Why Should we study doctrine?
Everyone Has a 'Doctrine'
What we think dictates the way we live. What you
believe determines who you are and what you do. It drives
your every move, thought, decision, action and reaction. It
determines how you view life and the things around you. It is
your worldview, your doctrine. In short, everyone has a
doctrine, so we better make sure we know what it is we believe and why!
A Christian by definition is one who trusts in Jesus as the
Christ (to provide reconciliation back to God) and as Lord (the person
in charge of our life.) He is our Lord because He is our
Savior. He has said that He cannot be our Savior if we do not
want Him as Lord:
Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Luke 8:21
The Christian who understands the significance of the love of
the Savior and of the God who sent Him, will thankfully dedicate his
life to an understanding of the will and commands of our Lord (His
doctrine), so that we will live a life worthy of His sacrifice and
produce the fruit He has asked of us.
Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.' John 14:23
So how important is it to know the will of Jesus Christ our Lord? Extremely! This is why a life of obedience includes the study of the Bible, the meditation of His words, and the display of His will lived out in our lives, as a sacrifice of thanksgiving for His sacrifice of love for our reconciliation with God.
The study of doctrine is simply a pursuit of God's will and word, in order to live our lives in a manner that glorifies Him. Our doctrine then, forms our belief system that controls and compels our behavior. (Faith Works, John McArthur, pg 22)
Finally, the study of the proper doctrine (orthodoxy = right
belief) is important so that we can tell the difference when a false
doctrine arises. It is MUCH more difficult to study and
understand all the potential false doctrines; it is much easier to
understand the CORRECT doctrines, so that when the false ones arise, we
know the difference.
"Be diligent in these matters [study and spiritual gifts]; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." 1 Timothy 4:15-16