Scripture Revealed

A Revelation of Jesus Christ – Revelation 1:1

The Apostles Doctrine

Easy Believism vs. The Doctrine!

Modern Christianity often attempts to remove the absolutes of the scriptures.  What I call easy believism seems to be the hallmark of many churches in this day.  What do the scriptures reveal regarding this vital subject?  What is doctrine?  And what exactly is the Apostles Doctrine?  Doesn’t doctrine tend to divide people?  Can’t we all just follow the leading of the Holy Spirit?   One fact is certain, and that is the 1st Century Church continued steadfastly in the Apostles Doctrine.

Many Christians tend to shy away from any discussion of doctrine.  First off what exactly is doctrine?  Well, it’s simple!  Doctrine is simply a body of principles presented for acceptance of belief.  In other words, it’s something that is taught; a teaching.  No one can escape doctrine.  Everyone, whether they know it or not, believes and practices some type of doctrine.  And that doctrine may be true, or it may be false.  The early church experienced explosive growth because of the apostle’s doctrine.

Acts 2:41-42 (KJV)“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Did you catch that?  Three thousand people (souls) gladly received the words of Peter, the Apostle in one day. And notice what they did with that word: they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread (eating), and prayer.  That word stedfastly indicates that these new believers did not waiver or deviate from the word that was delivered to them by one of the Apostles (Peter).  The Apostles agreed on the vital importance of doctrine.  The following scriptures record the Apostle Paul’s advice to a young minister by the name of Timothy:

1 Timothy 4:12-16  (KJV) “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

Notice in the verses above Paul’s emphasis on “doctrine” and the “word.”  And it wasn’t any ole doctrine but “the doctrine.”  Paul also advises Timothy to give “attendance to reading” implying that Timothy should study the holy scriptures for himself.  Paul concludes his advice to Timothy by saying that continuing in “the doctrine” (teaching) will save not only Timothy but those who hear Timothy.  That’s a very powerful concept don’t you think?

 Doctrine – the Foundation of the Church

Psalm 11:3 declares that “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”  In other words, to have right standing before God, we must have a true and solid foundation.  In the physical world a house that is built on a weak or shaky foundation will not last.  Likewise, in the spiritual realm the only things that will last, and have permanent lasting results, are those principles that are built on truth.  Scriptural truth becomes the basis or foundation for our spiritual house.  The Word of God is the basis for all truth!  John 17: 17 declares “thy word is truth.”

The Apostles Doctrine – Essential for Truth

The Apostles were the only men that had a truly intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.  They sat at His feet for three and a half years.  Just before His ascension, Jesus gave the Apostles perfect understanding of the Scriptures.

Luke 24:44-49 (KJV) “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

What is vital to understand, is that the Apostles, and only the Apostles, had an understanding of Old Testament scriptures that no one else ever had. It was Jesus Himself that personally opened their understanding of the scriptures. And therein lies the key to correct scriptural interpretation.  The Master Himself opened up their understanding of the scriptures.  This special relationship qualified them to author and establish all of the doctrinal foundations of the Church.  These essential truths would be the foundation upon which the true Church would be built on. Therefore any attempt to change or minimize the teachings of the Apostles is a grave error.

How To Know Truth from Error

Is there a full proof way to know truth from error?  Is there a litmus test of sorts that we can apply to a Church’s teachings (doctrine)?  In the marketplace of ideas and teachings how in the world can we ever be sure that what we are being taught is God’s truth?  The scripture itself reveals how we can know truth from error. Paul writing to the Galatians tells us just how to know truth from error:

Galatians 1:6-9 (KJV) “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Paul the Apostle was as serious as he could be with the saints in the Galatian church.  Why?  Because they had already started to waiver from the doctrine that they had been taught by the Apostles.  In this scripture what Paul is doing is pronouncing a death warrant upon anyone, including the Apostles, who would change or pervert the teaching (doctrine) that the Galatians had been given.  Paul’s’ use of the word “accursed” shows the true seriousness of the matter.  Because “accursed” literally translated means “eternally damned”! 

