We Value Doctrine

Dustin Folden November 11, 2018 Ephesians 4:14-16
Outline

Stewardship is God-given responsibility with accountability

The Four Factors of Stewardship

1. God owns everything – you own nothing

2. God has entrusted you with everything you have

3. You can either increase or diminish what God has given – he wants you to increase it

4. God can call you into account at any time and it may be today

3 ways doctrine is essential for life

I. Doctrine Helps Us Grow into Maturity

A. By no longer being children

Ephesians 4:14 - As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine…

B. By becoming like Christ

Ephesians 4:15 - …but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 - If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

II. Doctrine Protects Us from Being Deceived

A. From the lies of the world

Ephesians 4:14 - …by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming…

B. From the lies in ourselves 

Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?

Helpful resources to grow in your doctrine:

Beginners

-    Who is Jesus by 9Marks

-    Why Trust the Bible by Greg Gilbert

-    ESV Study Bible by Crossway

Children

-    The Jesus Story Book Bible

-    The Beginners Gospel Story Bible by Kennedy

Intermediate

-    Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

-    Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

-    Center Church by Tim Keller

Advanced

-    How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament by DeRouchie

-    How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Naselli

Opportunity we have in our church to grow in doctrine

-    FCI classes

-    ABFs/small groups

·    Point Man groups

·    Ladies Bible studies

·    Personal mentoring

-    Biblical counseling training

·    Mondays

·    Biblical Counseling Training Conference

·    Wednesday FCI

Point: Grow in your knowledge of the doctrines of the church. In doing so, you will be more like Christ and love Him more.

III. Doctrine Promotes Intimacy with Christ

Ephesians 4:15 - …we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head…

Philippians 3:8 - More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…

This morning we are continuing our series on being

Being Careful How We Build.

This has been our years theme and I hope that you have enjoyed it.  Last week we stared Stewardship month which is our church’s month long focus on Stewardship and this month we have been focusing on how…

We Value the Body of Christ For those who need a little remining, since stewardship is not a term that we use all too often, we have defined….

Stewardship is – God-given responsibility with accountability.

Everyone here is a steward. God has given and entrusted each person here with a variety of things. And so it is good and right to take time to consider what are some principles that we need to live by in order to be good Stewards.

Over the years our church has organized these into four principles or factors:

The Four Factors of Stewardship.

1. God owns everything – you own nothing.

2. God has entrusted you with everything you have.

3. You can either increase or diminish what God has given – he wants you to increase it.

4. God can call you into account at any time and it may be today.

So in our series then, as we consider these factors and how we value the body of Christ we have laid out four messages that we are going to be talking about. First Pastor Viars spoke to us all about how we

  1. We value equipping.

It is the call of the church and the pastor to ensure that it is equipping its members to do the work of the ministry. What that means as well is that each member has to want to be equipped for greater and more faithful service to the Lord.

  1. We value doctrine.

 Is what we are going to talk about. Next week Pastor Viars is going to talk to us live her about…

  1. We Value Unity

And finally Pastor Kjaer will be talking to us about how we…

4. We value service

Today we are going to be talking about

By Valuing our Foundation of Doctrine: Three Ways Doctrine is Essential for Life.

We have been working through Eph. 4 for our study and as Pastor Viars mentioned last week there is a marked turn in this book starting in Chapter 4:1.

Ephesians 4:1 (NASB95) — 1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

Up until then Paul had been talking about what Theologians often call the Gospel Indicatives—focusing on who we are in Christ. Now it is time to take those identity statements and turn to what the Gospel calls us to do.

As you are turning there, take time to consider the importance of growing in knowledge for a moment. 

We have all played peek-a-boo with a baby—the game where  you hide behind your hands they think you have vanished. You remain quite for a moment or two and everyone, including the child waits with eager expectations.

Then with a load Boo…you move your hands, your face is revealed and magic you are back in the world.

Playing peek-a-boo with a baby is cute. They seem to love the game and they laugh so hard at it. From the distance adults even seem to enjoy the game as much, but of course their understanding is different. They know they are not vanishing…they are just trying to love the child by making them laugh.

But as that child grows up they start to figure out that you have not vanished by placing your hands in front of your face…you are just being weird.

The game loses its fun and by age 4 no kid is going to give you the time of day with peak-a-boo.

Try playing peek-a-boo with a ten year old and they will probably think you have lost your mind and they will start telling their friends that their dad needs help.

Why? Because they have learned that you have not gone anywhere. They have learned object permanence.

Learning brings us to maturity.

And it is with that in mind that we are going to talk about the importance of Doctrine.

Follow along with me as we read Eph. 4:1-16 and we see what the Word of the Lord would have for us this morning.

