Wednesday, December 07, 2005

John MacArthur on the Importance of Doctrine.

John MacArthur is a guest blogger at the Pyromaniac today with a timely message on the importance of solid doctrine. At a time where we constantly hear the message that doctrine does not matter, Dr. MacArthur is expressing the importance of basing our lives on God’s truth. This is greatly needed, especially at a time where some are calling for a “New” Reformation, overemphasizing behavior over belief. The absence of biblical truth today has created a void in the Christian community that is being filled with unbiblical nonsense.

I have deep gratitude for MacArthur’s ministry, because it played a crucial role in helping me to understand and teach the Bible. People have asked me how I learned to understand and teach the truth. It was through the ministry of Grace to You and other solid Bible teachers (such as Alistair Begg) that helped shape my understanding of Scripture, coupled with the constant study of Scripture. Sadly, I have received little help from local church ministries. I can think of only a couple of local churches that I have been a part of over the years that really made an honest attempt at helping to equip me for ministry. Others have given lip service to the importance of training, but most of the time the training offered was centered on things like “how to handle difficult people”, “how to use ‘ice breakers’ in small groups”, etc., but nothing about understanding and teaching solid Bible doctrine.

The best advice I can give to anyone, is to immerse yourself in material written by solid men of the faith. Recognize the value of the material written by solid men of the past such as Charles Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards. The theology from a “bunch of dead guys” is timeless truth that is just as relevant today – even more so. But most of all develop a fervent love for the Bible and study it with all your heart. (1 Peter 2:2) The Bible should be our ultimate guide. Don’t just follow the teaching of men. Filter whatever you are taught through Scripture. Learn to interpret the Bible within its proper context and mine the deep truths contained within its pages. Remember that you have access to the greatest teacher of the Bible at all times – the Holy Spirit! (John14:26; 16:13, 1 John 2:27)

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