• By John Hicks

What comes first, doctrine or scriptures?

The problem with modern Christianity is men tend to use their doctrine as the framework in which verses must fit, one way or another. The Bereans did it the other way around as should we. An example of this was when my family was in a Sunday service some time ago in Kilgore Texas. The preacher there brought up Matthew 16:14-15 where Jesus said "for if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." The pastor said that "Jesus didn't really mean that God would not forgive us, He really was saying that if we don't forgive others then our relationship with God would be strained". Really?!? It became clear why he did this as he continued on to talk on and off throughout the sermon about once saved always saved (OSAS). I was aware of what he was doing as he obviously had to misinterpret what Jesus said in order for those words to not conflict with his belief of OSAS. Those words from Jesus are definitely in opposition to the doctrine of OSAS. I believe that Jesus intended to say and mean exactly what He said there. In fact, He emphasized it once more in a parable later on in His ministry: Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. [24] And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. [25] But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. [26] The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. [27] Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. [28] But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. [29] And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. [30] And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. [31] So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. [32] Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: [33] Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? [34] And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. [35] So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Matthew 18:23-35 Getting back to the Bereans, they used scripture as their presuppositions when interpretating doctrines while many today use man-made doctrines to interpret scriptures like that pastor in Kilgore did. It is a proverbial cart before the horse mentality that has many led astray as was I for many years and may still be in some areas. I have learned to be humble and repent when I am corrected on areas of doctrine where I was wrong, especially, well really only, when the correction is grounded contextually within God's word. You should all use God's word as the litmus test for all of your doctrines without any doctrine-based presuppositions and see what you come up with. You will be shocked at the deception you may have been under... And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. [11] These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:10-11 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 It is clear that God's word states that scriptures come before doctrines and not the other way around. If your doctrines do not line up with scripture then you must repent and change your doctrines.

#doctrine #falsedoctrine #scripture

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