What Is Doctrine?

The Bible defines doctrine as instruction, knowledge, or content of what is taught. In Proverbs we read,

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.” – Proverbs 4:1-2

And in Isaiah,

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?…” – Isaiah 28:9a

The Bible says that there are many doctrines in the world and it could be easy for the unstable Christian to be carried away with unsound doctrine. Ephesians exhorts us to be established in the Word of God so that,

“ …we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” – Ephesians 4:14

Instead, we should “study to shew ourselves approved unto God” learning the doctrine of God found in the Bible. Paul instructs Timothy,

“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” – 1Timothy 4:13

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

Even more, it is not enough just to have doctrine, but we must have the sound doctrine that applies to us in this dispensation. The doctrine given to Noah to build an ark in Genesis 6 would be unsound doctrine for you and me to follow today.

Likewise the ‘good doctrine’ of the law in Proverbs 4:2 would also be unsound doctrine for us today in the dispensation of Grace, though it was ‘good doctrine’ in the dispensation of the Law.

Today we must beware of those who would deceive us with unsound doctrine that would place us back under the bondage of the law. Paul emphatically exhorts Timothy to beware of these teachers of the law when he instructs,

“…that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine…” – 1 Timothy 1:3b

Being entrusted with the dispensation of the Grace of God (Eph 3:1-2), Paul teaches us to,

“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” – Titus 1:9

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Published: Monday, June 13th, 2005
Last Modified: March 10, 2011