The Bible says DOCTRINE is the CAUSE of desirable EFFECTS.
(Every week I cover a topic by adding to it daily from Monday to Friday. I made the conclusion to this topic a separate entry because I will be linking back to this portion in the future. If you want to read HOW we got to this conclusion, click here.)
"In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." (Titus 2:7)
Doctrine is the CAUSE of good works (profitable behavior). Here are all of the passages from the Old Testament that speak of doctrine:
"My doctrine shall drop as rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." (Deuteronomy 32:2-4) The first mention of doctrine involves modeling God: just and right is He.
"For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes." (Job 11:4) Job's proof he was pure was that his doctrine was pure...how could he deserve punishment if his doctrine is pure? We will be covering Job in depth in two weeks...
"Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not the law." (Proverbs 4:1-2) Doctrine is linked to understanding...understanding is modeling.
"Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." (Isaiah 28:9) This discussion is NOT for those who are newborns or babies in their ability to THINK...that is, the ability to use the four God-given principles.
"They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine." (Isaiah 29:24) Again, understanding and doctrine are linked...and people who don't have this err and murmur.
"But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities." (Jeremiah 10:8) Bad doctrine leads to undesirable and unprofitable behavior.
John Piper tries to make emotions and behavior a CAUSE. He wants you to do them intentionally. The Bible is saying you don't have to focus on behavior and emotions. Behavior and emotions are not the CAUSE. The Bible is saying focus on doctrine and the behavior and emotions HAVE TO result.
Causality says that the CAUSE and the EFFECT are one. The CAUSE is half and the EFFECT is the unavoidable other half. Doctrine is the CAUSE and the EFFECT is behavior and emotions. This is undeniable. However, someone may SAY he believes in God's doctrine, yet he doesn't exhibit desirable behavior and emotions. When this occurs, this person is DOUBLY wrong. First of all, he may SAY he believes in God's doctrine, however he actually BELIEVES in a different doctrine. What you believe in your heart is what ACTUALLY comes out. Secondly, he is a hypocrite because he is SAYING one thing and BELIEVING another.
The reality is we ALL model. God wants us to model. God wants us to understand the CAUSES and predict the future.
Jesus spoke about modeling:
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:" (Mark 13:28)
"The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matthew 16:1-3)
Jesus is showing that we ALREADY model in every day life...we see EFFECTS and we understand the CAUSES AND we predict the future! Furthermore, Jesus is saying we OUGHT to model spiritual things as well!...EVEN GOD!
Notice, this last passage is the beginning of the passage that is in the previous post that set up this discussion:
"And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye yet not understand neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:5-12)
Jesus is saying the leaven we OUGHT to be aware of is the DOCTRINE of the Pharisees! There are two kinds of doctrine. God's doctrine is profitable and RESULTS in righteousness and good works through causality.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
"Preaching the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:2-4)
God's doctrine is referred to as "sound". This means God's doctrine is without contradiction. Then there is man's doctrine which is contradictory and based on tradition. In the last passage we saw there will come a time when people will not endure sound doctrine and ACTIVELY go looking for teachers who reinforce their unsound doctrine. What is the unsound doctrine?
"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9)
"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Mark 7:7)
These passages say that tradition makes the Word of God (doctrine) of none effect...it is not profitable.
"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." (Matthew 15:6)
"Making the word of God of none of effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." (Mark 7:13)
Remember, Jesus ALSO called this "leaven".
"Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:12)
"Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod." (Mark 8:15)
"Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" (1 Corinthians 5:6)
"A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (Galatians 5:9)
We need to watch out for even the LITTLEST leaven because it will spread to EVERYTHING we believe. Luke records a more specific explanation of the leaven:
"In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." (Luke 12:1)
Holding to man-made tradition AND saying you are holding to God's doctrine is hypocrisy...and it is proven by actions. We OUGHT to examine our doctrine closely and see if there is ANY man-made tradition. But first, we OUGHT to know our doctrine.
"But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience..." (2 Timothy 3:10)
Do we fully know our doctrine well enough to explain it to others?
Do we fully know our manner of life well enough to explain it to others?
Do we fully know our purpose well enough to explain it to others?
What is YOUR doctrine? What is your worldview? Jesus said His doctrine was not His but the Father's.
"Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:16-17)
Later, John wrote:
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." (2 John 9-12)
We need to know God's doctrine.
We need to believe God's doctrine.
We need to make sure there is no man-made tradition in our doctrine.
This requires thinking like someone who has been weaned off of breast milk.
Next week we will cover doctrines that affect all of us. These doctrine contain man-made tradition and are contrary to the Word of God (God's doctrine).