We are thinking about those core convictions, those marks of our identity as a church. Last week we thought about expository preaching. Now that is one I would hope you would think of when someone asks about Oak Crest. “Oh, they preach and teach the Bible!” Now that is so much better than “reddish brick with a white steeple.”
The second characteristic we are striving to live out is our commitment to Biblical Theology. Another way we might say it is Sound Doctrine. The New Testament has a lot to say about the importance of sound doctrine or right belief. Paul tells Timothy, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths,” (2 Timothy 4: 2-4). Paul also says to Titus and by extension to all of us, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine,” (Titus 2:1)
Friends, it is not enough to be consciously aware of how we preach and teach, we must also give careful attention to what we preach and teach. It must be the whole truth of God’s Word. Many Christians love to quote John 8:32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” That is a wonderful verse, but far fewer Christians know what the verse immediately prior says. Read John 8:31, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.’” See the freedom we so often love to claim is rooted in an ongoing abiding in the truth of the Word of God.
Why all the fuss about Biblical Theology and Sound Doctrine? It is because without being anchored to the truth of who God really is we will be tossed about by every new and novel teaching. Doctrine and theology are not only for the preachers. We must all stand on the truth of God or we will be swallowed up by the culture that surrounds us. You will find a statement of our doctrine on our website. These are man made documents always submissive to Scripture, serving only as a general guide for our common beliefs. If you want a quick review of some core convictions visit Core Convictions. If you want a much more thorough statement visit our Full Confession.