Friday, February 4

JESUS CHRIST: The Watershed Doctrine

There are, no doubt, many important doctrines (teachings) in the Word of God. And we must not keep too loose a grip on any one of them. But above all the others, under-girding all others, and bringing all other doctrines into a perfect unity is the doctrine of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. On this point all other "religions" and cults fall down. Only one brings the true focus on Jesus Christ where the Bible puts it. We have to be very careful how we define any doctrine. J. C. Ryle writes:
It may be laid down as a rule, with tolerable confidence, that the absence of accurate definitions is the very life of religious controversy. If men would only define with precision the theological terms which they use, many disputes would die.
And one of the most important factors necessary to defining our terms is that we get our beliefs from a source outside of our own imaginations, namely the supreme authority in matters of life and faith, the Bible. I will not go into any detail on this point, for it requires a post of its own. But let me state this and appeal to our reason, if nothing else. If we do not pin all our beliefs on the Scripture, then we are relegated to placing our hopes in a man or a group of men who are at best still sinners. We dare not pin our eternal aspirations to the opinions of any man or "church." We turn to Jesus Christ as he is revealed in the Scriptures. And while many willingly discuss God in general, they will hedge when confronted with the claims of Jesus Christ. And why is that? Listen again to J. C. Ryle from Knots Untied: 
We hold most firmly that the true doctrine about Christ is precisely that which the natural heart most dislikes. The religion which man craves after is one of sight and sense, and not of faith. An external religion, of which the essence is “doing something,”—and not an inward and spiritual one, of which the essence is “believing,” this is the religion that man naturally loves. Hence we maintain that people ought to be continually warned not to make a Christ of the Church, or of the ministry, or of the forms of worship, or of baptism, or of the Lord’s Supper. We say that life eternal is to know Christ, believe in Christ, abide in Christ, have daily heart communion with Christ, by simple personal faith,—and that everything in religion is useful so far as it helps forward that life of faith, but no further.

Precision here on this point, the Person of Jesus Christ is vital to gaining eternal life. Would to God more would see this. Lord, open the eyes of many, many people to the beauty of who you really are, to what you will do for all who turn to you in faith believing.

1 comment:

Pastor Bob Leroe said...

We can be wrong on a lot of minor doctrinal matters, but we can't afford to be wrong about Christology and the atonement. This is essential.