Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 18, 2015

Sound Doctrine: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Kings Chapter 16.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+16&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son;  come up and deliver me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are rising up against me.”  8 Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and sent a present to the king of Assyria.  9 So the king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and captured it, and carried the people of it away into exile to Kir, and put Rezin to death.

10 Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar which was at Damascus;  and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the pattern of the altar and its model, according to all its workmanship.  11 So Urijah the priest built an altar;  according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, thus Urijah the priest made it, before the coming of King Ahaz from Damascus.

17 Then King Ahaz cut off the borders of the stands, and removed the laver from them;  he also took down the sea from the bronze oxen which were under it and put it on a pavement of stone.  18 The covered way for the sabbath which they had built in the house, and the outer entry of the king, he removed from the house of the Lord because of the king of Assyria.”  2 Kings Chapter 16:  Verses 7-11 and 17-18.

———————–

In today’s Scripture, King Ahaz of Judah changed elements of the worship of the LORD to copy or fit with elements of the worship of the Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria.

Do we intentionally or negligently change elements of our worship of the LORD to copy or fit with the customs or elements of worship of others?

If our worship is based only on our memory of the worship of the LORD, it will be more susceptible to other such influences.

But, if our worship is solidly grounded on Scripture and sound doctrine, then it will be less susceptible to other such influences.

Scripture emphasizes the importance of truth.

Jesus said both in Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7:  ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”

Jesus also stated in John 4:23-24:  “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;  for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Jesus also stated in John 16:13:  “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; …”

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.  For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”  Romans 10:1-4.

There are those who “did not receive the love of truth so as to be saved”.  2 Thessalonians 2: 10-13.

Truth is revealed by Scripture, not by our feelings as to what is just and true.

Doctrine summarizes Scripture. 

In recent years, we have witnessed the explosion in growth of nondenominational churches under such labels as community churches, fellowships, and mega-churches. Some of these churches are not only rejecting denominational standards, they are also rejecting or ignoring well-established doctrinal standards as well.  And, even some of the denominational churches are also rejecting or minimizing the importance of doctrinal standards as well.  Some of these churches primarily market themselves to seekers who want to feel good without truth or doctrinal restraints.  Some of these churches portray doctrine as unnecessary, divisive, or worse.

But, doctrine is simply defined as “teachings”.  Therefore, doctrine cannot be avoided unless a preacher or teacher just quotes Scripture without making any summary or other comment which just does not happen.

So, doctrine can not be avoided.  We can only have false doctrine or true doctrine a/k/a sound doctrine. 

Sound doctrine accurately summarizes Scripture.  False doctrine does not accurately summarize Scripture.  

Sound Doctrine

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15.

Sound doctrine accurately summarizes Scripture and teaches that salvation is a work of God alone, by grace alone, and that God handles all the points of salvation from “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” through “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.    This true doctrine of salvation is more fully taught in the Reformed Confession called Canons of Dordt.

In addition to the Canons of Dordt, the other major Reformed Creeds forming sound doctrine are Belgic ConfessionHeidelberg Catechism, and Westminster Larger Confession.  They are all organized and easily readable.  In the right margin column, there are links to these major Reformed Creeds and also a link to a web site titled “Daily Confessions” which contains a daily dose of Reformed Creeds.

Final Exhortation

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15.

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”  Titus 2:1. 

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;  but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:3-5.

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