Christians Must Grow Deeper in Biblical Doctrines | SLIMJIM

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This is a WordPress repost of an excellent article originally authored by SLIMJIM at their website. If you haven’t followed their blog yet I would really encourage you to do so. The need to be familiar with the major doctrines of the Bible has never been greater and the dangers of not doing so are self evident by the multitudes that are being led astray. I am reproducing SLIMJIM’s article in it’s entirety.

Christians do you desire to grow more deeper in biblical doctrines?  By doctrines I mean the truth found in God’s Word.  While I have written more on defining doctrine and theology in my post ‘Doing’ Christian Theology in the 21st Century here in this post I want to look more at Bible verses on the topic that Christians must grow deeper in doctrines.

1. We are to realize doctrines matter

  1. Point: Sometimes the reason why Christians are not growing in biblical doctrines is because they don’t think doctrines even matter.  This is not so.
  2. Passage: “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16)
  3. Proof:
    1. Paul is giving this exhortation to Timothy, a young pastor and leader of the church.
    2. Note command: “Pay close attention
    3. What a pastor must “Pay close attention” are the following:
      1. to yourself
      2. and to your teaching“–>Note here doctrines are mentioned.
    4. Notice the focus is on the preacher’s own life and doctrinal beliefs first before it is about what others and the church’s life and doctrines.
    5. Apparently life and doctrines are important for we also see here the exhortation “persevere in these things.
    6. What is the reason for the importance of Christian life and doctrines?  “for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
      1. It is important for salvation; specifically the doctrines of what you believe if it is biblical.
      2. Note this importance of believing biblical doctrines is not only for pastors but also “for those who hear” the pastors and teachers.
    7. Thus doctrines are important!
  4. Practice:
    1. Do you see doctrines as important?  If you do, you would strive to grow deeper in biblical doctrines!
    2. As part of watching your own doctrine carefully you need to realize that working through theology from the Bible deeper allows you to be better discerning and better at defending your faith from false teachers and those who want to attack the Gospel and the message of salvation.  So grow deeper in doctrines!
    3. What if you don’t see doctrines as important?
      1. Is your salvation important to you?  If not, you might want to check to see if you understand what you are saved from: Hell and the wrath of God.  Its these doctrinal truths you must understand and take to heart.  You must know you are a sinner who deserves the wrath of God.  Unless you understand you are lost, only then would you realize you need to be saved.  And once you are saved you would desire to persevere in right doctrines.
      2. After you are genuinely saved, you would have a new regenerate heart that desire to please God with your life.  Doctrines are the motives for godly obedience; therefore you would want to grow in doctrines to fuel your loving obedience to God!

2. We are to move beyond elementary things

  1. Point: Sometimes Christians don’t grow deeper in deeper biblical doctrines is because they don’t realize this is what God’s Word encourages us to do.
  2. Passage: “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,” (Hebrews 6:1)
  3. Proof:
    1. Doctrines is the focus here.
      1. Note the words “elementary teaching;” doctrines are teachings.
      2. Note the specific doctrine of:
        1. repentance from dead works
        2. and of faith toward God
    2. Here we see the verse say “leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ” but that does not mean we are abandoning these doctrines.
      1. We know this does not mean abandoning the elementary teaching/doctrine of Christ because this verse goes on to say “not laying again a foundation.”  So these elementary teaching about Christ is foundational.  And the foundation can’t be moved.  When it says “not laying again a foundation” it is to make the point that Christians must be solid and grounded in “the elementary teaching about the Christ” to not require having to have others try to establish the foundation for the believers again and again.
      2. We know this does not mean abandoning the elementary teaching/doctrine of Christ because the verse goes on to say “let us press on to maturity,” showing that the specific situation here being described is a group of Christians who are immature and requiring to have the foundation being laid out again.
    3. Let me make my point nuanced.  Christians are to treasure the simple doctrines and foundations of the faith.  There’s a place to study them and meditate upon them again and again for a lifetime.  But the point here is that we must surely have our foundational doctrines down.  These elementary teachings of Christ is foundational for further growth and maturity in deeper doctrines!
    4. Yet let us not miss the point Christians must grow deeper in doctrine.
  4. Practice:
    1. Do you desire to grow deeper in biblical doctrines?  See the implication of this verse that Christians must grow deeper in doctrines.  That is a sign of spiritual maturity.
    2. Do you treasure the elementary teaching about Christ?
      1. If you desire deeper doctrines but don’t treasure the elementary teachings about Christ that is a sign that you might want to study theology and doctrines more out of a pride of knowledge rather than a true heart of wanting to worship God and be mature in our faith.
      2. Also if you truly treasure the elementary teachings about Christ, and have tasted the sweetness of the Gospel you would want to crave to learn more about what Christ has done for you, who He is, etc.
    3. What are you doing to grow deeper in knowing the truth from God’s Word?
      1. First off, do you have a plan?  As the idiom goes, he who doesn’t have a plan, plan to fail.
      2. Does your plan consist of reading Scripture and not just theology books?
      3. Have you prayed to the Lord to give you the desire and the resolve to grow?  Pray also that the Spirit illuminate His truth to you.
  5. Picture: When we see someone who is immature we recognize it as foolishness.  Yet we must also recognize spiritual immaturity is foolishness.  It is not cute for a twenty year old to throw tantrums and sucking his thumb; likewise we are to realize it is not cute, virtuous nor godly to be acting as spiritual babies when we get older in the faith.  Grow in biblical doctrines!

3. We are to aim to be mature teachers of God’s Truth

  1. Point: If we realize that we are to teach God’s Word in some capacity that would make us strive to grow deeper in biblical doctrines.
  2. Passage: “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” (Hebrews 5:12)
  3. Proof:
    1. Note here the believers being addressed are mentioned as those who “ought to be teaching others.
    2. Yet the reality was otherwise: “Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.
    3. This reveals the fact that they are immature spiritually: “You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
      1. The author gives the analogy of babies who cannot eat solid food.
      2. The solid food is deeper doctrines.
  4. Practice:
    1. While not everyone should be teachers (James 3:1) yet as Christians during different times in life one might be called to teach God’s truth.  Do you recognize that?  One might teach in the following situation:
      1. Sunday school teachers to kids or adults.
      2. Bible Study or small group leaders.
      3. Parenting.
    2. If one is going to be a teacher one would have to know more than the “student” or “disciple.”  That means growing deeper than the elementary teachings of Christ: There is a need to learn solid deeper doctrines.



    • Yes! Thank you, Bruce, for re-posting Jim’s piece! And Jim, you are absolutely correct! And sadly, there seems to be less and less doctrinal teaching in Christian circles today. 😦 Excellent post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Lynn it is true there is more churches that is very light on doctrines sadly. Sorry for the delay were at full VBS season this week and weekend


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