Doctrine

Doctrine is absolutely important. False doctrine hinders our walk. However, correct doctrine without the Holy Spirit is dead and can’t bring life. We need to be aware that our doctrine may be wrong. We may be interpreting Scripture incorrectly. Some doctrines deny what Scripture says. Some doctrines quietly add human ideas to Scripture but claim to be following Scripture.

How does that affect us as Christians? We may have been taught erroneous concepts during our lives and unconsciously added those false concepts to our Christian worldviews. We may have used confirmation bias to prove that those errors are the truth. If that’s the case, those theologies seem more real than Scripture. By the way, this problem is easier to spot in others than it is to spot in ourselves.

When we read Scripture, we filter it through our fleshly mind. That’s one of God’s messages to us in 2 Corinthians 3 if we take the entire chapter in context. The veil is the flesh. The religious people of the day no longer heard Scripture when it was being read, but they only saw this veil of the flesh in front of their eyes. Then the answer comes at the end: but we, with unveiled (open) faces, beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, are transfigured into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (I’ve given the literal translation of some words.) God mentions this mirror in three places in the New Testament. James mentions it in relation to the perfect law of liberty. Theology should be based on Scripture, but human interpretations of Scripture lead to many conflicting theologies. The Holy Spirit will always be consistent in His interpretation of Scripture, but we can’t trust human intellect.

God wants us to build on the only Foundation that can be laid, which is Jesus Christ. Eventually, the church will build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone. The letter to the Ephesians mentions this, and it’s part of looking into that mirror. As God speaks to us and leads us in our individual lives, He teaches us in flashes of revelation. We look into this mirror and see ourselves and how we fit into our surroundings. We don’t see after the flesh. Henceforth, we don’t know anyone after the flesh but after the Spirit. We see Christ in us, the hope of glory. (We only see this in glimpses.) He’s showing us who we are in Christ and how we fit into His body. That means that it’s vital that we discern the body of Christ: that we don’t look at our brothers and sisters after the flesh. He knows how to speak in a way that we know it’s Him. We only get confused when our fleshly desires start screaming and jumping up and down. For example, it’s hard to see the ministry/Christ in a brother or sister when we’re angry with that brother or sister. Since we do get confused and have distorted worldviews, we need to hold doctrine loosely and hold Christ tightly. We never want to be so tied to a doctrine that the Holy Spirit can’t correct us in our walk.

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