Friday, October 26, 2007

Desiring Doctrine

desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
(1 Timothy 1:7 – ESV)

Right teaching MUST be under-girded by right goals. What is your desire, to teach the law or to teach love? Is your goal born from a love for being a teacher or from a love for the teachings themselves? Look at the words Paul uses in this passage, right doctrine is more important than personal devotion and desire. Of course there are those who have right doctrine but only in their heads, but right doctrine held rightly leads to right personal devotion and desire.

In their desire to teach the Word they were not really good students of the Word and so not good stewards of the Word. They strayed from the focus because they didn’t stay with the focus as a guide to their study and so they wandered off.

They try and teach strange things they swerve from the main aim and they had impure motives. What they wanted to do was to be respected as a teacher and they go off into areas they know nothing of and they handle the Word wrongly and deceitfully. They are and they become even more overconfident and unteachable (1 Timothy 6:3-5). These people did not even understand the implications of their own teaching. They didn’t have the Law right either and they were missing love. Their knowledge was superficial when they thought it super spiritual. Many think they are going deep but what they’re really doing is just splashing around a lot and making a lot of waves at the shallow end, or worse yet, diving into poison waters.

If you can’t explain the core don’t try and explain more. “I know the core, Jesus died for your sins”, well then is that just the jump off point into more stuff or is it the very life? Can you explain how the Gospel applies to every part of your life? Are you devoted to and desiring to learn that as a disciple? No, well then that is why it isn’t enough for you. The message of the cross isn’t the doorway to more stuff it is the stuff itself. It is the way to love as Jesus loved, and when we do that we fulfill the law from the heart (Romans 13:8-10 / Galatians 5:14).

A healthy church is about a people who love in the right way, they relate to God rightly and therefore to each other rightly. They will be increasing in the knowledge of God’s Word and in the grace of Jesus Christ and so therefore increasing in love and grace toward one another.

Our job as disciples is not just to find out the difficult things but concentrate on what we do know already. Are we even doing that? Then why think some new stuff is the key to doing the old stuff? The problem then and now is with people who seem to be or want to be advanced beyond applying the gospel to their own lives. It is about more than merely knowing that or even how the gospel applies to every aspect of your life; it is about being transformed by the gospel in every aspect of your life. Before you desire to teach some deep truths, you must be devoted to doing sound doctrine in your own life.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

11 comments:

Even So... said...

There is a vast differnce between desiring knowledge of so called deep doctrine and application of basic doctrine...the later is the former as to importance...

Annette said...

I agree with you. Funny though, as I think about leading a bible study (just in the thinking stage) the more I see how poorly I live my life as a believer and then tend to think that I have no right thinking that I could even lead a class.

How does one find the balance?

Even So... said...

To keep feeling the tension between realizing "I am not doing as good as I ought" and "God's grace is suffcient" is to keep the balance.

Not swaggering nor sniveling (ht: Tim Keller for that description)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Even So... said...

?

donsands said...

Good study JD.

The wrong kind of deepness would be something like Open Theism, or the doctrine of hell that says it's simply a metaphor.

Would that be what your thinking?

Even So... said...

In context it was teachers who looked at OT types and shadows and genealogies and such and tried to recast or reinvigorate them.... we may liken this today to the recent spate of false teaching about "atonement offerings" and the like, of which I did a post called "what's wrong with this picture?"...

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

did you ever notice that even some people who think that can teach really can't at all - it makes me wonder what motivates them to even try.

Even So... said...

The comment above from 2:56 was spam...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Even So... said...

Spam again, same person (robot or whatever)...