Doctrine: Do We Need It?

Doctrine. It is one of those words that can make a person want to turn and run! Many wonder if there is even a need for doctrine and theology in their lives. Some might find the study of doctrine to be boring — might be turned off by it. It is important to realize that we really do need doctrine if we truly want to know and love God more than we do.

I am NOT a theologian! Believe me — I am far from it! But I do want to learn more and get to know God better. Personally, I think I need a book entitled Doctrine for Dummies! Thankfully, there are some books out there that have been written for people like me to understand. I have ordered several, and I’m taking the time to read through them. They are teaching me so much, helping me to know God better, and enhancing my walk with Him.

I just finished reading about the doctrine of God (theology proper). I tried to sum it up as simply as possible. Here is what I came up with:

  • I was created. HE is Creator. I have a beginning and an end. HE is eternal — has no beginning, no end.
  • I am dependent. HE is self-​​existent.
  • I am limited. HE is omnipresent . . . everywhere and always present.
  • I am not powerful. HE is omnipotent . . . not limited in power.
  • I have limited knowledge. HE is omniscient . . . all knowing.
  • God is completely different than me. HE is holy — separate from his creation, perfect, exceeding all limitations!
  • It is impossible for me to understand who HE is. HE is personal. Relational. Chooses to reveal Himself to me so that I can know Him!
  • I am amazed! HE is AMAZING!

Knowing that God created me is a comfort because it means that there is nothing about me that He doesn’t understand. I am not a mystery to Him. He knows me and knows what I can handle. He created me for a purpose. This gives me direction every day! The fact that He has no beginning and no end, that He is dependent on nothing and nobody, is always present, limitless in power, and all knowing, may be hard for my human brain to comprehend. But I think it is pretty cool that I can’t comprehend it all.

This amazing God, who is far beyond my comprehension and is the almighty God, has brought me to Himself, given me enough insight so that I would follow Him . . . AND He has fit me into His sovereign plan. That is exciting and amazing . . . It is a privilege to be a part of His plan and to be able to tell others, especially my children, that He is reaching out to them! He has created them. He knows them. He has a purpose.

Knowing myself the way that I do, and knowing that God knows me even better than I know myself, can be discouraging at times! Let’s face it. The human heart is not a pretty sight! But the fact that God is NOTHING like me, and has no limitations, is another encouraging fact because it helps me to know that I am not serving someone who is merely a different version of me. He is uniquely God. I can trust Him. Why would I want to serve and trust anyone or anything else?

This can be brought into our everyday, where-​​the-​​rubber-​​meets-​​the-​​road, day-​​in-​​and-​​day-​​out lives! It takes what might seem a mundane task or circumstance and turns it into a calling.  It fills the emptiness of the daily grind with power, hope, and purpose! It provides direction just knowing that what we do throughout the day is done because this huge, incomprehensible God has created us and designed us to worship him in all that we do.

Purpose. Hope. Rest. Amazement. All because the God of the universe has reached out to me.

Do you love the cross because it makes much of you, or do you love it because it enables you to enjoy an eternity of making much of God? If I love the cross only for what it does for me, I will have reduced it to a monument to myself. But the greatest glory of the Cross is what it tells me about God. A God of justice and mercy. A God who loved helpless sinners like me so much that he came to die so we could be free and know and worship him for eternity.” —John Piper

What are some of your favorite resources for studying doctrine? How would you sum them up in just a few sentences?

Gina Smith

About Gina Smith

Gina Smith and her husband, Brian, serve together at a small Christian college outside of Washington, DC, where Gina is the dean of women and Brian the dean of students and a faculty member. Gina has a degree in Bible. She writes for […]

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