NO OTHER DOCTRINE
1 Tim. 1:3
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightiest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, …
There is only one doctrine and that is the doctrine of Christ, Paul observing the rise of some new doctrines gives timothy an instruction to stop those teaching other doctrines, it is not just an admonition from Paul , it is an admonition of the Holy Spirit to the church today. There should be no other doctrine preached anywhere but the doctrine of Christ, because only the gospel of Christ has the power to save (Rom. 1:16) and it is the gospel of Christ that reveals his righteousness (Rom. 1:17). There should never be a message that deviates from the central theme which is Christ, rather the message should amplify Christ. It is very important that we know that the Holy Spirit is not even the message of the church, Christ is the message. The Holy Ghost only amplifies the message, he never came to speak of himself or glorify himself, he came to glorify Christ (Jn. 16:13-14). When the message of the Holy Spirit is preached, it should be directed back to Christ, because his message to the church is Christ and not himself. Any Doctrine that doesn’t point back to Christ is “another doctrine”, and Paul says it should be flushed out of the church.
Another doctrine has the capacity to lead the people astray no matter how innocuous it looks because it takes away the real (which is substance) and gives people shadow (fantasies) . Their concept and understanding of the gospel is simply the razz mattazz , they never come into the realm that God has designed for them. The doctrine of Christ has one soul aim which is to bring us into fellowship of his Son Jesus, (1 Cor. 1:9), it is about the fellowship, that has been the desire of God right from the foundation of the world. When Adam was created, it was all fellowship in the heart of God, and when he lost out due to sin, God brought Christ to restore back the fellowship. The goal is not heaven, hell or all of that, it is fellowship, while it is very good for heaven to be on our heart but there is also an assignment on earth, there is a reason why God kept us here on earth, we must also put that in view. The message of heaven, hell and much more are sections of the message itself which is Christ, heaven should not overemphasized than Christ, because heaven is in Christ. Heaven should be preached from the light of Christ, hell should be preached in the light of Christ. All should lead to Christ, there are many church doctrines that has taken the place of the knowledge of Christ, and those doctrines should be pulled down else the people will never know Christ.
When doctrines are exalted above Christ, the church leaders become Pharisees. I know a pastor who has become a Pharisee in his denomination, he catches offenders of the church doctrine and gives them appropriate punishment, so the people live double lives, one in church and one outside the church. These ought not to be so, because Christianity is a life, it is what we live everywhere, no matter where we find ourselves.
WIND OF DOCTRINE
That we hereafter be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by every sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
There are several winds of doctrine all over the place, and these winds has not made the children of God grow and mature in Christ. When a believer new in the faith, goes to different services in different locations and hears different things preached on the same subject, things that are parallel to each other, the believer gets confused and hence cannot grow and mature, wind of doctrines has a direct and cumulative effect on the body of Christ. It is very easy for this young believer to be led astray, for example, he was saved in a church that holds a strong ground against sin and unrighteousness and goes to another area and decides to attend church service on Sunday and from the appearance of the people in the church, he is wondering if it is a church or club, then he hears another message on sin that makes him feel very comfortable in sin, “it doesn’t matter what you do as a believer, the gospel is in your heart”, then he is confused. What should I believe? This is one reason why God spoke through Apostle Paul that the church should have just one message, which is Christ and every other subject should be seen in the light of Christ and the word should be final say , not the opinion of men , or the convenience of men. Whatever the scripture says is final and should not be contestable in anyway. It all starts when people begin to claim they have a personal revelation to the body of Christ, the truth is that nobody is doubting what God told you, but let us put it to scriptural scrutiny before we accept it. Nobody should be too big to undergo this, his revelation should be subjected to the scrutiny of the word and if it doesn’t conform, it should be gladly thrown away. There are several questions to ask? Who is the message glorifying?, is it a word of fear, or exhortation? Is Christ the central theme of the message and so many more questions. This will go a long way to limit the occurrence of wrong doctrines just put up by men to put people under unnecessary tension, fear, worries and makes them unable to grow spiritually.
Even Apostle Paul as anointed as he was, even though he received direct revelation from Jesus Christ , he still subjected it to the scrutiny of the word by the Apostle that had gone ahead of him.
But I certify you , brethren , that the gospel which was preached of me, is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
And I went up by revelation and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run or had run in vain.