Well, so far we’ve heard from Peter and Paul regarding the importance of doctrine. What about John the Apostle?  Did he agree with Peter and Paul?  You can bet he did!

1 John 4:6 (KJV) “We (the Apostles) are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

 Wow!  John doesn’t mince his worlds.  John is coming out just as strong in his admonition.  And John does it by making three important doctrinal points:

  • The Apostles were of God.
  • Hearing the teaching of the Apostles was equal to hearing God.
  • The difference between truth and error is established: To teach what the Apostles taught….is truth; to teach anything different….is error!

Doctrine – Vitally Important

The Apostles agreed.  Doctrine is vital to salvation and righteousness.  The doctrine of the Apostles needs to be taught and cherished.  Paul continues to warn Timothy is the following scriptures:

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (KJV) “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Jude, the Apostle, echoes the sentiments of Peter, Paul and John, in his epistle:

Jude 3 (KJV) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Doctrine – Worth Fighting For!

 The truth of God’s word is built on the teachings of Jesus Christ which were handed down to His Apostles.  Any intellectually honest investigation of the scriptures will conclude that the Apostles doctrine is the very foundation that the truth was built upon.  It’s no wonder that Satan attempts to minimize the importance and value of sound doctrine.  The seed of doubt is planted with the words “Yea, hath God said…?”  The attack on Apostolic doctrine goes something like this: “What or who are you committed to? Jesus Christ or to some doctrine that’s taught at your Church?”

The scriptures reveal that you can’t be committed to Jesus Christ without being committed to the Biblical “Doctrine of Christ.”  And not just any “Doctrine of Christ” but the doctrine (teachings) as they were set forth in the Gospel accounts.  The doctrine that was practiced and taught by the faithful Apostles of Jesus Christ of the 1st century A.D.!  The foundation of the New Testament Church was the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (KJV) “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners,but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

John 7:17 (KJV) “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

John 17:20 (KJV)Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Conclusion

In this world of confusion and shifting sands it’s comforting to know that God’s Word is solid and unchangeable.  Twelve men sat at the feet of Jesus Christ for a three and a half years.  They followed the Master wherever He went.  They learned of Him and had their understanding opened up like no one else.  What they received from Jesus Christ they delivered to their world of the 1st century.  Their letters, known as epistles, became the foundation of Church.  We can know truth from error.  Anyone who teaches and preaches what the Apostles taught and preached has the truth of God.

Anyone who deviates from the teachings of the Apostles are in error.  Those who gladly heard the words of the Apostles in the 1st century continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine.  What the scriptures reveal is that to hear the teachings of the Apostles is to hear the very words of Jesus Christ.   They didn’t waiver or vary the teachings that they had received from the only men who walked and talked with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Christians of today must heed Paul’s warning: we must continue in the doctrine and in doing so we will save both ourselves and those that hear us.

Related Articles: Salvation – The Gospel

Repent and Believe the Gospel

Water Baptism – Burial

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Ron
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Ron

I’ve studied and taught the good news of Jesus Christ and His kingdom since 1985. My goal is to reveal the biblical truths I’ve come to see through prayer and study. I believe that the scriptures are revealed to those that study and rightly divide the "Word of Truth.”

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Anonymous
Anonymous
9 months ago

Good. Nevertheless, you missed to Nail It by clearly letting the readers know that “The Content of The Preaching of Lead Apostle Peter (representing all the Apostles) is The Most Basic of The Doctrine.” He concluded The Debut Sermon (directly from The Heart of JESUS Christ) by clearly stating The Ground-Floor of This Most Basic Doctrine: “Acts 2:38 — You have not started being a True Christian (follower of Jesus) until you humbly accept HIS teachings as Summarized by Apostle Peter, Repent of your sins and from following Satan (see 2Corinthians 6:14-18), be baptized In The NAME (singular) of Jesus,… Read more »

jacobb
Admin
Reply to  Anonymous
7 months ago

You are, of course, correct that Acts 2:38 is the essential gospel message that Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost. I might not have clearly stated that but I did so in many other of my articles on the “New Birth”. I might need to revise that article to ensure I clearly bring out the Acts 2:38 message.