Now, before we get too far into talking about doctrine, I think we should consider what does the word actually mean. If you just pull up what the Dictionary says it says,

Introduction:

What is Doctrine? a set of beliefs or principles held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.[1]

If we turn to the Greek text for a moment the word that we see there is

Greek Word: διδασκαλία 

  • δα(ς), meaning “to teach
  • δαῆναι, “to learn”
    • The word calls attention to two aspects, being applied on the one side to the insight of the one who is to be instructed and on the other to the knowledge presupposed in the teacher[2]   
    • World—be true to you
    • There is no morality
    • Prosperity Gospel
  • Who is Jesus by 9Marks
  • Why Trust the Bible by Greg Gilbert
  • ESV Study Bible by Crossway
  • The New City Catechism
  • Introduction to the New Testament by Carson and Moo
  • The Jesus Story Book Bible
  • The Beginners Gospel Story Bible by Kennedy
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
  • Center Church by Tim Keller
  • How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament by DeRouchie
  • How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Naselli
  • FCI Classes
  • ABF’s/Small Groups
    • Point Main Groups
    • Ladies Bible Studies
    • Personal Mentoring
  • Biblical Counseling Training
    • Monday’s
    • February Training Conference
    • Wednesday FCI

here is what that means according to John MacArthur:

So you have this word that is just highlighting the action that is going on. You have someone who is teaching and you have someone who is receiving that teaching. So right now we are διδασκαλία  ing 😊

This teaching would come with a purpose, the purpose was to know Christ more. The goal was not just adding to our head knowledge, to accumulate facts about God. That is not going to do anyone here any good and just knowing facts about God is not going to help you love God more per se—the Devil knows more about God factually than anyone in this room.

Paul’s point here and elsewhere was that we would know at the intimate level God more. ….

Knowing about Christ is one of Paul’s Common Prayer for the Church (c.f. Eph. 1:17, Phi. 1:4, Col. 1: 9-10, 2:2)

The point here is that doctrine, in the eyes of Paul is essential and something that is regularly prayed for by him…so we should take it very seriously. By knowing Doctrine we will know Jesus.

First then we see that

I.                   Doctrine Helps us Grow into Maturity

This point, even at face value, makes plane sense to all of us. One of the primary jobs of a parent is to teach their children; to help them grow up into maturity.

Kids are born foolish and they don’t know much of anything. The are beautiful and in their innocence, they are just an adorable. It is almost cute seeing them not know how the world works.  But over time that cuteness dies down.

The same is true for the believer. Doctrine helps us grow into maturity.

Our text specifically says that we are to grow…

A.     By no longer being Children

Ephesians 4:14 “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine”

The apostle uses a the metaphor of a child to make his point picture clear. You were at one point a child. It was cute, we all understood what was happening. But those days are long gone. It is time for you to grow up.

There is nothing cute about a 10 year old still believing in peek-a-boo. There is nothing adorable about 20 year old still having to be fed by their parents. There is nothing precious about a 30 year old believing that his dad can grab his nose…you know that little trick when he reaches over and presents the thumb and says, “I’ve got your nose”.

In society we expect children to grow up into maturity and when we don’t we all see if for the tragedy that it is. We all have seen persons in this world that, as an adult in terms of age, don’t seem to actually grow up. And the culprit there is not just the child, the parent can be guilty at times.

So here when Paul calls you a child it is a bad thing. He is highlighting a willful immaturity. The particular word that he choses for child is

children (νήπιος, lit., one who does not talk)—Infants

When you think about this type of child it is the child who is a consumer, it does whatever makes it happy and has no ability to be wise or discern what is good or right. It does not give back it just takes and takes.

Now there is a time and place for that in the life of every person, but that has to stop and Paul calls for those who claim Christ to grow and no longer be children. 

Dear Brothers and Sister, can I ask you today are you still functioning like a spiritual baby? Are you willfully choosing not to grow into maturity in Christ? Are you happy to have others do the adulting while you sit back?

I want to be sure that you hear what I am saying. I am not saying that we need to move past some of the more elemental parts of the gospel.

I’ll never forget one of the first meetings I had with Pastor Viars when he was overseeing my counseling training. We were talking about a particular case and in my pride I said, “But when do we move past all this gospel stuff and onto more serious and deep matters.”

I’ll spare you the rest of that conversation…😊

That is not what I am saying. We don’t move past some of the core truths that brought us to Christ like the good news of the cross, but Christ calls for us to know more and more about him…to learn the Doctrines that he has set out in his word.

So then, if the passage calls us to grow up and leave that behind.

The question then, how do we grow up? What does that mean and look like? You grow up…

B.      By Becoming like Christ

Ephesians 4:15 — but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

The call to grow to maturity is the call to become like Christ.

