Be Excellent as Christ Is Excellent

Be Grounded in God’s Own Glory and Excellence As Daniel Harrington and James Keenan contend, “From an ethical viewpoint, the end is the quintessential point of departure, since strong ethical systems always start with the end. The goal always defines the agenda being...

The Necessity of the Atonement

We’ve been looking at the atonement in our study of Great Doctrines of the Bible by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. First, we looked at a few theories of the atonement that don’t do justice to the teaching of Scripture. Then, we looked at the biblical teaching of the...

Husband of One Wife and Fighting Sexual Sin

On today’s Warriors of Grace episode, Dave talks about what it means to be a husband of one wife, along with providing strategies to learn to fight sexual sin with Scripture, joy in the Lord, and other practical guidance. What you’ll hear in this episode What it means...

John Knox: The Founder of the Presbyterian Church

When we consider the Reformers, we may picture strong men and women with booming voices that echoed around the gathered crowd. We picture them as fearless, rebuking whoever contradicted the true teachings of Scripture, calling out heresy for what it was. But this...

Christ-Centered Teaching: How His Kingdom Comes

Introduction What is the message we have to preach, but this? “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Recently I preached this core Christian message. It was recorded, and subsequently broadcast on several sites that ended up on the Internet. I often receive replies to...

Tim Chester- Truth We Can Touch: How Baptism and Communion Shape Our Lives

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave and Tim Chester talk about the purpose and nature of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, how Christian’s shared stories give them identity and shape the way they live, along with his new book, Truth We Can Touch: How Baptism and...
Discipleship, Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace
Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship

Posted On May 24, 2016

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on “Issues in the Church” that either aren’t talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a biblical worldview with lots of practical gospel-application.

I recently wrote an article that noted how doctrine is the lifeblood of the Christian life. In that article, I defined doctrine using the Greek word “didaskolos” which means “teaching.” Furthermore, I explained that “doctrine explains the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of Christianity.”

Doctrine: The fuel for discipleship

Now, since doctrine provides the lifeblood of the Christian life, it should follow that doctrine also provides the fuel for discipleship. Many people might ask why doctrine matters in relation to discipleship. The question at first may sound pious, even correct.

You might say, I just want to be a disciple.

My response would be, how can you be a disciple of Jesus without doctrine?

After all, it is a doctrinal statement to say you are a Christian because with that statement comes the biblical truth that you believe Jesus Christ is the only way to God (John 14:6) and only through Him can you be saved by believing in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-10).

How does doctrine inform discipleship?

So if we agree that doctrine is essential to discipleship, the question now is, “How does doctrine inform discipleship?” To ask this question is to venture into the nitty gritty of the Christian life where the proverbial rubber meets the road. Before we go there, we must understand that even the Apostles struggled to know who Christ was and what He would do for them (this was before He bled, died, rose, ascended). Many Christians today struggle to understand that when they live their Christian lives as if what they believe doesn’t matter, they will be prone to being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine as Paul talks about in Ephesians 4:14.

What we believe must inform how we live.

When we view the Christian life in terms of how we live rather than from what we believe, we encounter a massive problem.

How will I live when severe trials come? When trials and difficulty come— and they always do—they reveal the strength or often lack thereof in our doctrinal understanding. If you are not grounded in what you believe of God in the Bible, then you will be so consumed with what you ought to do in your own strength. You will be consumed with “how I should live.” When difficulty comes to those who focus on “How will I live,” the response isn’t to lean in to God and trust His promises but rather to lean on our own strength, and grumble against Him.

Those who understand that sound biblical doctrine comes from God’s Word live the opposite way.  They root their lives in sound doctrine for the purpose of weathering trials and hard times. It’s more about what they believe than it is about how they live. They first ask, “Who is my God?” not “How should I live?” Only when we have a high view of God and a high view of God’s Word can we persevere in Christ and live in a godly manner. It starts with him. Otherwise, we will be tossed by every wind of the latest and greatest fads to hit Christian bookstores, the Christian conference circuit, music scene, or what the most recent popular television preacher declares is truth.

Doctrine and discipleship give shape to what Christianity is all about.

They are the twin engines that propel the Christian and their ministry in the local church and beyond to strengthen the Church and advance the Gospel. When we emphasize doctrine to the exclusion of discipleship, we are teaching people to have a head full of knowledge without having their experience increasingly seen through a biblical worldview. Doctrine fuels discipleship, and together, both provide the fuel for the Christian’s life in Christ. Doctrine and discipleship give shape to the local church’s mission of seeking the lost and making disciples to the glory of God. Doctrine and discipleship fuel all ministry efforts because they propel biblical Christianity forward in a culture that is increasingly only interested in how it feels.

Related Posts

Discipleship, Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

Be Excellent as Christ Is Excellent

Be Grounded in God’s Own Glory and Excellence As Daniel Harrington and James Keenan contend, “From an ethical viewpoint, the end is the quintessential point of departure, since strong ethical systems always start with the end. The goal always defines the agenda being...

Discipleship, Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

The Necessity of the Atonement

We’ve been looking at the atonement in our study of Great Doctrines of the Bible by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. First, we looked at a few theories of the atonement that don’t do justice to the teaching of Scripture. Then, we looked at the biblical teaching of the...

Discipleship, Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

Husband of One Wife and Fighting Sexual Sin

On today’s Warriors of Grace episode, Dave talks about what it means to be a husband of one wife, along with providing strategies to learn to fight sexual sin with Scripture, joy in the Lord, and other practical guidance. What you’ll hear in this episode What it means...

Discipleship, Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

John Knox: The Founder of the Presbyterian Church

When we consider the Reformers, we may picture strong men and women with booming voices that echoed around the gathered crowd. We picture them as fearless, rebuking whoever contradicted the true teachings of Scripture, calling out heresy for what it was. But this...

Discipleship, Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

Christ-Centered Teaching: How His Kingdom Comes

Introduction What is the message we have to preach, but this? “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Recently I preached this core Christian message. It was recorded, and subsequently broadcast on several sites that ended up on the Internet. I often receive replies to...

1 Comment

  1. Discipleship, Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

    ANOTHER EXCELLENT ARTICLE! I STRESS A LOT HOW IMPORTANT DOCTRINE IS & IT’S THE DEVILS MISSION TO POLLUTE THE LORDS’ TEACHINGS (DOCTRINE) THAT WAY THE PEOPLE DON’T RECEIVE THE RIGHT JESUS OR THE FULLNESS OF THE LORD. THE WORD STRESSED THIS AS WELL (2 John 1) 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 12/3/2013-12/7/2013 | Servants of Grace - […] Doctrine and Discipleship by Dave Jenkins https://servantsofgrace.org/doctrine-discipleship/ […]
  2. Dave Jenkins – Doctrine and Discipleship » Christian Apologetics & Intelligence Ministry - […] Continue Reading […]
  3. Top Posts December 2013 | Servants of Grace - […] 3): Doctrine and Discipleship by Dave Jenkins https://servantsofgrace.org/doctrine-discipleship/ 4) What do Advent Candles Mean? by Matthew Fretwell https://servantsofgrace.org/advent-candles-mean/ […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Share32
Tweet
Share
Pin
Buffer