Program Air Date - 3-7-04



Good morning! Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us to hear the Living Word of God. We are excited that you have chosen to give this time of sacrifice to our God. Won't you take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give your own reverence to God, as we together offer this time of worship to Him. May all things be done, to God, for God and unto His glory. Let's begin our offering to God with a prayer!


I would like to take a moment this morning and invite you to visit with the Conway Church of Christ in Conway, Missouri. This congregation is a new supporter of our work and they have just joined us in striving to take God's Will to those who live in this area. If you live in the Conway area you can meet with these brethren on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00 o'clock for Bible class, then a main worship follows at 10:00 a.m. Again on Sunday evening at 6:00 there is provided an opportunity to assemble before God.

The congregation at Conway also has a mid week service on Wednesday, in which they meet at 7:00 p.m. Please take time to visit with these good brethren if you have an opportunity. If you need further information or would like to contact this congregation please do so by calling one of their members, Dan Johnson at (417)589-0088. We thank these brethren for their help.

Now it's time to praise our God through song. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Redeemed."

(SONG # 1)


In Romans 6:17, we read, "But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered." Did you get all of that? God has delivered us from this world and darkness, but how? Through that form of doctrine which He has given us through His Word!

What does this tell us? Well, there obviously is a doctrine that can deliver us. There is a doctrine that must be obeyed in order to be saved. And there is something that one must do if they are to get rid of sin in their lives and choose to turn completely toward God. So the question we need to ask this morning is are you following the Will of God? Are you obedient to the form of doctrine with all of your heart that God requires us to follow if we are to be found proper in His Sight!

This morning, we will be starting a new series of study entitled, "The Important Doctrines of God." Our first lesson in this series is: "What is Doctrine?"

As far as our speaker, today we are glad to have brother Robert Moss with us, to lead us in our main study from God's Word. Brother Moss is the minister for the Hillcrest Church of Christ in Neosho, Missouri. We appreciate this fine brother and the good congregation which he represents!

So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Moss will return and lead us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Our God, He Is Alive."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Robert Moss

Good morning and welcome to our telecast this morning. I'm glad that you joined us and I hope you will at every opportunity. I'm thankful for those this morning who have made this opportunity available to me that I could speak on the subject, the important subject of doctrine, and I hope that this lesson will lay a great foundation for the lessons yet to come concerning this important Biblical subject.

The word "doctrine" as commonly found in the New Testament comes from a Greek word, the word "didasko" is the base word there and the meaning of that is simply this: teaching. When we talk about doctrine, the doctrine of Jesus Christ, we're talking about His teachings. The Bible is it's own best commentary and thus as we look to the Bible, the context of this word will help us to understand exactly what we're saying.

In Matthew chapter 7 ad verse 28 we find the scriptures saying, "And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine." Jesus set forth sayings here the Bible says, "the people were astonished at His doctrine." So the sayings of Jesus and doctrine are synonymous there. Now these sayings came from possibly the greatest sermon that has ever been recorded, the Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, Jesus talked about a number of subjects. For instance, He covered the subject of the Beatitudes, adultery, divorce, love, prayer, treasures, and other such topics. Each of these are looked upon as doctrine, His sayings, His doctrine, His teachings. Jesus warned, concerned the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadduccees in Matthew chapter 16 and verse 12. We're warned of the doctrine of devils by Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 1. In Revelation chapter 2 and verse 14, we're told concerning the doctrine of Balem these all refer to the teachings set forth by these. It does not refer to the fact that they exist. The readers already knew they existed. This concerned their teaching, the doctrine of Christ, His teachings which went forth from Him in person and later on by His inspired apostles. It refers to the truths which Christ Himself taught.

