⦁ A Doctrinal Outline of the Letters of Paul.
As we track item for item on doctrine through the Bible exactly as recorded, try at least for the reading of this chapter to set aside doctrinal propaganda which has been made by men. It may save your life, and it certainly will make a better kingdom of Christ member out of you.
7-1: “Doctrine” in the Bible.
Word studies in the Bible are always helpful in leading us through the Bible in the total meaning of the Word of God, hence we have seen historical like VINE’S WORD STUDIES OF THE BIBLE, and etc. Likewise we can learn much about the true meaning from the total Word of God in tracing the word doctrine through the Bible. Since Job is agreeable the oldest book in the Bible, we will start there!
1. Job 11:4.
“For you have said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in your eyes.”
This is Zophar, one of Job’s ill-advised conselors whom God had to put in their place near the end of the book, telling Job that he was going to take the place of reproving Job. What earlier statement had Job made to Zophar? (Job 6:30) What Job had really done was to appeal to the righteous acts in his life in the presence of Zophar: that was his doctrine.
2. Deuteronomy 32:2.
Here we begin to see that doctrine is something beautiful and that it comes from God. God is very possessive of doctrine.
“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, as raindrops on the tener herb, and as showers on the grass.”
This is called the Song of Moses and Moses is speaking to the congregation of Israel. The quote above is from the New King James Version which translated the word “doctrine” into “teaching” which also tells us about the true meaning of doctrine. But notice the beauty of God’s teachings or doctrine: drops as rain, distills as dew, like raindrops on tender plants and showers on the grass!
NOTE: Would that the doctrines on marriage, divorce, and one-wife husbands for pastors and deacons would so gracefully fall on ears that have not been overcome with itching.
3. Proverbs 4:2.
This is wisdom talking to the children of wisdom!
“Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding; for I give you good doctrine: do not forsake my law.” (Proverbs 4:1,2)
We learn several things: doctrine is a old word in the Bible; doctrine comes from wisdom; doctrine is related to instruction and understanding; and good doctrine is the law. Surely we must think of the law of marriage and divorce!
4. Isaiah 28:9.
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little…” (Isaiah 28:9,10)
It is interesting to note that what is “make to understand doctrine” in the King James Version is “make to understand the message” in the New King James Version; so that what this would mean in terms of the marriage doctrine that we have been considering is that for us to understand the doctrine of marriage is to understand the “message” of marriage.
NOTE: Shortly we will come back to the letters of the Apostle Paul where we will see that Paul uses the very same analogy of milk and babes and doctrine.
5. Isaiah 29:24.
Wow, it is the Bible that puts those that err in spirit in the same catergory as those who need to learn doctrine.
“These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmured will learn doctrine.”
3-2: “Doctrine” from Jesus.
6. Matthew 7:28.
“And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
Note that once again the New King James Version uses the word “teaching”, the teaching of Jesus, in the place of the word “doctrine” in the King James Version. Wow, we had best listen here; for indeed, Jesus does speak with authority. He very much speaks clearly and with authority on this matter of marriage and divorce and adultery.
All of the previous verses that we looked at could be quoted as “teaching” in the place of “doctrine”: the time will come when they will not endure sound teaching; be not children tossed to and fro by every wind of teaching; all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for teaching; and etc.
7. Matthew 15:9.
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:7-9)
There is the real danger: when the teaching is no longer sound doctrine then it comes from men, and when the doctrines come from men then also the worship can become vain worship!
NOTE: Here the New King James Version can not change doctrine to teachings although they are closely related. If it did the Bible would read “teaching as teachings the commandments of men”.
8. Matthew 16:12.
“Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Here doctrine is compared by Jesus Himself to the leaven in the bread, so deadly as can be the affect of unsound teachings of doctrines from men. We think of the little treatise that James made in his book of the deadly affects of a “tongue” gone astray, then we think of that tongue having with it the killing affects of leaven.
9. Matthew 22:33.
“And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”
Once again “His teaching” in the place of “His Doctrine” in the New King James Version. What do we think of? The teaching of Jesus; the teaching of Jesus; and that if we love Him we will keep His commandments and teachings! Incidentally Jesus was answering a question about marriage and the resurrection.
10. Mark 1:22.
“And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:21,22)
11. Mark 1:27.
“And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.” (Mark 1:27)
It is a sad day when the doctrines or teachings of Jesus appear to be new doctrine to any people of God! Yet that is exactly what can happen in future generations as unsound doctrine slowly erods at sound doctrine, and new things are heard until finally the new sounds like old and the truth is turned into fables.
12. Mark 4:2.
“And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine…”
Even in the teachings of parables, Jesus was teaching doctrine. It was His Doctrine, and we had better not forget that! And you see something else here in the word “doctrine” as used above, for it would also make sense to translate 4:2 above as “said unto them in his methodlogy of teaching. So that in doctrine we can see both the content of teaching and the method of teaching. Here the specific method to communicate teaching was through the method of parables. It is the method in parables as much as the content that keeps some away from understanding. One obvious way they refuse to understand parables is the thought that the truth of God and from God could not be that simple. It is sort of like refernces to the cross as turning people off, the wise of this world are offended at simplicity and crudity.
There are certain key buzz words that allow each denomination to immediately recognize the orthodoxy of their own, and those buzz words are most generally extra-biblical. That is, not found in the Bible, but by both custom and tradition their members have come to detect them immediately, and if in case their memories slip a little, there is constantly denominational literature and meetings to remind them. What a state of affairs any denomination, and all denominations are in when “what saith the denominational literature?” is more important to them than “what saith the scripture”. Unfornutalely the only major doctrines many Baptist have on those items on the offering envelope like daily Bible reading, giving, visitation, and etc–all good things but hardly to be substitutes for the major doctrines of the Bible!
13. Mark 7:7.
NOTE: See how many of these quotes about doctrine are from the book of Mark, second only to the quotes about doctrine in the letters from Paul to which we will soon draw a focus. And if my theory about the book of Mark is correct, that Paul left a couple of manuscripts for John Mark to use in the writing of the Gospel of Mark, then much of Mark is also from Paul.
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mark 7:7)
How tragic it would be that simultaneously as the erosion of sound doctrine comes the worship that is in vain!
14. Mark 11:18.
“And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people were astonished at his doctrine.”
This was after Jesus overturned the moneychangers in the temple, so that you see that doctrine is much more than teaching. It is also action based on teaching. It is action based on character!
15. Mark 12:38.
“And he said unto them in his doctrine. (here it sounds as though Jesus is clothed in his doctrine) Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: which devour widows’ houses, and for a prestence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.” (Mark 12:38-40)
16. Luke 4:32.
“And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.”
You can not miss the obvious connection between doctrine, word, and power.
7-3: “Doctrine” from the Apostle John.
“I need something less heady…something more emotional”, one might say, “in order to meet my needs. How about giving me something from the Gospel of John.” Okay, as follows–
17. John 7:16.
Although John was among the last five books of the New Testament to be written, we will look at it now as sort of an interpretation of all that follows from Paul, and a re-inforcement.
“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” (John 7:16,17)
(1). The Doctrine of Jesus came from God. It is Doctrine of God.
(2). The man that is willing to do the will of God can distinguish whether it is Doctrine of God of teachings of men.
(3). Out of pride some teach for doctrines the commandments of men, seeking more their own glory that the glory of the Father.
(4). This is righteousness, to teach the doctrines of Jesus.
18. John 18:19.
“The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine…” (John 18:19)
Today, people are also asking us of who are His disciples and what are his doctrines!
“…Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said…” (John 18:20,21)
Yes, ask the people what Jesus has said! Ask church history, and Baptist history, and current Southern Baptist History. Ask the historical statements of faith, and the preachers and commentators like Augustine, Calvin, Knox, etc that you have come to know and trust.
7-4: A Doctrinal Outline of the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul.
Now, we come to the places in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul in his 14 New Testament letters used the word “doctrine”. They are 24 in number which makes them almost equal to all other Biblical usages of the word “doctrine”; and that makes this volume worthy of the title DOCTRINE IN THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL. or for short, DOCTRINE.
Once again I will use the sequence of the writing of the 14 letters as developed in one of my previous commentaries: REMEMBER MY BONDS: THE LIFE AND 14 NEW TESTAMENT LETTERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL. This is by no means claimed to be a perfect sequent; and I am sure there are some flaws in it; but it is just a best effort to get the actual historical development of the letters and doctrines as they came from Jesus and were written on parchments.
One sequencing: Hebrews; Galatians; Romans; I,II Thessalonians; I,II Corinthians; Titus; I Timothy; Ephesians/Colossians; Philippians; II Timothy; and Phileomon. And we order the 24 usages of “doctrine” in Paul’s letters accorinding to this same sequencing. This sorting brings us first ot Hebrews 6:1,2
1. Doctrine in Hebrews 6:1.2.
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 6:1,2)
This gives us a good list of “fundamental doctrines” as well as a list we would expect was developed in the first half of the book of Hebrews. You will recall that the book of Hebrews was a summary, no doubt with additions at the end, of Paul’s typical address to the Jewish synagogues. No telling how often and in how many cities in the synagogues, Paul delivered this same message. I am sure it was among the first of the manuscripts that he wrote in preparation for delivery; however it could have been published much later in the sense of making it available for distribution among New Testament churches. Back to the fundamental doctrines.
. Doctrine of Christ.
. Repentance from dead works.
. Faith toward God.
. Doctrine of Baptisms.
. Laying on of Hands.
By the way on this basic doctrine, you will recall that God’s instructions to Ananias during the call to the Ministry of Saul was for Ananias to lay his hands on Saul in order that he might see, no doubt this was both physical and spiritual. (Acts 9:12)
. Resurrection of the dead.
Wow, that alone is going to be a fruitful study!
2. Doctrine in Hebrews 13:9.
“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” (Hebrews 13:9)
I think it is obvious that we have gotten into special additions to Hebrews here before publication, that went beyond the original synagogue addresses. So that Hebrews 13 would be included in special instructions for those already Christians.
3. Doctrine in Romans 6:17.
There is no specific usage of the word “doctrine” in Galatians; but that is no problem since we can cover Galatians and Romans simultaneously, Galatians being a recognized miniature of Romans.
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” (Romans 6:17)
Already, I hope we are beginning to see the lively nature of “doctrine” in the New Testament as contrasted to what perhaps we have come to experience in our previous Christian education, reading, and church life. Besides the fundamental “doctrine of Christ”, which we know has to be lively; we see here in Romans 6:17 a form of doctrine that is obeyed with the “heart”. I think that as we study Romans, and the doctrine of Romans, more thoroughly we will find that this “form of doctrine” is very similar to the fundamental doctrine of Christ.
Which brings up an interesting possiblity that we should have a section, chapter, or chapters on Fundamental Doctrines with first a coverage of Hebrews 1-6 and then of Romans 1-6 and the corresponding chapters of Galatians.
4. Doctrine in Romans 16:17.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)
Of course, we see the similarity to many other epistles of Paul here where like in I Corinthians and II Corinthians, etc he deals with divisions in the churches. As well as special instructions to pastors like Timothy and Titus to watch the doctrines and divsions. We are beginning to suspect that since this is at the end of Romans, it is very similar in Hebrews 13 with special instructions for the converts. Recall that even as Hebrews was the gospel especially for the Jews, so Romans was the gospel for the Gentiles and Jews. After they were converted the Gentiles like the Hebrews (and some Gentiles) would need special instructions. That also leads us to the natural conclusion that Romans 12-16 is more advanced doctrine. This can be easily verified by reading Romans 12:1,2.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye amy prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1,2)
. It is addressed to “brethren”.
. Bodies become a living sacrifice after conversion.
. “reasonable service” comes after fundamentals.
. Likewise the perfect will of God.
5. Doctrine in I Corinthians 14:6.
There is no usage of the word “doctrine” per se in I and II Thessalonians, but from our studies we know the subject matter to be primarily on eschatalogy or last things. Also none in II Corinthians, but I Corinthians can be used to outline II Corinthians on doctrine. Also we will look at other equivalent words to “doctrine” like teaching, teachings, instructions, commandments, etc. Recall that the New King James Version uses teachings in place of doctrine. That makes it the number one candidate for the equivalent of doctrine.
“I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a disticntion in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet given an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Corinthians 14:5-8)
What we are looking for here in doctrine is Distinctive and Certain Sounds!
6. Doctrine in I Corinthians 14:26.
“If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” (I Corinthians 14:23-26)
We would have to label this as the doctrine of how to worship in the churches!
. A concern for the unlearned and unbelievers, and what they think during the worship service.
. Prophesy or preaching or testifying by all in a consistent manner leads these unlearned and unbelievers to be convinced, judged, and the secrets of his heart are manifest.
. Unbelievers and unlearned will fall down and worship God.
. Unbelievers and unlearned will leave with a good report that God is in that church!
. Divers doctrines are a confusion to the unbeliever and unlearned.
7. Doctrine in Titus 1:9.
Here in the Pastoral Epistles of Titus, I Timothy, and II Timothy, we find the concentration of “doctrine” usages, 16 times to be specific, as we would expect in biblical instructions to pastors and evangelists. After all, they with Apostles and Prophets, which are really no more, are the ones that are charged with the responsibilities for the total Ministry, including doctrine. And what we are leading up to is the apex of Ephesians where all these leaders are given for the work of the ministry, for the building up or edifying of the body of Christ. Ephesians being quite a summary of all Paul had written in the first ten letters up to that point. Of course, according to our sequencing, we want to look at Titus and I Timothy in front of, or pre-Ephesian, and II Timothy behind or post-Ephesian.
“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouddest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: if any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine (there’s that word again) both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers…” (Titus 1:5-9)
A key to worship in the churches and to doctrine without divisions is the pastor, here referred to as the “elder” and the “bishop”. We notice that there is far more doctrine to consider in the ordination, “the laying on of hands”, of pastors and deacons than we considered in the first two chapters of this volume. Indeed, far beyond the requirement for “the husband of one wife”, is the need for church leadership to hold fast to the faithful word of God, being able by lives and words with “sound doctrine” to exhort gainsayers.
8. Doctrine in Titus 2:1.
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sover, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience…” (Titus 2:1)
What a good chapter on doctrine! It is doctrine for the aged men, for the aged women, the young women, the young men, and servant. Here you see that doctrine is really the way we live in Christ!
9. Doctrine in Titus 2:7.
“Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things hewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemened; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” (Titus 2:7,8)
Notice all these required aspects of doctrine.
. sound speech.
10. Doctrine in Titus 2:10.
“Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; (this would in our day be instructions for employess to supervisors) not answering again; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” (Titus 2:9,10)
I bet you never thought of doctrine related to your supervisor; but the basic goal goes back to the doctrine of Christ, to “adorn the doctreine of God our Saviour in all things”.
11. Doctrine in I Timothy 1:10.
We get a deeper, newer, more full meaning of sound doctrine here in terms of what is contrary, or the opposite of sound doctrine: it is ungodly, sinners, whoremongs, etc.
“But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully: knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteousness man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with manking, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons,a nd if there by any other thing THAT IS CONTRARY TO SOUND DOCTRINE; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” (I Timothy 1:8-11)
The real question that we must answer here for the purpose of our doctrinal outline of the letters of Paul is, with this treatment of law as compared to Romans and Galatians, and with delving into the gospel, have we gone beyond the gospel treatments, generally referred to as the Doctrine of Christ, or are we still in that development with a special focus for a young evangelist? It really looks like Paul has gone back to the fundamental doctrine of Christ with a special focus for ministers.
12. Doctrine in I Timothy 4:1,6,13, and 16.
Wow, this must be with 4 usages in one chapter, the Doctrinal Chapter of the Bible!
THE DOCTRINAL CHAPTER OF THE BIBLE, I TIMOTHY 4:
. Doctrines of devils come along with departure from the faith and seducing spirits, I Timothy 4:1.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats…” (I Timothy 4:1-3)
This will be a lively, interesting, and informative study when later in this volume we come to the chapter on “The Doctrinal Chapter of the Bible”. Perhaps we can even find where in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Christ expressly told of these departures from the faith, unless we find that the Spirit of Christ expressly told only Paul in Arabia or back at Tarsus. And interesting also will be how the “latter times” will fit into the “last days” of Acts 2.
. I Timothy 4:6.
“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shlt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thous hast attained.” (I Timothy 4:6)
This gives us both insight into the Ministry of Paul himself and the same type of Ministry that he would encourage on his own son in the faith, Timothy. The Ministry is a reminder ministry, “put the brethren in remembrance”; and it is a reflection of the training (nourishment, also a lively concept) in words of faith and doctrine.
. I Timothy 4:13.
“Til I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (I Timothy 4:13)
Doctrine is in good company here with reading and exhortation. In fact, it would seem that doctrine is the key element between reading and exhortation. If you don’t read the Bible, how can you know the doctrine of the Bible; and if you exhort, you must exhort the doctrine of the Bible rather than your own doctrines or the doctrines of devils that we have already read about in this chapter!
. I Timothy 4:16.
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (I Timothy 4:16)
The salvation of souls are dependent on sound doctrine!
13. Doctrine in I Timothy 5:17.
“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” (I Timothy 5:17)
We already know that the elder is another word for pastor or bishop, and that in New Testament churches there were a multiplicity of pastors. So the pastors that minister in the teaching and preaching word as well as administer the church are to be worthy of a larger salary, to put it bluntly!
14. Doctrine in I Timothy 6:1.
“Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.” (I Timothy 6:1)
We are reminded once again of the source of the doctrine of Paul and of the Bible: it is “his doctrine”, the doctrine of the name of God! As we read once again of servants we are reminded of the instructions to the church or churches where Titus pastored.
15. Doctrine in I Timothy 6:3.
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw theyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (I Timothy 6:3-6)
Wow, we will have a good time in the Word when we come to this! I think if doctrinal issues arise in the local church, or even on the association and denomiational level, we should caution ourselves to see if the atmosphere and circumstances fit into the categorical description above where a certain man seems not to consent to wholesome words and the “doctrine of godliness”: pride, doting questions, strife with words, envy, railings, surmising, etc.
In our outline although we have already shown this in the category of special instructions, we must also make it an appendage and application of the doctrine of godliness in Advanced Doctrine.
16. Doctrine of Ephesians 4:14.
In this great summary of the first 9 books from Paul, we already know from reading Ephesians of the basic doctrines which are the great ONE’s of the New Testament: one body, one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and One God and Father (Ephesians 4:4-6). These will have to be the summarizing statements of the Fundamentals, as well as of Ephesians up through 4:16.
“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)
Thus we have passed from the fundamentals to the necessity of a review of the fundamentals, advanced doctrine, and special instructions in order to guard against not only the doctrines of devils, but also of clever and crafty men who will out of different motiovation “deceive”. We know from previously looking at I Timothy that some even have their conscience seared with a hot iron, in other words, it is ineffective as a sufficient guide on doctrine.
Likewise from our previous Bible studies (I hope you have ready my commentary on Ephesians, ONE NEW COMMENTARY ON EPHESIANS, from 1987, we know the rest of Ephesians to be a summary of the special instructions.
