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1303. Sound Doctrine; The Church’s Firm Foundation

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2022 7:00 pm

1303. Sound Doctrine; The Church’s Firm Foundation

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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July 27, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Sam Horn continues the series entitled “Church Matters.”

The post 1303. Sound Doctrine; The Church’s Firm Foundation appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.

The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Sr. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services. Today, that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from The University of each chapel platform. Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a study series called Church Matters. These messages were preached at Bob Jones University to help students choose a church home while attending college.

However, these biblical principles apply to everyone, helping us choose where to worship with the body of believers each week. Today's sermon will be preached by Dr. Sam Horn. We are right in the middle of the front end of a series on the local church that Dr. Pettit asked us to deliver throughout the course of this semester. And he announced at the very beginning of our chapel time, our theological theme this year, was designed to sort of walk us through as an institution, as a body of believers that are all commonly held together by our relationship to one another in the context of Bob Jones University. And he asked that we go through what the New Testament teaches about how to make a choice about where to worship. So he introduced the series and then made some comments even last week and asked me to articulate to you a number of theological affirmations that are common to what we believe here at Bob Jones University. And so I would like to come now to a text and really to a portion of texts that goes beyond what we talked about in the first two sermons to stress the importance of making a church choice based on the doctrine that the church espouses and that the church holds.

And so I've titled the message, Sound Doctrine, The Church's Firm Foundation. And as I shared with you when I had an opportunity last time we were together for our doctoral chapel series, my wife and I, my family, have been part of a local church ever since we were married. And everywhere we have gone, God has connected us to a local church where we could worship, we could grow, and we could serve. And for the vast majority of our adult life together, we found ourselves in places where there were not that many churches to choose from.

And then four and a half years ago when the Lord brought our family back to Bob Jones University, we began to go through the process that many of you freshmen are going through this semester, and that many of you seniors will be going through in May when you graduate and you leave Bob Jones University. And that process proved to be a little more daunting than Beth and I thought it would be. We found ourselves in a place where we were trying to make decisions about where our family would thrive and where we could worship together and where we could grow and serve. And instead of having five or six options like we had in Milwaukee or in Minneapolis, we found ourselves in a place where there were 400 options within a 20-mile radius of this campus.

That was simply stunning to us. We didn't know about all 400 at the time, but as we began working through this project institutionally, I began to discover why it was so difficult because of the plethora of churches that God has established here in the upstate. Somebody once joked with me about the fact that there are churches on every block in Greenville, and if there is a block without a church, there's quickly somebody praying that God would start a church there because there isn't a good church on that block.

And that's how plentiful churches are in our area. And so I began to discover, and I'm sure you have found this to be true in your own life, that I was going to have to be far more intentional and far more prayerful than I had perhaps been in the past, to my shame. I should have been intentional and prayerful in every case, but it just became a reminder that there were things that I was going to have to really kind of think about in making a church choice for our family. And so looking back on that process, there were about five questions that I felt I needed to answer. I don't know that I articulated them at the time in this way, but looking back over that process, there were five important questions that we wrestled with along the way.

We didn't do it all at once. As I said, I don't know that I'd consciously written these questions out, but I want to give them to you because I think they may be helpful to you as you think about the church that you believe God would have you to be a part of during your time here at Bob Jones University. So question number one, what does this church believe? What are the doctrinal beliefs that shape this church? And then number two, how does this church practice those beliefs? How do those beliefs meaning — meaningfully shape the, the life of this congregation? And what is this church's approach to preaching and proclaiming those truths? What is its approach to preaching? And then how does this church advance the Gospel? How does it model it in its congregational life? How does the Gospel shape the community and how is the Gospel advanced throughout the community where God has established the church? And then number five, what is the primary?

And I want to really stress that word. What is the primary purpose? Because every time you gather together in corporate worship, there are a number of things that happen, but what is the primary objective? What is the primary purpose of that particular church when it comes to its corporate gathered worship? And I'm not necessarily talking about a Sunday evening or a Wednesday night or any time that the church gathers. I'm talking about that time that the New Testament described the early church meeting on the first day of the week and, and the instruction that we have from the New Testament writers not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together in that context.

So what is, what is the primary purpose and focus of its official corporate worship? And so those questions became very helpful as I look back in how our family landed where we did. And so what I want to do this morning is I want to focus in on the first two of those questions.

What does the church believe and how does that belief shape the life of the church? And as we talked about when we were together last, 1 Timothy chapter 3, 15 really stresses the importance of this. Let me read this to you. By the way, I'm going to read this text out of the King James, but because of the nature of the text we're going to be looking at this morning, I'm going to depart from our normal practice of reading and preaching out of the King James from our chapel platform. And I'll be using and referencing the ESV.

So as you follow along that, that's what we're going to be doing this morning. Paul said to Timothy, if I tarry long that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, in the household of God. It's not really talking primarily about the building that you go to. It's talking about the reality that you are part of God's household. And this household is the church of the living God. And its role is to be the pillar and the ground of truth. In other words, the church is intended to do two things with the truth. It is to be the place where that truth is publicly displayed. So when you, you come to a community and you, you walk into the community and you find yourself in a place where people are doing life, there ought to be a community of people whose lives have been transformed by the truth and they are displaying that truth. The church is to be the pillar upon which that truth rests and is displayed. And then the church is supposed to support and defend that truth itself.

