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Collapse SummarySummary
Collapse IntroductionIntroduction
Let's define sound doctrine
Let's focus on sound doctrine about God
Let's focus on sound doctrine from the Bible
Let the Bible tell us how to study the Bible
What aspects of God are we interested in?
Collapse Why is finding sound doctrine difficult?Why is finding sound doctrine difficult?
Satan tries to spread lies
We like lies
Other people accept lies
All this makes truth rare
Collapse Why should we have sound doctrine?Why should we have sound doctrine?
So that we don't worship in vain
So that we don't destroy ourselves
So that we don't persecute true believers
Collapse Sound doctrine is top secretSound doctrine is top secret
Do you really have sound doctrine?
God hides sound doctrine
Why does God hide sound doctrine?
Man cannot find sound doctrine
Collapse From whom is sound doctrine hidden?From whom is sound doctrine hidden?
From the clever and intelligent
From those who don't understand God's power
From the scoffer
From the liar and deceiver
From those who suppress the truth
From the wicked
From those who don't have a good heart
From those who receive glory from men
Collapse The source and channel of sound doctrineThe source and channel of sound doctrine
Sound doctrine comes from Christ
Sound doctrine comes through the Holy Spirit
Collapse To whom is sound doctrine revealed?To whom is sound doctrine revealed?
To those who seek
To those who fear the Lord
To those who love the truth
To those who obey God
To the humble
Collapse How to test whether you have sound doctrineHow to test whether you have sound doctrine
You understand what God expects?
You know you still sin?
You are trying to stop sinning?
You are making progress in stopping sinning?
Do you love?
Are your prayers answered?
Summary
Collapse Unscriptural methods for getting sound doctrineUnscriptural methods for getting sound doctrine
Having no method
Using the historical / grammatical method
Collapse Interpret Scripture properlyInterpret Scripture properly
How did Jesus interpret Scripture?
A scriptural approach to getting sound doctrine
Collapse Parting thoughtsParting thoughts
Seek to know the Lord
Test every spirit
Estimate yourself soberly
Ask God to teach you
Make yourself the guinea pig
Study, practice, then teach
When you teach, refuse quarrels
When you teach, be gentle
When you teach, be loving
Guard what is entrusted to you

Man cannot find sound doctrine by himself

In an earlier section, we noted that God hides sound doctrine from man. The question we address in this section is whether man can find this sound doctrine without God’s help. Let us first consider Pr 25:2.

Pr 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

The glory of a being is the best things about that being. Pr 25:2 tells us that one great thing about God is that He hides things, and one great thing about kings (i.e. the most noble of men) is to search for the things that God hides. So it is good for man to search for God. However, the thing that we must internalize is that the search is futile unless God chooses to reveal to the man what He has hidden. Consider what Jeremiah has to say.

Jer 10:14 Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them.

Now some women might be nodding their heads as they read that every man is stupid, thinking that this verse only applies to men. So 41 chapters later, Jeremiah clarified things a bit.

Jer 51:17 All mankind is stupid, devoid of knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them.

You and I, both of us, are stupid when it comes to understanding the things of God. Any understanding of God that we try to come up with is bound to be wrong. Left to ourselves, we end up thinking that images made of gold or stone embody God – or things similar to that.

Solomon was wise enough to realize that God grants wisdom and knowledge. That is why he asked God to give him wisdom and knowledge.

Pr 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

2 Chron 1:10-12 "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours? God said to Solomon, "Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you."

Wisdom and knowledge have to be granted to you.

Long before Solomon, Job realized this too.

Job 12:13 "With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding."

Job 12:22 "He reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings the deep darkness into light."

Job 36:22 "Behold, God is exalted in His power; who is a teacher like Him?"

God has to teach you wisdom. When Job acquired wisdom he realized that it was taught to him by God.

Daniel, a student of Scripture, learnt this lesson well from a very young age.

Dan 2:21 "It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding."

Dan 2:22 "It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him."

Paul, who also learnt from God, did not hesitate to explain that it was God who revealed to him the mysteries that he was able to explain.

Eph 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

Eph 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.

Scripture is very clear that God has to open our eyes to understand Him.

Ps 94:10 He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke, even He who teaches man knowledge?

Lk 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Dan 8:16 And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, "Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision."

Mt 16:17 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."

God, and only God, can give us knowledge of Himself, His plans, and His desires.

Eph 3:10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

The knowledge is disseminated through the church, and within the church it is made known through the apostles and prophets.

2 Tm 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Php 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,

Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;

Eph 1:16-17 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

Even Paul, who had the knowledge of God, could not teach it to the Ephesians. He had to pray that God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation. The knowledge of God had to be revealed to them by God.

Col 1:9-10 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

The things of the kingdom of God are a mystery that needs to be unlocked. We cannot unlock the hidden things by ourselves. We are totally dependent on God. God needs to open up the truths of the Bible to us.

So let’s put this in practical terms to make this point clear. Do you think that God is pleased when you celebrate the birth of Christ or the resurrection of Christ? How do you know? Can you point to Scripture to support your position? Or do you feel it is okay to make this decision without consultation with God?

A man who realizes that he is stupid and devoid of the knowledge of what pleases God will not celebrate something concerning God unless he finds support for it in Scripture, will he?

For another example, when Moses built the tabernacle (the place where God resided) he built it exactly the way God commanded him to do it. God mentions that repeatedly. I don’t think that there is any other thing in the entire Bible that God points out again and again like He pointed out how Moses built the tabernacle exactly as He commanded. So it must be very, very important to God, don’t you think?

You can read about it in Ex 39 and Ex 40. Let me just focus on the point near the end of building and setting up the tabernacle. Here is what God said.

Ex 40:16 Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did.

It was only when everything was done just as the Lord commanded that the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

Ex 40:34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

Today, the church is the tabernacle (the place where God resides). Now God has given us instruction on how to build His church in the New Testament. But how many people build the church the way God said it should be built?

For example, when Jesus preached did He ever take a collection to support His preaching? He accepted gifts to support His ministry, but He never asked for it or took a collection. There are many other things that can be pointed out, but I think you’ve understood my point.

Is it any wonder then that the glory of the Lord does not fill the church anymore?

It is only those who have internalized this truth, that when it comes to the things of God we are blind concerning what God wants and how He wants it, and therefore we need to humbly let Him reveal it to us, and like Moses, do just as the Lord has commanded – no more, and no less, who will find God’s truth to the fullest extent.


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