The terms "faith," "gospel," "truth," "word," are all used interchangeably in different ways referring to the same body of truth, the doctrine of Christ. The Bible refers to proper doctrine as sound doctrine. For instance, in Titus chapter 2 and verse 1, "But speak now the things which become sound doctrine." Titus chapter 1 and verse 9, we find an encouragement concerning an elder. "Holding fast the faithful word as he had been taught that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the game sayers." So we find the words "sound doctrine" there. The word "sound" literally means healthy. He refers to healthy doctrine. This is doctrine that comes from Christ. It comes from God and therefore it is healthy for us both spiritually as well as physically. But the Bible gives us some very stern warnings concerning departing from that doctrine.

In 1 Timothy chapter 6 and verse 3, we find a strong warning there. The doctrine of God had been mentioned in the first verse and then we find this admonition in verse 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," and then he continues on with those thoughts. But he warns there against one who would consent not to wholesome words or that doctrine of Christ, the same word there for healthy.

In 2 Timothy chapter 4 beginning with verse 3 and going through verse 4 we're told, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lust, shall heap they themselves, teachers having itching ears and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables." Here individuals refused sound or healthy doctrine that comes from God.

We also have a very stern warning in 2 John beginning with verse 9. "Whosoever transgresses and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house neither bid him God's speed for he that biddeth him God's speed is partaker of his evil deeds." Those are very strong words, words worthy of our concern, worthy of our study to find out exactly what this great doctrine is.

As we mentioned, when he talks about the doctrine of Christ there, he's not talking about the doctrine that Christ lived, He exists, that He's the son of God or deity, He is referring to the teachings of Jesus, those words like He set forth in the Sermon on the Mount that we looked at earlier.

Sound doctrine is important in every aspect of our lives. 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16 and 17 tells us, "All scripture inspired of God is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work." So therefore, sound, healthy doctrine of Jesus Christ, those teachings are profitable in every good way for us.

Secondly consider that doctrine is singular in nature when referring to Christ. With reference to the teachings of Christ in the New Testament, the word "doctrine" is always singular. For instance, as we noted in 2 John 9, "the doctrine of Christ." Hebrews chapter 6 and verse 1 again, "the doctrine of Christ." Titus 2 and verse 10, "the doctrine of God." It is singular because there is only one true doctrine of Christ, one healthy doctrine. All else is unhealthy.

Paul told Timothy "to charge some that they teach no other doctrine," 1 Timothy chapter 1 and verse 3. Well, why Timothy? Because there is only one.

Note Paul's admonition in Romans chapter 16 and verse 17. "Now I beseech you brethren, mark them that cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them." One never reads of the "doctrines" , plural, of Christ. The only reference to doctrines in a plural sense refers to the doctrines of men or the doctrines of devils. When the word of God sounded forth from Jerusalem, the church was established over the lands. They were all alike in doctrine, in faith, in practice. They had the same message. They had the same faith, the same obedience, the same organization, the same worship. It was all the same because it came from that one singular doctrine. What constituted the church in Jerusalem is the same thing that constituted the church in Philippi or Antioch or Corinth, neither distance or time affected it. If a congregation was one mile or one hundred miles from Jerusalem, as they follow, that accepted the doctrine of Christ, they were the same. Whether it was one year or one hundred years following the day of Pentecost after the resurrection when the church was established. If they listened to that one doctrine and followed it, they were the same.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 and verse 13 that we are all to come into the unity of the faith. The only way this can be done is if we will give up human doctrines and embrace the one healthy doctrine of Christ.

Thirdly, doctrine proves that there is a standard or a pattern. As we mentioned in Romans verse 16 and 17, we're told to mark those that cause divisions and offenses contrary to that doctrine. So evidently that doctrine then is a standard. It would be impossible to go contrary to the doctrine if there were no standard to determine what is doctrine or what is sound doctrine. Not only is there a rule but the rule can be understood and it can be made to apply.

Paul instructed the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians chapter 13 and verse 5, "Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith. Prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you except you be reprobates." He said, "Examine yourselves whether ye are in the faith..." In what? In the teachings of Christ, in the doctrine. It is by this standard or by this pattern that we will answer all questions, solve all problems, resolve all differences in the way that God would have us to.