17. Doctrine in Colossians 2:22.
Colossians and Ephesians were written about the same time (Ephesians 6:21,22; Colossians 4:7; and Colossians 4:16); and no doubt, you have noted that the subject matter is very similar. However, each makes a significant contribution to the life and walk of the Christian in the wording. This then would make Ephesians and Colossians somewhat share the distinction of the Summary of the first 9 books.
“Let no man beguile your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment minstered, and knit together, increasing with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch no; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?” (Colossians 2:18-22)
We are reminded again that some doctrines originate with men, being always careful of the source of our commandments and doctrines!
You can see the similarity to the body of Christ in Ephesians and of the work of the minstry of the church. From this end of chapter 2 of Ephesians, we then have a chapter on Advanced doctrine, Colossians 3, closely akin to the doctrine of godliness, and a conclusion with special instructions, Colossians 4.
18. Doctrine in II Timothy 3:10.
Philippians will be found to be very similar in message as far as doctrine, not the exact wording, to what is found in Colossians and Ephesians; and will be so covered in our outline of the next section of this chapter. Now, as we proceed to real books after Ephesians, namely II Timothy, we expect to find great advancemnts on revelations.
“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moes, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconiu, at Lystar; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delived me.” (II Timothy 3:8-11)
The new revelations are not immediately apparent here, but they are at the beginning of the chapter, chapter 3, as Paul talks about the “last days” and the perilous times.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud…” (II Timothy 3:1,2)
We will need to look for this source of revelation in the Old Testament, or in direct revelations to Paul in Arabia and/or at Tarsus, or even word of mouth from James and Peter.
19. Doctrine in II Timothy 3:16.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for corrections, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, througly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16,17)
With this previous study of “doctrine” in the Bible and in particular in the letter of Paul, these often memorized verses take on new meaning. Besides the basic statement of the source of all scriptures, from Paul or otherwise, as given by the “inspiration of God” with a need to later discuss we difference between inspiration, revelation, and illumination; we have a significant outline:
. Scripture is Profitable for Doctrine.
. Scripture is profitable for Reproof.
. Scripture is profitable for Corrections.
. Scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness.
. Perfection of the Man of God.
And as we often find in the Bible, these are five different ways of saying the same thing: in other words, besides the initial statement that Scriptures are profitable for doctrine, then the same things is stated four other ways.
20. Doctrine in II Timothy 4:3.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachings, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (II Timothy 4:3,4)
ARE WE THERE ALREADY? Yes, look around you!
7-5: The doctrinal outline of the 14 letters of Paul, the outline for this volume IV.
If you need a commentary, and most do, or a catecism of doctrine, use this outline and with it in hand go through your Bible step by step. You might pause often to read the verses around those referenced to get it in total Bible context.
1. Fundamentals of doctrine.
. Hebrews 1:1-6:12.
. Romans 1-11.
. Galatians 1-?
. I Timothy 1
. Ephesians 1:1-4:16.
2. More Advanced doctrine.
. Hebrews 6:13-12:29.
. Romans 12-15.
(2). The doctrine of godliness, I Timothy 6 and Colossians 3.
3. Special Instructions on Doctrines and Divisions.
. Hebrews 13.
. Romans 16.
. Galatians ?
. Titus 4 and I Timothy 6.
(2). Distinctive and Certain Sounding Doctrines, like a Trumpet.
. I Corinthians 1-14:22
(3). Doctrine: the How-To of Church Work.
. How to worship in the church: I Corinthians 14:23-39
. How to select pastors in the church: Titus 1.
. The Ministry of the pastors: Titus 2 and I Timothy 5.
(4). Summary of Special Instructions, Ephesians 4:17-6:24 and Colossians 4.
4. Eschatalogy or Last Things.
(1). I Thessalonians.
(2). II Thessalonians.
(3). I Corinthians 15,16
5. New Revelations on the Last Days.
(1). II Timothy 3,4.
6. Why Doctrine? II Timothy 3:14-17.
7. Are We There Already? II Timothy 4:1-4.
NOTE: You can download this outline of Paul’s Letters in PDF free and in color.