It is to be the ground. The idea there is to be the buttress of truth, that which supports the truth and defends the truth. And Paul is going to make the case in both letters that he wrote to Timothy and to Titus that this truth is so important. This doctrine is so important to the life of the church that failure to give attention to it, failure to put it in its proper place, failure to do what he is about to tell Timothy and Titus to do will actually bring about serious shipwreck in the life of believers. And in 1 and 2 Timothy he gives you four examples of real people living in that day who had made a shipwreck of their life because they had failed to hold on and to give attention to sound doctrine. And so this morning what I'd like to do is I'd like to take these two questions related to what a church believes and how it practices what it believes and I want to take us on a journey through 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus and I want to make three observations. The first of those is the paramount importance of sound doctrine. And I want to begin our journey in Titus chapter 2 verse 1 where I ask you to turn, where Paul makes this very, very bold statement but as for you, Titus, it doesn't matter what anybody else is doing, and we're gonna find out that Titus actually has an official role in this church, but as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

And so let me give you some background to that statement. Paul wrote three letters to two young pastors, elders that God had marked out and that the apostles had set apart to be pastors or elders over the local congregations in Ephesus, that's where Timothy was, and in Crete, that's where Titus was. Both of these men had been called to serve as recognized official spiritual leaders and they were doing so in very difficult places. Both Ephesus and Crete were spiritually dark, they were morally wicked, and they were hostile to the message of the gospel. And yet in every one of those cities, in both of those cities, through the gracious working of God, by means of His word, and by the enlightening power of the Holy Spirit, many in those cities had turned from idols to serve the true and living God and to wait for the coming of His Son whom God had raised from the dead.

The same thing happened at Ephesus and in Crete that happened to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians chapter 1 verses 9 and 10. And these people were now the household of God and as such they were the public display and powerful validation of the truth of the gospel that had transformed them and had taken them out of the kingdom of darkness and put them into the kingdom of light. And almost immediately came into those congregations voices that began to compete with the true doctrine. And so Paul writes to these two young pastors and stresses the importance of them teaching sound doctrine to the church and insisting that the church hold on to that sound doctrine.

Now let me show you this out of these two letters. Let me show how forcefully Paul insists on this and let's look at how he talks to Titus. We saw in chapter 2 verse 1, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

Now just follow the narrative. You can jot down some of these texts if you would like. He says to Titus, here's an example of what sound doctrine looks like. And in chapter 2 verse 11 he says, for the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Now Timothy, or Titus rather, that is an example of the kind of doctrine that you're to teach.

And then he says this, you are actually to declare these things. You can see that in verse 15. You are to exhort and you're to rebuke with all authority.

Let no one disregard you about this. Don't let anybody come into your church, Titus, and teach contrary to this. You need to insist on this. And he goes on, he says I left you in Crete so you could do two things. You can see this in chapter 1 verse 5 and in chapter 1 verse 9. I left you in Crete to put things in order in God's household and to appoint other elders like you who will hold firm to these trustworthy words as taught so that these men may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict it. And Titus, I want you to insist on these things. Look at chapter 3 verse 8.

I want you to insist on these things so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works for these things are excellent and profitable for people. Are you catching the weight of what Paul is laying on Titus with regard to sound doctrine in the church where he was an overseer? Notice how he does this with Timothy. Go to 1 Timothy chapter 1. Paul said to Timothy, I want you to remain in Ephesus and I want you to charge.

The idea there is to command. I want you to command certain people to not teach different doctrine. Specifically, they need to stop teaching things that are contrary to sound doctrine in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. Chapter 1 verse 10 and 11. And which I entrusted to you. And Timothy, this is so important because the Spirit of God specifically states that in later times there will come those who depart from the faith and in this context you, Timothy, are to hold fast to the truth and to put this body of truth before the brethren. Specifically, the doctrine you received when you were trained in the words of faith and of good doctrine that you have followed.

1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 6. In verse 11 of chapter 4, Timothy, you need to command and teach these truths. You need to practice these things. Immerse yourself in them so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on your own life and on the teaching and persist in this. For by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. And then he says very directly, teach and urge these things.

Guard the good deposit entrusted to you. And so there is the paramount importance of sound doctrine as found in the establishment of the early church through its two young pastor-elders that are being charged by Paul. So if that's so important, what exactly is this sound doctrine? And so let's quickly look at the nature of sound doctrine. Paul warns Timothy and Titus that there would be teachers who would rise in the church with a body of teaching and he uses this word that is heteros.

And the word heteros means different. There are going to come in the church people who are going to sound and present in attractive ways teachings that are different. And so the question is different than what? And Paul is going to give Titus and Timothy five descriptions of what sound doctrine is like and that is to be what these false teachers are not to contradict. They are coming with truth that is different than this.

Here are the words. The faith. And there are multiple references where Paul talks to Timothy about the faith. The truth. The sound doctrine. The healthy doctrine. The straight doctrine. The teaching. The good deposit.

