Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What is a doctrine?

By definition, a doctrine is said to be a set of beliefs, a principle or creed of principles or a system of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party or another group. Like every major world religion Christianity has its own doctrines which can be classified as major or fundamental and minor doctrines.

Why is doctrine important? Why should Christians know the doctrines of the Bible?

1) The first and foremost reason for studying doctrines is because we love God. If we love God, we’ll want to know all about Him – His nature, His character, His purposes, His commandments; about the work He’s doing in the world, about His work in saving people and about His plans for the future. In other words we’ll want to study ‘doctrine’. All our doctrines are about God.

2) We also need to study doctrines because what you believe will shape your spiritual life. The way you think about God will affect the way you relate to God. If you don’t believe in the deity of Jesus Christ then it follows that you don’t believe that He is the only way to the Father.

The same is true with the doctrine of the Trinity. If you don’t believe in the Trinity, you can’t believe that God is eternally love. It’s the doctrine of the Trinity that gives us confidence to believe that love is in the very nature of God. Studying doctrine is about finding out the truth about God so we can relate to Him in more personal way.

3) A thorough knowledge of Bible doctrines will give you the tools to sort out all the practical problems of living in this complex fallen world – even in matters where the Bible doesn’t speak directly. In other words, we won’t know how to live in this world without knowing doctrines because without it we won’t understand the world we live in.

4) We need to study Bible doctrine so that we will be equipped to share the good news of salvation to the lost world. We have to be competent to answer questions. What are you going to say to someone who asks how God can allow a tsunami to sweep away scores of thousands of people? How can you answer that question if you’ve never grappled with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty?

How do you answer when your child says to you ‘I’ve tried to become a Christian but it didn’t work?’ You’ll need a very clear grasp then of just what saving faith is, and how it relates to the human will, and where assurance fits in.

Dorothy Sayers in her essay Creed or Chaos had the following to say on the fundamental problem of trying to practice the Christian faith without knowing what it actually is all about:

“It is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology. It is a lie to say that dogma does not matter; it matters enormously. It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe. It is hopeless to offer Christianity as a vaguely idealistic aspiration of a simple and consoling kind; it is, on the contrary, a hard, tough, exacting, and complex doctrine, steeped in a drastic and uncompromising realism. And it is fatal to imagine that everybody knows quite well what Christianity is and needs only a little encouragement to practice it. The brutal fact is that in this nation not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ.

Sound Doctrine

Doctrine must be true and sound. It must come from God, not from mere men (John 7:16). In several of his letters, it’s evident how the apostle Paul placed a very high value on doctrine which is true and must be sound (1 Timothy 1:3, 10; Titus 1:9). John urges us also to ignore and reject anyone who does not abide to the doctrines of Christ in 2 John 9-10.

Five Fundamental Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Christian doctrines can be classified into major and minor. Major doctrines are those that have great effect or impact in one’s salvation. Minor doctrines on the other hand are those that are considered secondary. Secondary doctrines are those that Christians often debate or disagree about but has little or no impact on salvation.

There are five fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith which constitute the basic theology of our faith. Without these five doctrines we cannot be considered as Bible believing, Christ centered and Spirit baptized Christian. We understand that many Christians today come from varied backgrounds and denominations and they faithfully believe and teach the five core doctrines of the faith.

However, there are also many false teachers today who call themselves Christians but deliberately deny one or more of these core doctrines by teaching explicitly or implicitly against them.

*** These five doctrines are essential and anyone who does not hold to these doctrines cannot be considered Christian at all because he does not understand and has not believed in the full Gospel message. Any person or movement or who teaches anything contrary to or undermines these five doctrines must be rebuked (if they claim to be Christians) and, if they do not repent must be rejected according to the Word of the Lord.

The Five Fundamental Doctrines of Christianity include the following:

1) The Trinity – There is one God in three persons.

2) The Person of Jesus Christ – Jesus is fully man and fully God for all eternity.

3) Salvation – It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

4) The Scripture – It is entirely inerrant and sufficient for all Christian life.

5) The Second Coming of Christ – Jesus Christ is coming back to earth to rule and judge.

 

6 Replies to “Doctrines of the Christian Faith”

  1. The Scripture – It is entirely inerrant and sufficient for all Christian life. My question is, as to what aspect this statement is correct? I want to hear you, Alice.

    1. Hi Jimmy, great question.

      Before I’ll answer your question, I believe it is important that we first properly define the terms. The reason the inerrancy of Scriptures is often attacked and has become a hotly debated topic even among evangelicals is because the very people who use the terms do not see eye to eye on what it really means.

      When we say that the Bible is inerrant, we’re saying that it is completely true and contains no errors in the original autographs; so it is trustworthy in all of its teachings. Wayne Grudem (Systematic Theology) has a solid working definition of inerrancy: “The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.” What is affirmed in this definition is that a perfect God moved human authors, by His Spirit, to perfectly transcribe what He wanted to communicate.

      We may not have any of the original writings of Scriptures today, but we have many copies of each book. Yes, there maybe differences here and there but we are confident that no essential doctrine was altered or affected. The issue of inerrancy is not precision but truthfulness.

      What about the sufficiency of Scriptures? The sufficiency of Scriptures means that the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura) is enough or sufficient for man to know everything about God and His plan for the human race. In other words, God has given mankind all things that are necessary for the proper understanding of who God is, what God has done in the past and what He expects from us. It means that we don’t need anymore special revelation.

      While the Bible does not tell us all the informations available from other books such as instructions on mental health and skills at living, the Bible is sufficient to equip believers for Christian life and service it is is sufficient to give the wisdom that leads to salvation and to enable the godly person to be “adequate and equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

      What about you Jimmy, what’s your take on this topic?

    1. The first four are totally anti-biblical? Wow Saqib, I’m not sure we’re reading from the same Bible. Anyway, I know I did not cite the verses for each doctrine but if you would just take time to read the Bible and ask guidance and illumination from the Holy Spirit, I’m sure you’ll also come up with these 5 major doctrines of the Christian faith.

      I will be writing about each of these doctrines in my succeeding articles. May the good Lord bless and keep you, shalom!

    1. Hi Dan,

      Thanks for stopping by, but I am not a Seventh Day Adventist. As a matter of fact, I have a post about the difference between the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day wherein I refuted the claim of Sabbatarians that the Sabbath Day has been changed to Sunday.

      Here it is: https://biblical-christianity.com/what-is-the-difference-between-the-sabbath-and-the-lords-day

      I am a follower of Christ who has been saved by His amazing grace. My Church affiliation? I belong to a full gospel, Bible-believing and Spirit-filled Christian Church who hold to the Bible as the final authority.

      By the way, what made you think that I am a Seventh Day Adventist? The Doctrines that I have enumerated are all based on the Bible.

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