the month of August, a time we will dedicate to “Growing through Sound Doctrine.” Lately, the concept of sound doctrine is often overlooked resulting in moral, doctrinal, and spiritual decay not just in the Church but also in society. This month, we aim to address this issue by teaching, learning, and living by sound doctrine.
Paul warns of the dangers of unsound doctrine in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, as people would prefer teachings that satisfy their desires over the truth. By embracing sound doctrine, we can combat corruption, mismanagement, misappropriation, election rigging, forgery, bad governance, divorce, greed, and ungodly lifestyles in our communities and nations. According to Titus 2:1-6, we must focus on teaching and living by sound doctrine. This includes instructing older men and women to be temperate, respectful, self-controlled, and strong in faith, love, and endurance. Encouraging younger women to embrace kindness, self-control, purity, and obedience to their husbands is equally important. Young men should also be encouraged to practice self-control.
As believers, we must remember that our actions reflect our beliefs. By living like Jesus and adhering to sound doctrine, we can become true witnesses of Christ’s teachings (Acts 11:26), positively influence our communities, nations and the entire world. This month and going forward let us commit ourselves to the pursuit of sound doctrine and grow thereby. May this month be filled with peace, joy, progress, and new beginnings as we embrace sound doctrine and grow in our faith.
What is sound doctrine?
The term is made up of two words: sound and doctrine. The word ‘sound’ means healthy, not corrupted, good condition. Example – A person can be described as sound. Mathematically sound, Paul in Act 26:24. The word Doctrine means – teaching, instruction, learning and knowledge. Or one who is a teacher; a learned or authoritative teacher, who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (Ph.D.) Doctrine is described as that which is taught, which is held, put forth as true and supported by a teacher, a school, or sect, a principle or body of principles in any branch of knowledge, or dogma held in common by members of an organization, movement or profession. However, the doctrine is deeper and larger than ordinary teaching. It is a dogma, principles that are taught and deeply rooted in the heart, believed to be incontrovertibly true.
Sound Doctrine can therefore be defined as:
That teaching which is sound, and healthy has not been perverted by the doctrines of men or by the doctrine of demons. It is a doctrine that has not been contaminated, rotten or poisonous. It is the teaching of our heavenly Father, revealed in Jesus Christ and transmitted to us by the Holy Spirit in Holy Scripture. It is teaching Christian doctrine accordingly, stating it in intellectually responsible terms, the message of the Gospel and the content of the faith it elicits.
Why is sound doctrine important?
We are products of our environment. If our environment is unhealthy, characterised by toxins and pollution, disease and sickness will be rampant. Today people are living immoral, unprincipled, ungodly lifestyles because sound doctrine is not taught or people ignore sound doctrine or both. Until we return to teaching and living by the principles of sound doctrine, I am afraid things will go from frypan to fire.
1. It Enables us to Live by the right principles. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Acts 2:46. The early church understood sound doctrine.
3. Know God Better: The more we get to know God, understand His Word, and have insight into His relationships with the world and people, the better we will trust Him, the more deeply will we praise Him, and the more willingly we will obey Him.
4. Moulds our actions. What we believe affects what we do. Behaviour is an extension of theology, and there is a direct correlation between what we think and how we act. For example, if two people stand on top of a bridge; one believes he can fly, and the other believes he cannot fly. Their next actions will be different. In the same way, a man who believes that there is no such thing as right and wrong will naturally behave differently from a man who believes in well-defined moral standards. In one of the Bible’s lists of sins, things like rebellion, murder, lying, and slave trading are mentioned. The list concludes with “whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:9-10). In other words, true teaching promotes righteousness; sin flourishes where “sound doctrine” is opposed.
5. Differentiates truth from falsehood Sound doctrine is important because we must ascertain the truth in a world of falsehood. “Many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). There are tares among the wheat and wolves among the flock (Matthew 13:25; Acts 20:29). The best way to distinguish truth from falsehood is to know what the truth is.
6. Gives Solid Foundation: They provide foundational building blocks for life that, if ignored, will lead our children away from Jesus and away from His redeeming work in the world. Today we have churches embracing same-sex marriage, having multiple wives, divorces, dressing shabbily to church, incest, sexual perversions, 1 Cor 5, Christians don’t see anything wrong in consuming alcohol, smoking weed, etc. because of lack of sound doctrine. Some people today are glued to online churches, social media churches, that is because they lack sound doctrine. I was about to conduct baptism for some people, and one of the young boys came with braided hair. I told him to remove it, and he did but told me “But I see pastors do it”. Being a Yoruba boy, he said I also know some Yoruba men do so. I explained to him that pastors with braided hair do not understand the sound doctrine and that it is worshippers of Sango, one of the idols of Yorubaland that do that, not Christians!
“But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:48–49).
