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Featured Does Doctrine play any role in Salvation?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Jair Crawford, Mar 20, 2019.

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  1. StephenDiscipleofYHWH

    StephenDiscipleofYHWH Well-Known Member

    United States
    There are a lot of things that could be said about the Importance of Doctrine to Salvation. But first I would like to address that the thief on the Cross accepted Christ while he was still under the Law of Moses. So while he had faith in Christ before he went to sleep in the abode of righteous souls in Sheol(called paradise), he still had yet to receive the promise of faith and be put under the New Law of Faith in Christ.
    Hebrews 11
    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
    40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    The main point is that the Thief on the Cross was still under the Law of Moses when this happened, so he is not the example of the Salvation process we are now under.

    After Christ's death though while the thief was in Sheol he had a chance to yet again accept Christ and be saved by his faith(as all the dead did when the Lord went Sheol to minister to them).
    1 Peter 3:18-19
    Ephesians 4:9-10
  2. klutedavid

    klutedavid Well-Known Member

    There is not a lot to understand about the fundamental Christian doctrine, just a lot of churches generating extra doctrine.

    If you read the early chapters of Acts you get to see the actual gospel that was announced. The problem occurs when the apostles write their letters correcting church problems.

    The letter to the Galatians is different to the letter to the Corinthians, hence you get a lot of extra information that complicates the simple gospel.

    The best idea is to avoid error by deriving the simplest gospel message you can manage.
  3. Ing Bee

    Ing Bee Son of Encouragement Supporter

    United States
    Excellent topic.

    Short response: No, not really.

    Longer response:
    First, nail down what the biblical authors say in regard to 'doctrine'.

    In the Old Testament, salvation came through trust/obedience/love/loyalty of/to Yahweh. The Law wasn't the means to obtain relationship with Yahweh, it was a description of how to live in the relationship they already had. If we think of the law as "doctrines" that the Israelites had to "believe", we will be at a loss to find that anywhere in those early writings. At key points, God points to the fact that keeping the law is not the focus (Micah 6:8, Isaiah 1:14). The English word 'doctrine' does not appear in the Old Testament.

    How about the New Testament?

    Here's a look at the noun translated "doctrine" in English: διδασκαλία (didaskalia).
    • The word is the source of our word "didactic", teaching.

    • The word appears in the mouth of Jesus only once (Mark 7 and Matth 15 - the same instance) and is used in the negative to describe the pharisees equating their man-made rules with true teaching.

    • The remaining 19 occurances of this word all are in Paul's letters. Two times (Eph. 4:14 & Col, 2:22) are used negatively (2 more in Romans are positive and translated "teaching" (spiritual gift) and "instruction".

    • The remaining 16 appear in Paul's pastoral epistles to Timothy and Titus. Largely positive, they refer holistically to the gospel Paul handed to them so they could pass it on, and so on.

    • The verb form of the word appears 90-ish times and is usually translated as some form of the verb "to teach" . You could probably boil these down to things like "here's what the Kingdom of heaven is like", "here's what the father is like", "here's how to live as a child of God".

    • Jesus frequently taught in stories and sayings to illuminate and transform. He is not known for lists of doctrinal statements. If you believed he was who and what he claimed, you followed him. If you didn't, you didn't.
    We tend to add the "s" to "doctrine", but this is not what Paul passed on. In Ephesians 3:8-10, Paul explains his two-fold commission: 1) to preach the gospel to gentiles and 2) to explain to everyone (jew and gentile) how to live together in the new community of Jesus-followers. Before, during, and after giving instructions Paul "tells the story" of the Tri-personal rescue and adoption of humanity in Christ (Titus 3:3-7, Ephesians 1:1-14, Phil.s 2:1-11, Col. 1:9-23).

    In Romans 1 Paul exults over the gospel which "is the power of God for salvation to all who believe." The gospel--the account of who Yahweh is, what he has done, and what he offers to all comers in Christ's victory over sin and death--is God's saving power on display. The story of the beloved Son (drawn by the Father and Spirit - see John 5 and John 16) revealed as the righteousness of God (Romans 3:21) given to save His enemies (Romans 5:8) transforms people.

    Both Jesus and Paul seem more focused on a humanity transformed by Divine agape lived out in the world than on adherence to a particular list of formulated doctrines.

