Everyone Has a Creed

Everyone has a creed.  Even those Christians who claim that their “only creed is Christ” have a creed, because the very moment they begin to explain what they believe about Christ, they are in fact reciting their creed about Christ.  In truth, its impossible not to have a creed.  So the question is this: Is our creed carefully formulated and written down, biblically and doctrinally orthodox, and attested to by faithful forefathers of the church?  Or is it based on our own authority and clever invention, always changing according to the last internet post we read or according to our own doctrinal whim?

Parson, Burk; “Five New Points of Old Heresy”; Tabletalk; January, 2019; p. 2

Doctrine and Application

Doctrine helps describe the God we must see; application helps us see how to love the God we have seen.  But both are useless if the eyes of the heart have not been opened to see and savor the beauty of God.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 89

The Mature Christian’s Thoughts About God

The mature Christian’s thoughts about God are no longer merely lofty theological ideas or empty philosophical speculations.  Instead, the doctrines that he cherishes so much have now traveled from his head to his heart and have begun to change him from the inside out in three primary ways.  He is becoming someone who is humble, someone who is spiritual, and someone who is passionate for the glory of God to be displayed in all things.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philippsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 64

We Are to be a Light Set Upon a Hill

Because Christ is Lord, there is a church in exile, receiving everything from heaven, and on earth witnessing to, loving and serving their neighbors.  For a new reformation in the church and renewed witness in the world, we need not only to re-arm ourselves with drama and the doctrine, but  allow the greatest story ever told to shape us into a cross-cultural community – a light set upon a hill.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 264

The Devil Will Afflict You

For as soon as God’s Word becomes known through you, the devil will afflict you, will make a real doctor [teacher of doctrine] of you, and will teach you by his temptations to seek and to love God’s Word.  For I myself…owe my papists [Roman Catholic adversaries] many thanks for so beating, pressing and frightening me through the devil’s raging, that they have turned me into a fairly good theologian, driving me to a goal I should never have reached.

– Martin Luther

as quoted by

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 134-135

This Is a Liberating and Devastating Doctrine

Christian Hedonism is a liberating and devastating doctrine.  It teaches that the value of God shines more brightly in the soul that finds deepest satisfaction in him.  Therefore, it is liberating because it endorses our inborn desire for joy.  And it is devastating because it reveals that no one desires God with the passion he demands.  Paradoxically, many peopl experience both of these truths.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 13

No Doctrine Has Greater Bearing Than This

Perhaps no doctrine has greater bearing on all other doctrines than the doctrine of God.  How we understand the nature and character of God himself influences how we understand the nature of man, who bears God’s image; the nature of Christ, who works to satisfy the Father; the nature of salvation, which is effected by God; the nature of ethics, the norms of which are based on God’s character; and a myriad of other theological considerations, all drawing on our understanding of God.

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 25

Rather Ask the Holy Spirit to Teach You

However knowledgeable about Scripture we may be, we need to approach it each day as little children, asking the Holy Spirit to teach us.  Regardless of how much we already know and understand, there is still an infinite storehouse of understanding of the mind of God waiting for us in Scripture.  My own experience, based on more than forty years of studying the Bible, is that the more I learn and understand Scripture, the more I see how little I do understand of all that God has revealed to us in His Word.  So as you approach the reading or study of the Bible, don’t do so just to buttress your own previously held opinions or to affirm your favorite doctrines.  Rather ask the Holy Spirit to teach you.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 170

He Is The Sum of Gospel Teaching

It is the gospel that exhibits God’s highest glory, which he chiefly designs to display before sinful men, even that glory of God that shineth in the face of Christ.  It is the gospel that sets forth the glory of Christ, and by which the Holy Spirit himself is glorified; and it is it that will be honoured with the concomitant [accompanying] influence of the Holy Spirit…

If it should now be asked what is that special doctrine of the gospel, and, strictly speaking, the doctrine of faith?  I shall answer briefly.

All revealed truth ought to be greatly valued, and received by faith and, if properly used, may be subservient to the main subject and design of the gospel.  But the special subject of the gospel is Christ and preaching Christ, according to the light and direction of the word of God, is preaching the gospel…To preach Christ the SAVIOR and the LORD, is the sum of gospel-preaching.

– James Fraser

as quoted by Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p.

These Kind of Churches Produce Those Kind of “Christians”

No matter what we hold on paper as sound evangelical doctrine, a steady diet of moralsitic preaching, youth ministry, Sunday school, devotional literature and outreach will always produce churches filled with practicing Pelagians.

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 152