7. It’s a road map. It is a guide and guard for reading and teaching the Bible. The goal of reading and teaching Scripture is to love God, and the way to love God is to know God. Sound doctrine tells us what God is like so that we may love him more. And sound doctrine is an important guard for interpreting Scripture. It helps ensure that we confess and delight in all that Scripture teaches, rather than setting one passage against another or drawing conclusions from one passage that contradicts another.
8. Helps people to grow to maturity: Some people are in church only for blessing and welfare, not for responsibility such as soul winning, evangelism, helping others because they lack proper church doctrine. If you try to correct church members today, they are off to the next church because they lack proper church doctrine. Some people find it difficult to give to support church work because they lack sound doctrine. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 41-42
9. It Saves the Lost: Much of what is considered Church growth these days is disgruntled “transfers”, especially in the Western world where we treat our churches like restaurants and the customer is always right. But the real goal when it comes to preaching sound doctrine is genuine conversions that happen when the lost come to faith by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Of course, people transferring from a doctrinally dangerous church to one that preaches sound doctrine is wonderful, but it can be argued that few things are sweeter than seeing new believers come face to face with the awe-inspiring power of the living Word through faithful preaching! From old sinful ways to a new creation in Christ, sound doctrine washes over the heart and mind of lost sheep, regenerates their souls, and preserves their faith. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16
10. It Purifies the Church: It produces strong believers as well as purifies the church of false ones. There are many people in the church today who are going nowhere and they block the people who really want to serve God. Luke records Jesus delivering one of His toughest truths when the crowds were large (Luke 14:25-35). Jesus was dishing out free food, miracles, and wisdom, but the minute He pushed into deep doctrine and hard truths, it divided the real followers from the false ones. True converts love God’s Word, false converts will be repulsed by it. Can you endure the heat of sound doctrine- Virtually all the people left and Jesus asked will you also go away?
How do you practice sound doctrine?
- Be grounded in Scripture. It is good to be taught and indoctrinated by sound teachers of scripture, but the best way to practice sound doctrine is to have direct revelation from God. There are so many opinions of teachers on social media and pulpit that if you are not careful you will not be able to differentiate between sound and false doctrines. Besides you will be limited to the opinion of men. Imagine if Paul did not undertake a personal journey and encountered as he did in Arabia, we would have very limited knowledge in living the Christian life. Gal 1:17.
- Practice/Live the scriptures. If you are born again live like you’re born again! Simple. Our society is decaying because we’ve refused to practice sound doctrine. God who gave us the Bible gave us sufficient knowledge to help us live peaceably with ourselves, our neighbours and still make heaven. “the Word is nigh thee which we preach…For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved”. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Rom 10:8,10-11 Also 2Pet 1:3. People in your neighbourhood don’t read the Bible, they read YOU. Your biological and spiritual children are more interested in seeing you walk the talk. On Sunday you refuse to go to church, why should they go? Over 90 percent of Canadians don’t go to church anymore! If you are smoking, why are you telling them not to smoke? How can you wear tattoos all over yourself contrary to sound doctrine and expect your children not to wear more weird ones? Paul wrote to Timothy and all peoples to practice sound doctrine- Titus 2:1-6 He also talks about bearing fruit –But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Gal 5:22
- Teach Sound Doctrine. Know sound doctrine, practice it and teach it. That is the order. “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up” Deut 6:6-7. Paul strongly admonishes Timothy “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” 2 Tim 2:1-2 . I pray that at least those who know sound doctrine will be able to teach it and not faint. People of God this is our time. We have a duty to preserve the Word and the world of God through the teaching of sound doctrine to this generation. The church is the light and salt means we need to show them the right thing to do and to preserve the right thing. Let us stop preaching heresies and injurious doctrines of materialism, prosperity, get rich quick, shallow, superficial, Santa Claus messages that do not allow people to encounter God. There is already a formidable and unwholesome message coming from Satanic agents and other faiths, putting pressure on our children, on weak and young Christians. We make their lives more complicated when we abandon the wheat of the gospel, and we offer them tares. Let us teach people holiness, sanctification, consecration, and those things that can make us to be without spot and wrinkles. According to Peter let us teach them how to add ingredients of faith to their lives. “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” 1Pet 1:5-6. Let us demonstrate love and faith for this generation.
Conclusion: When we make our decision to trust God, His Holy Spirit immediately starts to live in our lives. Our sin nature is replaced with a new nature. The Holy Spirit provides strength, peace, and guidance in our daily lives. We receive God’s promise of life forever in Heaven after we die. This is called Salvation in the Bible and that is sound doctrine. Have you given your life to Jesus? If not, do so. Then read the word of God, practice it and share it. That is sound doctrine.
Special Invitation: August 5,2023 join us for Canada Return to Your Maker Prayer Summit.
Sept 14-17,2023 join us for the 20th anniversary of the International Gathering of Eagles Conference.
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