Reformed Doctrine

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.”

Not any kind of worship will suffice, but “worship in spirit and 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.” Romans 10:1-3.

Not any kind of zeal will suffice, but zeal “in accordance with knowledge”, or in other words, in accordance with truth.

“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

Not any kind of faith will suffice, but “faith in the truth”.

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

Not any kind of love will suffice, but “the love of truth”.

Doctrine is simply teachings. 

Many churches portray doctrine as unnecessary, divisive, or worse.  They simply rest on their claim that they believe the Bible and teach it.

But, doctrine is simply 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.

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

True Doctrine teaches that salvation is a work of God alone.

Reformed 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 beginning to end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “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 true 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.

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.

The Broad Way of Most Doctrine Compared to the Narrow Way of Reformed Doctrine a/k/a Calvinism

“Enter through the narrow gate;  for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14.

Most doctrine is like a broad bridge open to everyone, but it only goes half-way across the river.  Such doctrine teaches that God loves everyone, Christ died for everyone, and God wants to save everyone, but it is up to man to contribute something worthy of salvation whether it be works or at least alleged free-will choice of Christ.  The only difference between the unsaved and saved is that the saved does works or maybe as little as uses his alleged free-will choice of Christ to, so to speak, jump from the end of the bridge, across the river, to the shore of salvation.  Most doctrine believes that everyone has an equal opportunity to be saved, so the bridge is broad in that sense, but that Christ’s death completely saved no one in particular.  Only those who do sufficient works or who take a sufficient “free will leap of faith” to the shore of salvation will be saved.  Thus, the bridge is wide, open to everyone, but it only goes halfway across the stream.  Accordingly, the saved have reason to boast for contributing to their own salvation and showing themselves worthy of salvation.

In sharp contrast to most doctrine, Reformed Doctrine is like a narrow bridge only open to God’s elect, but the narrow bridge goes all the way across the river to the shore of salvation. Reformed Doctrine teaches that God only loves His elect and only wants to save them and that Christ died only for the elect.  In summary, God does everything necessary for the salvation of His elect.  Reformed Doctrine teaches that man is “dead” in sin, hostile to God, cannot please God, cannot understand the things of God, and is in bondage to sin and Satan (which is summarized by the phrase “Total Depravity” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation), such that man can not contribute anything to his salvation and God must do everything for the elect, including making them alive (regenerating them), giving them faith, sanctifying them, and preserving them to salvation, so that all of God’s elect will be saved.  Accordingly, God’s elect have no reason to boast, because God provided everything needed for their salvation.

Conclusion

Scripture emphasizes the importance of truth.  Zeal is not enough.  Claiming Jesus as your Lord is not enough.  Doing miracles is not enough.  Those who teach or believe in doctrines based on the ideas of man worship God in vain.

Those who worship God must worship God in truth.

Scripture exhorts us to seek for wisdom as one would seek for silver or hidden treasure.

“4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:4-5.

Likewise, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a hidden treasure.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again;  and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:44-46.

If we are to “strive to enter through the narrow door” and seek wisdom and the kingdom of heaven as one would search for hidden treasure with all of our heart, how much more should we seek the one true doctrine of salvation with all of our heart!!!

“And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?”  And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door;  for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”  Luke 13:23-24.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: