This year has been a nice intersect in my life because I have spent a lot of time obsessively reading about Henry VIII and about the Reformation. I started with Henry the VIII, and then I found myself drawn to the Reformation because there’s no way to fully appreciate Henry and his successors without understanding the dynamic of the Reformation and how it played out in England.
Henry, while believing he was the supreme authority over the church in England, persecuted both protestants and catholics fairly equally. It’s a very interesting dynamic because you find him persecuting such diverse theologians as the catholic Thomas More and the protestant William Tyndale. Just let that sink in for a moment to remind you of how unsound Henry’s doctrine was, and how bankrupt his resulting moral fiber is. As MacArthur and Mayhue say in Biblical Doctrine, “the absence of sound doctrine and the presence of false doctrine will always lead to sinful behavior.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
This reminds us that sound doctrine is important because it defines truth and error. Through sound doctrine we are perfected or matured into more righteous people. Sound doctrine gives us the foundation we need for correcting our errors i thinking and behaving so that we can please God. It reproves our sin and shows us our false thinking and our disobedience. It instructs us on how to sin less and obey God more.
Knowing what the Bible says and having sound doctrine protects us from false teachers. That may be one of the biggest benefits of doctrine to my life right now. Titus 1:9 says:
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
I pray for those who hold to false doctrines to have their eyes opened to see the truth of God’s word and for them to see truth and sound doctrine. I hope that, by studying doctrine, I will be more prepared to take my real life and the real lives of those who I interact with who are non-Christians to the truth of scripture. I pray to be able to use my knowledge of doctrine to be able to speak into people’s lives.