In chapter one Paul tells us he received the revelation directly from Jesus Christ, but in chapter 2, he went up to meet the Apostles of reputation so he won’t run in vain. He took the message he preached for scrutiny by the Apostles that were before him. When people have gospels that they preach which cannot be questioned or scrutinized according to the word of God, then probably it is not from God. Any gospel that lifts people up in pride is not from God, it is easy to discern a wrong message if we take time to study God’s word by the unveiling of the spirit. Wind of doctrine comes most times when believers separate from a church and establish theirs, making rules for themselves and claiming it is from God to keep the people under bondage and spiritual servitude. Even though a doctrine is to be formed there are spiritual principles that guides the formation of doctrines and we would discuss them extensively in other chapters of the book. Every doctrine should be formed in the light of the real message (Christ) and should only enhance the message. God’s purpose is for the church to come to the knowledge of the son of God (Christ), he wants us to know him deeply and affectionately.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
What a dream God has for his church! We see here, that ;to God it should be one message, one knowledge , till we become perfect (mature) up to the stature of the fullness of Christ. It simply means everywhere we go we hear the same message of the faith, it is called unity of faith. Most people in the body of Christ have the wrong idea in their minds about the unity of the faith, and these are well meaning, good and wonderful Christians, they believe that there should be only one church. Every church should close down and merge together to become one church. No! That is not what the bible is saying. What the bible is saying is that any church you find yourself, you should hear the same message. There should be one belief about Christ, his death, resurrection, ascension and glorification, we should believe same thing about righteousness, holiness, heaven, hell and the rest of the other subjects. There shouldn’t be factions that believe this, and call it their personal revelation, then this other believe this and call it their own dealings with God and so forth, when every revelation is founded on the word then it shouldn’t be difficult to believe as long as you are a believer. No matter the angle you are picking it from, which is your revelation as long as it is from God’s word and it glorifies Christ then there shouldn’t be any trouble. The only knowledge God wants us to have is the knowledge of the son of God (which is Christ), then we can grow unto maturity and even to the fullness of stature of Christ. Once Christ is not the diet that the believer is feeding his spirit with then he cannot grow, he will be spiritually malnourished.
… the knowledge of the son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Any other doctrine aside Christ cannot produce spiritual growth, it doesn’t have the capacity to produce growth in a believer, so we cannot afford to allow another doctrine have a filled day in the church, it must be stopped. This calls for mass action, everybody has to take part in this, it starts first by understanding what the true doctrine is, and growing consistently in it.
One major threat to doctrinal balance in the body of Christ is “personal revelations” or “personal dealings”, while it is not wrong to have personal dealings, it is wrong to place the dealings above the word of God. All dealings and personal revelations should be subjected to the test of the word. Even Apostle John admonishes us to “believe not every spirit but we should test all spirits (1 Jn. 4:1)” , so why should a pastor be too big for his revelation to undergo scriptural test, diverse revelations coming from different sources has put big blows on the body of Christ. Most doctrines are formed based on the personal revelation of the founder of the ministry, the point however is that all revelations comes from the full word of God, Paul tells us that “we know in part”, (1 Cor. 13:9), No man or woman of God has the full revelation, it is only a side of God and what he sees should not counter what any other person sees because he too only saw a side of God, When people make personal revelations the full gospel, trouble is looming. Let us take a graphic example in the Old Testament to buttress our point.
And God spoke to moses, and said to him, I am the lord:
And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by name JE –HO- VAH was I not known to them.
The Lord revealed to Moses a deep truth in this conversation he had with Moses, God appeared to Abraham and revealed himself to him as God Almighty. Abraham knew God as the Almighty God, Abraham never knew there was more to God, but here the Lord is reporting himself to Moses that Abraham only knew a part of me, but I am revealing another side of me to you today which is JE – HO – VAH. Was it Abraham’s fault that he didn’t know God as JE- HO –VAH , No! it was God who didn’t reveal to Abraham that way. We need to understand that Revelation is dispensational, and we can know all of God, there are some revelations of God kept for the coming generation. This is where most denominational ministers miss it, they prove to their Congregation that they know all of God and they don’t need to listen to another minister of God. If you tell Abraham that God is Jehovah, he can argue with you till tomorrow that it is a lie, but is it a lie ? No! It was only not revealed to him.
The truth to grasp from this is that God is too deep and vast that you only know what he reveals to you, there are some others things about God that you will need to learn from others that he also revealed himself to, this is why it is called the body of Christ and not the denomination of Christ. Everything God reveals to anybody is just a side or section of the Message himself CHRIST. In other words, what you receive cannot be a doctrine that rules your church or that rules the body of Christ, because you must also put into consideration that this minister of God also received a side of God and that minister of God over there also received a side of God, if we all make what we receive doctrines that rule our churches and stands in the body of Christ, then there will be chaos and this is exactly the state we have found ourselves. Your revelation should be viewed in the light of Christ, and this minister and that minister, since they are all part of Christ, the only doctrine that stands is Christ and the revelations every minister receives is a sub-doctrine ,and therefore an amplifier of the message himself Christ. It is easy to accept each other’s revelation knowing fully well it is a revelation of Christ the central message, believers won’t have problem attending believers conferences because every minister is revealing a side of God we don’t know yet, and we can appreciate each other’s ministry , gifts and callings, then Christ is glorified. Nobody is seeing his pastor or her pastor but Christ the head of the church. Jesus himself said, no one can know him nor the father except he or the father is revealed to us (Matt. 11:27) .The Gospel cannot be reduced to morality, then it won’t have the power to save anymore. Morality should be taught as a subject in the light of Christ, because it is not the message, if morality becomes the message then the gospel is not different from Islam because they also have a strong stand on morality, or some other religions.
Christianity is not a religion, so it cannot be classified as one of the religions, it is a life that produces the character of Christ (our life style), it is Christ alive in a human vessel, divinity at home in humanity, even though morality is a very important subject it doesn’t and shouldn’t take the place of the message Christ. As a matter of truth, a believer that is still indecent in her dressing has not understood who she is in Christ, once the believer comes to an understanding that she is an ambassador of Christ, then she must portray herself in her conduct as Christ’s ambassador. When a lady exposes sensitive parts of her body and comes to church, the question is not if she is saved but if she is sane, because she should know there is a difference between a church and a club.