Timothy is urged to "hold the form of sound words," 2 Timothy chapter 1, verse 13.

The brethren at Rome had "obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine," Romans chapter 6 and verse 17. It's interesting to look at this word "form." The word "form" actually means a model, a standard, a pattern. This helps us to come to an understanding that the New Testament church recognized a pattern, a standard to be followed. Well, that pattern, that standard is the doctrine or the teachings of Jesus Christ. No one has the liberty to teach or to practice in matters of faith and doctrine what pleases them. We must follow Christ. One must obey the teaching and only follow the teachings that Christ has set forth.

In Colossians chapter 3 and verse 17, the Bible says, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." Now doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus simply means by His authority. The things that we are to do, we are to do by His authority. Well, how do we know what He authorizes? That's where doctrine comes in. The doctrine, that form of doctrine, that pattern, that standard helps us to understand what it is that has Jesus' authority upon it.

Fourthly, doctrine is specific in it's requirements. Unfortunately in today's world, people want to live in generalities. They do not want to be specific even in the area of doctrine. They want things to be of such a general nature that they can be left to do basically whatever they want and look upon it as being okay with God. But doctrine itself helps us to understand that it is specific and it has requirements.

In John 8 and verse 32, Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." If there is not a specific teaching, not a specific doctrine, then how do we know what truth is and how could we be made free? Paul said in 1 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 3 that "one can believe and know truth." Truth must be specific or else we cannot distinguish between truth and falsehood. Some people may like it that way, but that's not the way God set it forth.

Consider with me in 1 Timothy chapter 1 beginning with verse 9 and going through verse 10. We find a listing of things there that are said to be contrary to sound doctrine. Notice, knowing this that the law is not made for a righteous 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 men slayers, for whore mongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men stealers, for liars, for purgered persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which is committed to my trust.

Now he lists a number of things. This is not the entirety obviously, but it is a listing to help us come to an understanding that there are specific matters there that the Bible sets before us and says, "These things are contrary to sound doctrine, to God's teachings." That's why it is so important that we come to an understanding of what sound is.

In the book of Galatians chapter 1 beginning with verse 6, Paul looked back to some brethren there that had gone astray and he made this comment. "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you in the grace of Christ unto another gospel which is not another, but there be some that trouble you and who pervert the gospel of Christ, but though we are an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed." The word "accursed", cut off ( inaudible). "That's how important it is, "Paul says that we hold to that one true doctrine because we will be cut off, ultimately cut off from God." Certainly we would not want that. He says, "If anyone brings anything other than this doctrine, he will be cut off."

Doctrine, the teachings of Jesus Christ, what an important subject that we would take and examine in the series of lessons to come. I hope that you will join us in those lessons so that you may be encouraged in truthful matters from God's Word as to what sound doctrine is in relationship to Christ Jesus. This series of lessons on doctrine is of eternal significance and we urge you to take your Bibles, sit down, join with us, and examine these fruits. Remember when someone talks about the doctrine of Christ, let that automatically cause you to remember the word "doctrine" is teaching. Teaching of Christ is singular in nature. Doctrine proves there is a standard that we must follow and that standard, that doctrine is specific. May we study the Word of God with open minds and open hearts to learn that doctrine and apply ourselves to obeying it, whatever it asks of us.

I would encourage you to join us again in this series and I thank you today for being with us, for giving of your time to study concerning this grand important subject matter of the doctrine of Jesus Christ as taught in God's Word. Thank you and have a good day!

(SONG # 3 - "When All Of God's Singers Get Home!")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!

But for now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

Many of these items are also available on our website, that address:

Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

Isn't it wonderful to know that God has given us His complete doctrine through His Word - so that we will know all that He expects of us as those who choose to follow His Will!

(Program closing)