You say well what's the point of these five ideas? And it's this. Do you see the little word the?

The definite article? This is not just faith. This is not just truth. This is not just doctrine. This is not just teaching.

This is not just a deposit. There is a specific faith, a specific truth, a specific doctrine, a specific teaching, and a specific deposit that Paul has in mind. In other words, he is saying to Timothy there is an official body of teaching. There is an official body of doctrine. There is an official deposit of truth.

And, and so where did this come from? And, and we read in the New Testament that this body, this faith, this truth, this sound doctrine was actually delivered. Jude verse three talks about this.

He said I wanted to write to you about the, the common glorious salvation we share and I wanted to celebrate that with you but I found it necessary to urge you to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered or fully delivered to the saints. And so Paul and Jude are reminding us that there is an official body of truth that God delivered to the church and He delivered it through His apostles. Paul is going to say to Timothy God entrusted it to me and I entrusted it to you.

And it's not just Paul alone. It is actually all of the apostles because in Acts chapter two verse forty-two we find the early church were gathered together around the apostles teaching. And Peter says they got this teaching as God revealed it to them and they wrote it down as the Holy Spirit moved on them and those writings are now presented to us and preserved for us in the Bible that you hold in your hand. And so that doctrine is highly important to the church, the nature of the doctrine and the source of it.

And that brings me to the third and final thing we want to talk about as we wrap up our time together this morning. So what are we supposed to do with this sound doctrine? What is our responsibility? And, and I'm going to suggest that we have a responsibility at two levels. I think there is a corporate responsibility that we have as members of a local church and that is we need to seek and join churches that take doctrine seriously and whose pastors and elders do at least five things.

And I'm going to give them to you very quickly. We need pastors and elders who are going to lead the church to practice these teachings personally. We need pastors and elders who immerse themselves in these teachings carefully, who pay attention to how these teachings are applied and lived out in the life of the church, who persist in the teaching and application and living out of these truths authoritatively and insistently. They will not be talked out or away from these doctrines — Titus chapter three verse eight or chapter two verse 15 — and they're to guard the truth boldly against error in those that teach it. So when you and I look for church, Paul says to Titus and Timothy, doctrine is of paramount importance.

And, and you need to find a church that takes doctrine seriously, whose leaders, whose official recognized leaders, whose appointed pastors and elders actually do the things that Paul was telling Titus and Timothy to do. And then finally, there's a personal responsibility that I have as an individual believer and that you have as an individual believer. And I would suggest that that responsibility is this, you and I need to strive to know what that doctrine is. We actually need to take the time to understand what doctrine is and what our church actually believes. So we need to take the time to know doctrine and then we, we actually need to believe the doctrine we say is important to the point that it's actually shaping the way we live.

If we say the doctrine of our church or a particular doctrine is important and it has no effect on our life, we're really contradicting our speech. So we need to know the doctrine and we actually need to believe the doctrine so that it shapes our life. And then here's the third thing, we need to grow in our understanding of the doctrines that are taught in scripture.

Can I make this observation? For the, for the four years that you were at Bob Jones University, you have an unparalleled opportunity to do that, that you probably will never have in any other context for the rest of your life. You have an unparalleled opportunity to actually grow in your understanding of the doctrines, both in and out of the classrooms and of the classes that you take. And then we must guard the doctrine that we have come to believe against error. And finally, we must pass that truth, that doctrine onto others. You say, well, I don't ever intend to be a teacher of doctrine. And I'm going to suggest to you that, that as a Christian, whether you ever intend to or not, you actually are a teacher of doctrine. You'll teach it in your families, to your children.

You'll live it out in the community around you and, and as you understand and embrace the truth that is taught in scripture and the doctrine that was delivered to the church, it changes everything as you adorn the Gospel with that belief. Let's pray together. Father, thank You for our text this morning.

Thank You for a pattern that we see throughout three important books that You gave to two young pastors that were leading early congregations to do the very thing we're trying to do in our own day and in our own age. And so I pray for each of us that we would see and understand and be impacted by the importance of the doctrine, the body of truth You gave to Your church. Lord, help us to love it.

Help us to know it. Help us to grow in it. And help us, Lord, to guard it and to pass it on to others. In Jesus' name.

Amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Sam Horn from the series called Church Matters. I'd like to thank you for listening to The Daily Platform. I hope that you've enjoyed it. I hope it's been a blessing and an encouragement to you.

We're living in very unusual times. And this is just such a crucial time for all of us as believers to walk closely with the Lord. So I hope you'll take the opportunity to follow us up on these other things that we have at and find out what it is that God is doing in through the ministry of Bob Jones University with our 2,500 students who are coming here to get a biblical worldview and see life from God's lenses and then go out with an accredited first-class education and go out into the world and make an impact for Jesus Christ in the workplace as they go out and serve in local churches, not only here in the United States, but our students are globally in-demand Christ-centered servants who are trying to serve the Lord throughout the world for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So thank you again for listening. I encourage your friends to listen and to be nourished and strengthened through God's Word. God bless you. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series on church membership here on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-19 03:50:23 / 2023-03-19 03:59:38 / 9

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