Spot
Spot
1 year ago

There just aren’t any disciple makers in our world today!

DBaba
DBaba
1 year ago

My problem with the article is the apostles doctrines were not listed. I goggled the subject to see exactly what are these apostles doctrines and lo and behold they were not listed.

JesusJR
JesusJR
Reply to  DBaba
9 months ago

T7The most basic of The Apostles’ Doctrine is what Apostle Peter preached in Acts 2:1-38. Verse 38 answers the most basic of all basics: You must be Born Again by 1) Accept JESUS Teachings and what HE did for you — suffered and died for your sins; 2) Repent of your sins as clearly stated in 2Corinthians 6:14-18 — leave Satan ALONE and marry JESUS Christ! See John 14:6; 3) Be baptized In The NAME of JESUS Christ for the remission of your sins; and 4) Be filled with The Holy Ghost = Holy Spirit = JESUS’ Spirit. True repentance… Read more »

jacobb
Admin
Reply to  JesusJR
7 months ago

Amen! Well said. Thanks for commenting.

Brandon
Brandon
2 years ago

Very interesting article! Thanks you. I feel as though you are missing the very important point and clear message of The Bible. The Apostles set up this doctrine given by Jesus and built a Church, a Universal Church. History and The Bible very clearly show this is The Catholic (meaning Universal) Church. All the Apostles and Disciples were Saints and most martyrs for The Catholic Church, that is Jesus’s established Church. Jesus is the head and we are members of that Body. I would happily share scriptures and history to further show this if need be, but for the sake… Read more »

James Jirayi
James Jirayi
Reply to  Brandon
5 months ago

When we talk about the real undiluted word of God please don’t bring anything that has to do with the 3rd century Roma-greeko deception here. Shalom

Emil
Emil
4 years ago

Why the churches are still using Matthews 28:19 format for baptism ,whereas in Acts 2:38-39 the apostles was using a different format which one is correct.

Victor Peter
Victor Peter
Reply to  Ron
1 year ago

I don’t think there is an issue here. Either in the name of Jesus or the name of the Trinity, it is all the same. When you call on the name of Jesus, you evoke the Trinity.

John Bryan
John Bryan
Reply to  Ron
9 months ago

Could it be that the name of the Father, the name of the Son, and the name of the Holy Ghost is the one true name: Yahweh? I mean, “the father” is not a name. Neither is “the son” or “the holy ghost.” But they are all three one in the Sovereign and Almighty Elohim (which is a plural name): Yahweh. Just my pondering. I think this is important if we’re splitting hairs over which names to baptize in, especially considering “Jesus” is not His Hebrew name.

jacobb
Admin
Reply to  John Bryan
7 months ago

I am an English speaker. I do not speak Hebrew, Greek or Latin. “Jesus” is the English version of Jehoshua. “Jesus” means “Jehovah has become our Salvation”. We do not read anywhere in scripture of anyone being baptized in the titles of “father, son and Holy Ghost/Spirit”. If I asked you what is the name of the son (in English) wouldn’t you say Jesus”. Then if I asked what is the name of the “father” would you reply “father”? No because “father” is not a name it is a title. But Jesus said “I come in my father’s name” (John… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Emil
7 months ago

What is the name of the Father: Lord; what is the name of the Son: Jesus; what is the name of the Holy Ghost: Christ. The name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost is the Lord Jesus Christ! For there is salvation in no other name! And as stated in Acts 2:38, it is for the remission of sins. That is the only way we should be baptized. And that is the only way they were baptized according to scripture! The Catholic Church initially baptized in that manner until the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. And as… Read more »

jacobb
Admin
Reply to  Anonymous
7 months ago

Excellent comments! Your points are well made.

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