8 Truths Sound Doctrine Tells Us

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
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Sound doctrine is radically transformational. Lived out, it changes everything about us. It counsels us. It corrects us. It’s like an onboard guidance system, directing and determining our course. And ultimately it transforms the culture through us and around us.

The teaching of sound doctrine was so foundational to Paul’s thinking that he actually included this phrase nine times in the three New Testament letters known as his “pastoral epistles” (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus). Five of those instances are in Titus alone.

Sound doctrine.

It mattered then. It matters now. It’s the complete body of truth, revealed in Scripture, that explains and defines our faith. Among other things, it tells us:

  • who we are
  • who God is
  • what it means to be a Christian
  • what the gospel is
  • who Jesus is
  • why He came
  • why He died
  • why He lives again

Sound doctrine tells us that God is sovereign over all—over time, over nature, over us, over every minute detail in the universe. That means when everything in our world seems to be giving way, spinning out of control, we can trust that “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

Sound doctrine tells us that we exist to bring glory to God and that every circumstance that comes into our lives can contribute to that end. If we could get just that one truth fixed in our hearts, we would never look at our circumstances the same way again.

That belief—that doctrine—would certainly change us.

Sound doctrine tells us that sin entered our world and infected it all the way down to the dust specks and the groundwater. It tells us that our natural tendency (going all the way back to Adam and Eve) is to try to remedy the situation on our own, apart from God, to hide from Him behind our hand-sewn fig leaves in hopes of avoiding notice and accountability. It also tells us that conflicts at home, at work, in our families, and in our world are evidence of what sin has done to us and to others.

Knowing this, our only hope is found in turning to the One who, while certainly within His rights to write us off, has chosen instead to introduce redemption and reconciliation into our world. In light of His truth, we see our sin and the sin of the world for what it is, and we recognize our utter dependence upon Him who is our righteousness and our life.

“Sound doctrine tells us that we exist to bring glory to God.”

That, too, changes us.

Sound doctrine tells us that our personal opinions are inconsequential compared to God’s, that individual rights do not trump eternal absolutes, that truth is not subjective and relative but consistent across all times and all places to all people—including us.

It tells us that the way things are is not the way they will always be, that the goal of the Christian life is not mere survival nor peaceful coexistence with a lost culture, but rather the ultimate triumph of Christ over culture.

Sound doctrine tells us that even as believers we can expect to struggle with indwelling sin, fleshly appetites, and self-centeredness. It reminds us that if we are not abiding in Christ and allowing His Spirit to do His sanctifying work in us, we may be capable of producing religious work but not of bearing spiritual fruit.

Yet sound doctrine also goes on to tell us that every time we say yes to Jesus and no to our flesh, allowing His love and power to flow through us, we become more and more like the King whose heavenly kingdom we represent here on earth.

It tells us that the cross is God’s message of hope to the world and that the primary evidences of its present reality are lives in which His mercy and grace are actively at work.

And all that, my sister, should totally transform us.

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by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Known for her wisdom, warmth, and knowledge of Scripture, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has encouraged millions through her books, radio programs, and...

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