Christ is the picture of the perfect and the mature man. He is the person that we are to be trying to be like. So yes, you might have persons in your life that you look up to; that you emulate. However, the person that you are to be striving after the most is Christ.

Not only because scripture calls you to, but also you should grow up to be like Christ because in doing so you will know joy and happiness unlike anything else.

I went a couple of months ago on a boating trip with some friends. Now I am not a person that spends any time on lake let alone any water craft. We went out on a speed boat and we were going to do all the skiing, wake boarding, etc.

Now I was a total newb, and to be honest even though I tried a bunch I never got up on the skies for more than a few moments and then I went down.

My friends were super gracious. Though they had quite a few good laughs at my expense, they were super patient and worked hard to get me better and better at the attempts. One of them even got in the water with me and tried and tried to help me…of course to no avail.

Now some of the others on the trip were much better—having no problem getting up on their skis and no problem doing even some tricks.

I had fun, don’t get me wrong, but who do you think had more fun? Me or those who were not only able to get up and not be dragged across the water but do tricks? As they became a better and better skier they enjoyed the experience more and more.

The reason that they could do all the fun tricks that they were doing is because they pushed themselves. They didn’t come out of the womb knowing how to do that stuff. They had seen someone set the example of how to do these tricks and they pushed to get there.

Of course, they had met failure plenty of times, but they kept pushing over and over and eventually got it. And because they did that, I’m confident that they had much more fun and found the process far more enjoyable than I did. Yes, I had fun, but they had so much more.

So my point is, yes scripture calls you to grow up to Christ, but what I am trying to highlight is that by doing so you will find life so much more enjoyable!! Don’t see it as the dreary thing that you have to do but see the joy that is set before you!

As you grow you will find true joy there!

Also, in this part of our passage Paul says that we to become like Christ by speaking the truth in love…what is going on here?

First and foremost, you become like Christ by the speaking of the word. We speak the word here in a public way, we speak it to each other in a private way. The way that we are changed into the image of Christ is through the word of God.

As we are speaking that word, it needs to be done in love.

Over and over Scripture reminds us that if something is done without love, then it is useless.

Remember the words of the great love chapter?

1 Corinthians 13:1–3 (NASB95) — 1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

The point being that if we do not speak in love to one another as we try to build one another up…then that speaking as in vain. As we become like Christ, it must be in love.

There is the call to grow into maturity, to put off being a child and to become like Christ and our passage says that one of the main reasons we are going to do that is because….

II.                Doctrine Protects us from Being Deceived

Back to my peek-a-boo metaphor for a moment. Imagine that I had taken that game just a little bit further. Instead of just using my hands, now I introduced a sheet so that I tossed the entire thing over my body and you could not see my body. How cruel would it be if I had convinced my 10 year old that by putting that sheet on that I was no longer present—and he believed it.

If he didn’t know object permanence—that by getting under the sheet I didn’t just vanish—then he would be deceived. What a cruel thing to do to a person!

Beloved, that is what our enemy is out there doing. He is out there trying to deceive us and…

Simply put, knowing God’s word will help protect, prevent, and defend you from being deceived. The enemies of God are all over us in this world; pushing their agenda and as followers of Christ we need to know what God’s word has to say so that we can carefully think through what the world is telling us.

So Doctrine will protect us from being deceived….

A.     From the lies of the World

Ephesians 4:14by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming”

Let us think through the most common and most painful lies that the world is trying to get us to believe right now.

This lie says that if you are just true to you, what you want, who you are, then you will find true joy and satisfaction. It pushes this lie the most when it comes to sexuality and gender identity right now but it has been peddling this lie for much longer than those two new issues.

Maybe the world has told you to be true to you by going out and partying with your friends. If you want to have a little fun, there is nothing wrong with that.

Or maybe it has told you that you are just an introvert…so you don’t have to love others. That is just not who you are.

Or maybe it has told you that you are just not one of those people who serves right now. You are going to contribute in other ways.

My point is, the world is screaming the message BE TRUE TO YOU!!

And dear brothers and sisters my hope is that by you knowing Doctrine More, by you knowing God’s word better you will be able to see right through that attempted deception.

The world also says…

How can you say that this is wrong or that is better? What is truth, there is no truth. Sure there is some stuff in that dusty old Bible of yours, but what good does it really do?

Friends, you must know Doctrine so that you can silence those attempting to deceive you.

Or another insidious lie is that…

If you will just do xyz then God will bless you. You will have riches and a good life. If you are a good person, then things will go good for you.

Doctrine refutes that. Christ, who was the best person to ever live, lived a life of suffering, pain and death. But he lived a life that was focused on the truth of being pleasing to his heavenly Father.

