Deeds and Creeds, part 1

A movement in our society could be summarized with the popular slogan, “deeds not creeds.” This has become entrenched in many of our churches too. The desire to serve our communities, fueled by a right motivation of loving them, has been accompanied by a diminished value of doctrine and theology.

This growing lack of theological truth was documented in a recent survey. The answers given by professing Christians showed an ignorance of core Christian beliefs and dangerously false beliefs about the nature of God, Jesus and man.

Why is knowing Biblical truth important? Here are some thoughts:

Because God says so

We find the admonition to know and understand His Word throughout both the new and old testaments.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 1:15

For I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. Proverbs 4:2

Doctrine shapes our understanding of God

It’s important to search out who God is, not who I want Him to be. It keeps my worship real and not just wishful thinking. It allows me to submit to His will, whatever that is, understanding that He alone is worthy. Am I completely devoted to Him and to bringing Him glory?

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. 1 Timothy 1:17

Biblical truth leads to salvation

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Jesus is the only way to salvation. We have a relationship with the Father through His sacrifice alone. The world offers many enticing alternatives, seemingly reasonable paths, but the Bible points to the only true answer.

The Bible gives instruction for living

God loves us so much He showed us how to live. He made us and we find wisdom in His word. I must know what He has commanded to live obediently. We move aimlessly without a target.

All Scripture is inspired and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

Truth is an anchor and keeps us from being tossed about by our emotions or faulty thinking. This goes against the “if it feels good, do it” generation or the more current, “if it feels right, it is” thinking. Knowing what God has said lets me walk with assurance, even when those around say otherwise.

Like the banker only handling real bills can spot a counterfeit immediately, so knowledge of the truth will inoculate against false ideas. That truth is anchored in His Word and should inform every decision and every action we take. I want to look at some more practical examples of that next time. I’d love to hear stories from you of how truth (or lack of it) influenced you.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

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