    Our new relational standing, built on interpersonal trust (i.e. faith) in the Father's perfect self-disclosure (Hebrews 1:1-2) fuels our transformation (2 Cor. 3:18). Accurate descriptive lists are useful in establishing a shared connection, ("Hey do you know the guy that looks like this?), but they are worthless if you have not come into relationship with the person the list describes. Our drive should be to better know this amazing, Magnificent Three, not to overly concerned with lists.

    God is a relational "free agent"; Yahweh always takes the initiative in agape relationships. We can start with what we know and trust (even if darkly and imperfectly) and He will fix our understanding as we walk together in relationship with Him.
  4. ☦Marius☦

    ☦Marius☦ Murican Supporter

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Typically the hardhearted, cynical, or sceptical types such as myself struggle with faith and therefore study more doctrine and theology. You can study all the doctrine in the world, but faith and simply piety is what produces love.
  5. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

    we are judged by what we do with what we've got not what we don't got. parable of the talents.
  6. Jair Crawford

    Jair Crawford Member

    United States
    Love all the responses so far.

    Let me be clear on one thing. I realize the thief on the cross was a babe in Christ due to the circumstances. I am not saying we should all be like the thief and stay that way. The question is specifically about Salvation.
  7. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

    United States
    Some may try to argue that doctrine plays no role in salvation, others will argue bad doctrine will damn a person (think cults). If the latter is true, then by default true doctrine is needed for salvation.

    John 8:31-32 (KJV) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
  8. PaulCyp1

    PaulCyp1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Doctrine has everything to do with salvation, because accepting God's truth leads to salvation, and God's truth is revealed to us through the doctrinal teaching of the one Church He founded, to which He promised "The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth", and "Whatsoever you bind upon Earth is bound in Heaven", and "He who hears you hears Me". Obviously there is a great deal of untruth being taught by unauthorized manmade denominational churches that have defected from His Church, as shown by the fact that the teaching of each denomination conflicts with the teaching of the others. Truth cannot conflict with truth.
  9. Calvin_1985

    Calvin_1985 Active Member

    United States
    Correct doctrine would effect aChristians growth. Salvation is by Faith in Christ alone. I'll use children for example in this. Does a child have a base of knowledge for doctrines? No. It's about believing In Jesus as the Messiah, as the way to be reconciled to Yahweh. You said it yourself with the example of the thief on the Cross.
  10. Calvin_1985

    Calvin_1985 Active Member

    United States
    The Bible says "Believe in The Lord Jesus and you shall be saved". It does not say "Have the correct doctrines and teachings 100% accurate and you shall be saved.

    Doctrines and teachings is for those that have been born again.
  11. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

    United States
    Well, what exactly about faith do you struggle with? I'm sure you realize (especially if you do study doctrine) that faith isn't wishful thinking. It isn't "I'm going to force myself to believe this." It's the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It has substance and also evidence. People tend to get hung up on "things hoped for" and "things not seen". Faith does produce something tangible though.

    The other thing is, people tend to put the cart before the horse. Ultimately what ignites a spiritual awakening which brings about faith originates with God Himself. He works in a person to both will and to do of His good pleasure. And basically "faith", "belief" and "trust" are all flavors of the same substance (so to speak). I find that the deeper my spiritual awakening becomes the more trust grows. And the more trust grows the more security I have. And that all springs out of God's love.
  12. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

    United States
    This isn't true though; because the people in the Old Testament were still atoned for by the blood of Christ.

    There's only 2 covenants - the "Old" and the "New". Only one person ever fulfilled the Old; and that was the one who started the New.

    As far as we know too; the thief did not go to Sheol. Jesus says to him "this day you will be with me in paradise". Now unless the thief died before Jesus did; which does not seem to be the case, based on the text and the soldiers breaking their legs. There was no "second chance" to "accept" Jesus.

    Speaking of sound doctrine - we are never told anywhere in the Scripture to "accept Christ". We're commanded to repent and believe.
  13. StephenDiscipleofYHWH

    StephenDiscipleofYHWH Well-Known Member

    United States
    1. They were given a chance to accept Christ when he preached to them in Sheol, his blood atonement would still atone for their sins after they accepted him. Those who were saved when they died under the Old covenant(or before) would still be saved.