Doctrine helps you sift through what the world is saying and cements your feet on the solid word of God’s truth.

You must get to know it.  But it also does more. Doctrine helps us not be derived from…

B.      From the lies in Ourselves 

You are the person that talks to yourself more than anyone else. You might hear from the world and from others, but you hear from yourself more than anyone else…and here is one of the great problems…you lie to yourself and dwell on all sorts of wrong things.

Jeremiah 17:9 (NASB95) — 9The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Everyone here is tainted by the curse of sin. Yes, the world is trying to deceive you, but even if you were on an island alone you still would have your own heart that would be trying to lead you to sin.

Everyone here is tainted by sin and is in need of a solution to that problem.

Praise God that he provides a solution to that problem by sending his Son into the world. To live a perfect life, to suffer and the to die on the cross.

Since we are talking doctrine, Christs death on the cross is called the vicarious or substitutionary atonement.  He stood in your place to receive the punishment that you deserved, and you received the reward that he earned—you could have your relationship restored to the Father and have your problem of sin solved.

All you must do is cry out in faith believing that it is his work on that cross in your place is what will save you and nothing else, and then by faith live a life that is pleasing to him by obeying his word.

In our context here then you need to know God’s word so that you can change your sinful heart. You need God’s word to help replace the lies that you believe and put the truth of God’s word in your heart. 

Lastly then…

III.             Doctrine Promotes Intimacy with Christ

Ephesians 4:15 “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head”

The more that you get to know about Christ, the more you are going to fall in love with him. Consider this other passage from Paul in Philippians…

Philippians 3:8 (NASB95) —  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

Think of this in terms of the relationship that I have with my children for a moment.

From the day that they are conceived, to coming out of the womb my love for them is there. But the more they grow up, the more we build up our relationship, the more we spend time together that love grows more and more deep.

Nothing can ever change the love that I have for my children, but the more we spend time together, the more we get to know one another, the sweeter and deeper my love grows.

The same is true of your relationship with Christ. The more time you spend with him, in the word and in prayer, the more you will fall in love with him. The more you get to know about him—the way he thinks, the things that he values, the way he acts—they more you are going to fall in love with him.

Can I ask how much you consider your relationship with Christ as a building of intimacy? When you look at your Bible, and the various resources that you have that help you understand it, do you see it as a time to build your relationship with Christ or do you see it as a time to just do what you are told?

Consider if that would work in your parenting for a moment.

Hi son, this is our regularly scheduled time that I have with you. I need to engage with you in order to fulfill my parenting duty. I will try to stay focused as much as I can, but I have a lot of other things on my mind right now so I am not sure that you will get my full attention.

I will try to show you that I enjoy our time, but again, I’m just not sure that I can give you what you want.

How much do you really think that our relationship would grow if I acted like that?

That relationship would be a joke!

Dear Brothers and Sister, you can’t treat Christ like that! You can’t just open up your Bible out of sheer duty for long. You can’t just drag your feet, so to speak to him, and hope that you will have a meaningful relationship with him.

Doctrine will help you change how you approach your time in God’s word. It will show you that God’s word says that it is delightful to spend time with him…in fact it is the most delightful time that you will have in your day.

It will show you how you see God’s word as nourishing…you soul will be nourished by it.

It will show you how you see God’s word as the truth that confronts you. Your sinful state needs a new direction.

The more you get to know the Doctrines of the Church, the more you will fall in love with Christ. The more you fall in love with Christ, the more you will find true joy and life!

Now, as we rap up our time, I would like to leave you with some resources that you can use to take the next step in growing in your knowledge of Doctrine

Helpful Resources to Grow in Your Doctrine:

Beginners

For “Kids”

Intermediate

Advanced

Opportunity we have in our Church to Grow in Doctrine

Simply put, there are all kinds of opportunities for us to grow in our Doctrine around here. The only reason that you are not going to be growing is because that is the course that you have chosen.

The point that we have been trying to say today is this:

Point: Grow in your knowledge of the doctrines of the church. In doing so, you will be more like Christ and love him more.

Let’s not be like a 10 year old’s who are still enthralled with peek-a-boo. Let’s be men and women who love God and grow in maturity each and every day.

[1] Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

[2] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 135.


Dustin Folden

B.S - Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Dustin Folden and his wife Trisha joined the Pastoral Staff in 2010. They have two children, Mackenna & Sawyer. They enjoy playing board games, cooking together and going on hiking adventures. Pastor Folden shepherds the 9:30 worship service, oversees the Adult Bible Fellowship ministry, the Wednesday evening Faith Community Institute as well as serves in Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.

Read Dustin Folden's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Folden to Faith Church.