Life and Doctrine go Together


Doctrine and life are closely joined. God blesses those who live according to His will. The gospel brings man freedom in Christ and gives him the power to serve God and his fellow man. It does not give him permission to live in sin (Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16). God has lovingly set limits for man, like loving parents do for their children. The grace of God teaches us to reject sin and to live according to the instruction of His Word (Tit. 2:11,12).-(LLC Position Statement, Section 2, Item 6)


The Center of All Christian Doctrine Is Salvation by Faith

At the center of all Christian doctrine is salvation by grace alone through faith in the redemption work of Jesus Christ. Christian doctrine is simply teachings based on Holy Scripture. For that reason living according to such teachings is not just compliance to a certain set of acceptable or unacceptable behaviors, but it is fruit of faith. Christian behavior is inspired by the Holy Spirit who teaches obedience to God's Word. One can only become righteous through Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of our faith (1 Pet. 2:6), and so justified, one lives by the power of faith (Rom. 1:17).

The believer accepts scripturally-supported teachings by faith, even though he may have personally experienced the conflict that can exist between faith and reason. He believes the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of truth (John 16:13), to be the author of Scripture even though it was written by the hand of man (2 Pet. 1:21). By faith he trusts Scripture and Christian doctrine more than his own powers of reason.


Christian Doctrine Is Founded in Scripture

The kingdom of God only accepts those teachings that are in accord with God's Word and understands that Christian doctrine is both necessary and profitable for instruction in righteous living (2 Tim. 3:16). A believer is not selective in his or her acceptance of Christian doctrine but by faith receives all that is in accord with Holy Scripture. Christian doctrine is not the framework for an empty tradition but a guide for life.

The world on the other hand offers a multitude of deceitful and craftily devised philosophies, traditions, and doctrines in the name of God (Eph. 4:14, Col. 2:8) about which the Holy Scripture warns (Heb. 13:9, 1 Tim. 4:1).


Doctrine and Life Go Together

The gospel of the forgiveness of sins frees man from the power of sin and gives strength for the amendment of life. God's grace teaches us to reject sin, ungodliness, worldly lust, and instead to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this world (Tit. 2:12). Scripture relates the example of how Jesus forgave the adulteress her sins but also instructed her to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). One must never think that he can continue in his former life of sin because grace is abundant (Rom. 6:1). A true believer is not a Sunday-only Christian who lives contrary to Christian doctrine on the remaining six days of the week.

Whether in the middle of adversity or prosperity, the child of God lives each day of his or her temporal life with the goal of being heaven-acceptable. The gospel of the forgiveness of sins gives power to continue in faith. Scripture and Christian doctrine give direction and light for a Godly life.

The Christian way of life is governed by the Holy Spirit who reminds each believer of the Scriptural teachings he has learned (John 14:26). As a fruit of faith he carries them in his heart and endeavors to live according to them in the community, at school, at work, and at home. Obedience to the Word of God brings blessings in life. The love of God inspires the believer to serve God and his fellow man.

In the life of the believer the network of interpersonal relationships is governed by teachings of Scripture and Christian doctrine. Jesus gave the basic guideline for these relationships as, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). The relationship an individual has with God the Father will affect the relationship he or she has with others. If forgiveness, faith, and love of God are central in one's life, it will positively affect others in the network of relationships. Love of God and His Word form the best foundation upon which interpersonal and societal trust can be built.

At times the Christian way of life is at odds with the norms and understandings of society. Issues of difference often include acceptance of children as God's blessing, level of involvement in sports, the sanctity of marriage, abortion, or other such issues where faith and reason clash. In such situations the believer confesses that faith which is based on the Scripture and Christian doctrine. If possible, he or she seeks to find ways to work with others of a different mind, but always with the goal of preserving faith and a good conscience.

Walt Lampi

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