    2. Yes this is true.

    3. As far as we know he did in fact go to Sheol the same day Christ did. That is where he went to when he died before he ascended to heaven on Sunday. Here is a short study showing that Both Christ and the Thief both went to sheol after death.
    "Lastly people will try to use the thief on the cross. There are three ways people try to use the thief on the cross.
    1. Christ and the thief went to heaven when they died.
    Now when we look at the verse,
    Luke 23:43
    43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

    This makes sense when taken at face value not looking at the rest of scripture. When we do though we see the error in this line of thinking. When Christ died he did not go to heaven he went to sheol/the grave.

    1 Peter 3:18-19
    18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

    Ephesians 4:9-10
    9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
    10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

    We know that he didn’t ascend until mid or late morning because he appeared to Mary after she left his grave and still had yet to ascend.

    John 20:16-17
    17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

    After speaking with her he ascended and then reappeared to the disciples and told them to touch him.(John 20:19-28). So it is obvious this line of thinking cannot be the case.

    2 and 3: The other two ways people try to use are basically the same with only a minor difference. One believes that when he said this he was referring to the day of judgement(1st way) and that there is a inspired comma. The second believes that he was referring not to judgment day and the resurrection but to sunday when he finally ascended, and they may or may not have a special comma. The answer to both of these is the same.

    In the original greek there was no punctuation so it would read:
    43 And Jesus said unto him Verily I say unto thee Today shalt thou be with me in paradise

    So we can clearly see that it is friday that he is referring to, and where did he go on friday. The answer is sheol/the grave. And the thief he spoke to went there the same day as him. Paradise is the Place thought by the ancient Jews to be the place where the righteous souls went when they died.

    Paradise- Paradeisos 3857
    Thayer’s greek lexicon
    3. that part of Hades which was thought by the later Jews to be
    the abode of the souls of the pious until the resurrection: Luke 23:43

    Now we know that even today the dead still sleep(Acts 2:27-31, 1 Peter 3:18-19, 2 Peter 2:4, Psalm 16:10, Acts 7:60, 1 Cor 15:6,1 Thessalonians 4:13) and none have risen except for Christ. No man is resurrected except they be a part of the first or second resurrection.( 1 Thess 4:13-17, Acts 7:59-60, 1 Corinthians 15:6, 1 Corinthians 15:18-23, Revelation 20:11-15, Revelation 20:4-6)"
    4. Here are all they places that say we must believe on Christ and what we are to believe about him to be saved. After which comes repentance, forgiving all those that have wronged us, and baptism to be saved.
    In order to saved you must first believe on Yahshua the Christ
    John 3:3,15-18,35-36; Acts 16:31-33; John 6:47; John 5:24; John 14:1; Romans 10:8-9; Hebrews 11:6; Acts 10:43; 1 John 5:4-13; Mark 16:16

    We must believe that Christ was God manifest in the Flesh
    1 Timothy 3:16; Collosians 2:8-9; John 1:1,14; John 8:28

    Must believe Christ lived a sinless life
    1 Peter 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 1:18-19

    Must belive Christ died for all mans sins
    Luke 1:77; Acts 13:38; Hebrews 10:16-18; Luke 24:45-47

    We must believe he raised himself from the Grave on the Third day
    John 2:19-21; John 10:17-18

    Romans 10:9-10
    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  14. Daniel9v9


    Doctrine just means teaching. The Gospel is a doctrine; it's the teachings and good news of Christ. It's the message of God's grace through the person and works of Jesus Christ for all who believe. To say that this is not essential would be wrong. Even the thief on the cross understood this, for he believed and trusted in Christ.

    However, I can appreciate that many in our day have grown cold to the word "doctrine" - that it somehow implies technical scholasticism, dry formalism and many useless teachings. While I agree that there is some truth to this inasmuch as not every theological debate throughout the Church history have been fruitful, I still think to be "anti-doctrine" betrays a lack of understanding or confusion as to what it means. Every church body has doctrine, just they have creeds and liturgy in one form or another. Do we need to understand all of this to be justified? No, for justification is a gift from God. Is doctrine then not important? It is important, for it is a matter of communicating God's Word clearly and accurately; not compromising the Gospel.
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  15. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

    United States
    I don't know why you brought up TULIP, as no one I've met in my entire life, nor read, has ever believed you needed to hold to this to be saved. Rather, I've met many Arminians who have condemned those that do hold it as heretics and outside of Christ.

