Regarding sound doctrine, take special note of Paul ‘s exhortations to Timothy: “Till I come, give attention to reading [the Scriptures], to exhortation, to doctrine” and “take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you (1 Tim 4:13,16).
[For further study, read John 7:16,17; Acts 2:42; Romans 6:17,18; 1 Timothy 1:3-11; 4:6; 6:3; 2 Timothy 3:16; 4:2-4; Titus 2:6- 10.]
For almost two thousand years Christians have held to Bible-based, orthodox Christian beliefs which are agreed upon by believers in Jesus Christ. Though small points of difference among believers might still exist, these are insignificant compared with the extreme and heretical differences found in the false doctrines of cults and false religions.
Presented below are some biblical, foundational doctrines that conservative Christians ALL hold in common. There is not room to present every detail; neither is it possible to discuss every Christian doctrine. But this list does reflect the basic core beliefs held by and essential to historic Christianity and can be used to help compare and discern the erroneous teaching of false religions and cult groups.
1.The Doctrine of the Scriptures
The Holy Bible is the only true revelation given by God to the prophets and apostles of the Old and New Testaments. However, false religions and cults:
- Attempt to promote their own writings as equal or superior to the Bible
- Claim that they have a “newer revelation” that replaces the Bible
- Claim that there are errors in the Bible or that it is incomplete. They assert that their beliefs, doctrines, revelations or writings “correct” the supposed errors or add the missing parts.
The Bible (the Old Testament and New Testament) is the ultimate authority because the Scriptures were given to us by God Himself (2 Tim 3:16). The Holy Bible, the Word of God, has been revealed directly by God into the hearts and minds of men who faithfully and carefully recorded those words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The foundation of the Bible’s authority is God Himself. All true authority is ultimately based upon and derives from God (Rom 13:1). The Bible has its ultimate origin with and from God. Because God is the Author, the Bible has authority. It is considered to be authoritative (trustworthy) concerning God, salvation and the Christian life. To accept the Bible ‘s authority means that we should believe and practice what the Bible teaches .
There are three principles that are key to the Doctrine of the Scriptures:
- The Inspiration of the Scriptures – All Scripture is “God-breathed” (inspired by God), given to us by God (2 Tim 3:16; read also 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20,21). The Bible is not the invention of men or a collection of men ‘s opinions, ideas or mythical stories
- The Inerrancy of the Scriptures – The Bible is completely trustworthy because it is inerrant, which means the Bible contains NO mistakes or contradictions
It must be remembered that whatever God speaks is the Truth – and without error! This is because He is the “God of truth” (Isa 65: 16) Who “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2; see also Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). Therefore, since God is true (John 3:33), His Word is also true (John 17:17). The Bible is a completely trust worthy guide for our faith (belief in God) and practice (life and behavior).