Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Importance of Doctrine

Arthur Walkington Pink (1886–1952)"Both the teaching of God’s Word and the testimony of ecclesiastical history testify clearly to the deep importance and great value of doctrinal instruction, and the lamentable consequences of a prolonged absence of the same. Doctrinal preaching is designed to enlighten the understanding, to instruct the mind, to inform the judgment. It is that which supplies motives to gratitude and furnishes incentives unto good works. There can be no soundness in the Faith if the fundamental articles of the Faith be not known and, in some measure at least, understood. Those fundamental articles are denominated "the first principles of the oracles of God" (Heb. 5:12) or basic truths of Scripture, and are absolutely necessary unto salvation. The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures, the ever-blessed Trinity in unity (John 17:3), the two natures united in the one person of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:22, and 4:3), His finished work and all-sufficient sacrifice (Heb. 5:14), the fall, resulting in our lost condition (Luke 19:10), regeneration (John 3:3), gratuitous justification (Gal. 5:4)—these are some of the principal pillars which support the temple of Truth, and without which it cannot stand. Of old God complained, "My people are destroyed [cut off] for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6), and declared, "Therefore My people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst" (Isaiah 5:13). When He promised "I will give you pastors according to Mine heart," He described the same as those "which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding" (Jer. 3:15), and that knowledge is communicated first and foremost by a setting forth of the glorious doctrines of Divine revelation. Doctrinal Christianity is both the ground and the motive of practical Christianity, for it is principle and not emotion or impulse which is the dynamic of the spiritual life. It is by the Truth that men are illuminated and directed: "O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles" (Ps. 43:3). We are saved by a knowledge of the Truth (John 17:3; 1 Tim. 2:4), and by faith therein (2 Thess. 2:13). We are made free by the Truth (John 8:32). We are sanctified by the Truth (John 17:17). Our growth in grace is determined by our growth in the knowledge of God and the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:2 and 3:18). It is mercy and truth that preserve us (Ps. 61:7, Proverbs 21:28)—"understanding shall keep thee" (Prov. 2:11)." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

Excerpt taken from Practical Christianity by A. W. Pink

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