Does it Matter What We Believe?

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

Paul’s point in this passage is that we must be careful what we listen to and that we must believe only that which is true. Brethren sometimes wonder if it matters what we believe on certain doctrinal issues, since these would simply be matters of belief and not practice.

Salvation is Based Upon Belief

  • Jesus said he we don’t believe, we will die in our sins (John 8:24) – not just belief in His existence, but in His deity (cf. Exodus 3:13-14; John 8:56-59)
  • The deity of Christ is a doctrinal matter – pertains to what we believe and teach, not necessarily what we practice
  • Yet Jesus taught that failing to believe this about Him would lead to damnation

Truth Must be Taught on Doctrinal Matters

  • We are to speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11)
  • We are to speak the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27)
  • Therefore, we must speak truth on all Bible topics, even doctrinal issues – even if they’re difficult (2 Peter 3:16) or controversial (2 Timothy 4:2-5)

Misconceptions Can Lead One to Abandon His Faith

  • This is not a “slippery slope” argument (something is wrong only because it might lead to sin) – we’ve already established the importance of believing & teaching the truth; but the Scriptures teach that a misconception on a doctrinal matter puts one in danger of losing his faith
  • Days of Creation (belief that they’re not literal, consecutive, 24-hour days) – danger of putting trust in “science” (1 Timothy 6:20-21) and destroying the foundation of faith in God (Psalm 11:3)
  • Nature of Christ’s sacrifice (belief that He died “in our place,” thus eliminating the wrath of God) – turns grace into a license to sin (Jude 4) because there is no more penalty (Romans 6:1)
  • A.D. 70 doctrine (belief that the resurrection is past) – believing that the resurrection is past overthrows the faith of some (2 Timothy 2:18)

Conclusion

  • We must be careful what we hear & believe (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)
  • Never stop growing in knowledge & understanding (2 Peter 3:18)

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