Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man…That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Eph. 4:13-14 KJV).
What is doctrine, and why is it important to us? The scripture above avoids complicated theological debate by providing a simple, Biblical definition of Christian doctrine.
In verse 14, the Apostle Paul cautions about getting carried away with every “wind of doctrine”. Verse 13 defines doctrine as the “knowledge of the Son of God”. The fundamental principle of doctrine, is that it expresses our understanding of God. Doctrine is not the knowledge of God’s existence, or proclaiming the truth of His Word. Although closely related, doctrine is slightly different from truth.
There is one Truth, but many doctrines. Doctrine is OUR understanding of the truth. Reread the preceding phrase to ensure you really catch it. Doctrine is not the truth in and of itself- it is man’s interpretation of the Truth. God’s Word does not have different interpretations- we do. Man’s various interpretations of Truth builds the foundation of doctrines. Doctrines serve an important function in our Christian lives, because our understanding of God’s Word forms our beliefs, provides our knowledge of God, and ultimately determines the God that we will experience.
Can you articulate the difference between doctrine and truth, as discussed above? Declare that “the Spirit of Truth lives in me, and is showing me Truth, breaking all doctrinal barriers created in my past”.
APPLY THE WORD
Whatever, and whoever, messes with your doctrine, will also take your destiny captive. The only firewall you have against deception, is your personal establishment in Truth. Be sure to start searching the Word for yourself.
Ask the Lord to help you become established in Truth as you search His Word.
Recommended Read:Four types of Doctrines
Foundational read: What is a Daily Devotional?