The first century church gives a pattern that we should follow as New Testament Christians. Acts 2:42 points out the basic outline for our worship services and what the source of that pattern is – teachings of the apostles. This pattern was consistently held to by these Christians, and it is a pattern we should hold to today.
The Importance of Doctrine
God places an emphasis on following His statues. We have to be rooted in the truth of His word if we are to be an effective people, pleasing in His sight. II Timothy 3:14-15 refers to the church as the “pillar” of the truth. If we are not teaching each other sound doctrine from God’s word, we will be unable to fulfill this function because the truth will not be with us.
- Revelation 3:11-13. There are individuals who can be pillars in and of themselves. In Galatians 2:9, Paul names individuals who he feels are these type of pillars. This strength can only come from studying and dwelling on God’s word.
- I Kings 6:10-16. When Solomon builds the temple of God, he is reminded that the building is not enough to establish God’s presence. It is also necessary for Solomon and his people to walk according to God’s word.
- Isaiah 5:11-12. Isaiah criticizes the people of his time for the fact that they esteem pleasurable activities above knowledge of God’s word. In Isaiah 33:6, the prophet calls wisdom “stability” and respect for God “a treasure.”
- Hosea 4:1-6. Again, it is another Old Testament example where lack of knowledge of God’s word is directly correlated with the people going into captivity. Hosea 5:1 directs this judgment against those who should have known better and should have been directing the people in God’s word. Malachi 2:8 reiterates this same message even after the captivity is over.
If sound teaching is removed from the church, then we will become as displeasing to God as His people had been in the Old Testament verses we have looked at.
In almost every New Testament epistle, it it reiterated again and again how important it is to keep and teach God’s word. It is not to be changed or distorted based on arbitrary rules or opinions. His word is absolute and certain, and it is His people’s charge to preserve it and make sure others learn of it. II Timothy 4 tells us we are to always be prepared and willing to share that word, even when it is not popular.
Psalm 19:7-14: God’s law is perfect, and we should respect it as such. Our wisdom cannot compare to God’s, and we have to trust in His word to make us complete servants.
lesson by Tim Smelser