Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
Soundness of Bible doctrine is critical to the purity and success of the believer and the local church. As the doctrinal soundness and functional purity of the believer goes, so goes the local church. “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gainsayers, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” Titus 1:10-11
When doctrinal authority is left out, opinions take over, and these become the heresies that introduce apostasy in the church, Titus 2:11-15.
We are to be taught in the church to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts. We are to be taught in the church to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present age. We are to be taught in the church to be looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are to be taught in the church that Christ gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity; that He seeks to purify us unto himself a people of his own, zealous of good works. Pastors are to speak these things, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority as Paul says.
It is with sound doctrine that we are able to muzzle profiteers and false teachings. If false teachers were not given an ear they would go out of business and the church would become more pure. Bible doctrine draws the line in the proverbial sand and challenges all of God’s people by saying to us, “Where do you stand?”
On a more personal level, I want to say something about the soundness of our personal living. We know what the Bible says in I Pet.1:22, “Seeing that ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.”
Rottenness of soul and body develops when we do not maintain healthy spiritual lives.
As an illustration to this point, I want to bring to you a discovery I had a few weeks ago while I was looking for a tree to cut for winter fire wood. I saw several trees that were dead and they needed to be cut down. The ones that still had a few leaves had dead leaves and the limbs were starting to rot.
A small red oak tree which I came upon looked healthy enough, but something about the way it was leaning caused me to look at it a little closer. The bark looked normal, and the leaves were green, but the acorns were sparse and very small compared to the other red oaks in the area so I decided to cut it down. Just after notching the fall side of the tree it immediately started to pinch the bar on my chain saw. I turned off the saw once I realized I could not pull the bar out. I used my ax to strike the back side of the tree, and the feel of my ax upon the tree felt like I was striking a rubber ball. The ax bounced somewhat, so I struck the tree a couple more times until it surprisingly started to crack. As I backed up the tree fell without another hit. It turned out that the tree, though it looked fairly healthy on the outside was rotten at its foundation. It would not be long before a strong gust of wind would have blown it over.
Then I started to see this comparison to the Christian life. We may look and sound spiritually healthy on the outside of our lives, but are we beginning to rot with hidden sin and rebellion toward God on the inside? Brethren let us take heed as to how we stand lest we too fall. I believe our doctrine is sound here, but so must our lives be sound.