    I believe a sound understanding of the gospel is necessary to be saved, and it is full of doctrine. Just believing Jesus is God is doctrine. My answer is 'yes' doctrine is important for salvation at some point.
  16. Stabat

    Stabat Stat Crux, dum volvitur orbis Supporter

    Traditional. Cath.
    It's a false dichotomy, the situation concerning the thief is clearly an exception and a rather extraordinary case.
    It shows how Christ is king and have a totally free will that cannot be placed in any sort of reliable and harmless box.
    Christ saves as he wishes, that being said there are ordinary ways of salvation and extraordinary ones.
    It would he highly hazardous to assume that the extraordinary way is a valid way to salvation for us who're living in ordinary times.
    Doing so can definitely cost us our eternal life.
  17. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

    United States
    Salvation is by grace and through faith.

    Doctrines like the bodily presence of the Lord in the Eucharist and the necessity to partake of same for salvation are not only not necessary - they run counter to the simple gospel message.

    But that's not to say that sound doctrine isn't important. It is and we are told to contend for it.

    Contending for it, in this case, is my doing exactly that with my particular example of the supposed necessity of partaking of the Eucharist for salvation.

    Sound doctrine tells us that transubstantiation and the like (particularly when accomplished through the actions and words of a false priesthood) is anti-gospel.

    That's sound doctrine and it is indeed important to realize.
  18. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    The thief on the cross is not a good example to use in discussing Christianity. He was not baptized, he was not chrismated. He died under the old covenant.
  19. Haramis

    Haramis Dancing on Rainbows Supporter

    Only when someone puts artificial shackles on God and His Word. The purpose of every doctrine from God, is one that grows you spiritually closer to God. What does not grow one closer to God is butting heads with other dominations over doctrine.

    If one doctrine allows a Lutheran to grow closer to God, that doctrine is working. If another doctrine allows a Pentecostal to grow closer to God, that doctrine is working. If a human wants to point out that some of the logical details of those two doctrines conflict - that person is at absolute best misunderstanding the purpose of doctrine. At worst they're acting as an agent of Satan if they use this as a point of aggression to attack their brothers and sisters in Christ to submit to their particular doctrine.

    There is a world of difference between "Let me explain what Christ has revealed to me, and how I understand it" and "This is what you need to believe". We can have polar opposite views on the thousand year reign, and it's fully compatible with God's plan for each of us. Some people are more motivated by a belief that we must establish God's kingdom on Earth for Him to return. Others need the sense of immediacy of a rapture of the church. Holding any one of these views is not problematic.

    Because your relationship with God is not based on a particular doctrine, but rather a doctrine tailored to suit you as an individual. And if you succeeded in brow beating someone away from what God first called them to - their doctrine would be closer to yours, but their spiritual edification would now be lacking.

    Many people have dealt with the problem of living under a doctrine that does not resonate with them. Then they move to a new doctrine and grow closer to God. And this switch happens bi-directionally. People who are unhappy with Southern Baptist culture, find that Adventist culture/doctrine works for them. People who are initially Adventists find their true spiritual calling in the Presbyterian church. We don't have so many dominations because one is right and everyone else is wrong. We have them because each one appeals to different people and provides a more focused framework for them.
  20. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

    Only 1 doctrine. The doctrine of saving faith.

    Saving faith, like all faith, requires 2 aspects:

    1. object. Faith without an object is meaningless. Faith is trust in someone or something. In the case of saving faith, the object must be the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, who died on a cross for the sins of everyone and promises eternal life for all who believe in Him for salvation.

    2. goal or purpose. There must be a reason to believe in Christ. According to the TV prosperity preachers, it seems they teach by believing in Jesus, you can get whatever you want. Such a goal or purpose is "in vain", per 1 Cor 15:2.

    The goal or purpose of placing your faith in Jesus Christ is to receive eternal life.

    Anything else isn't the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will get in the way of salvation. Anything less isn't the gospel and also doesn't save.

    Well, no one gets saved by learning or understanding TULIP, since it doesn't even present the good news. Rather, it presents the decidedly bad news that God already decided who would be saved apart from any conditions. Therefore, there is nothing anyone can do, including believing in Christ, in order to be saved, since God already determined who He would "give faith" to.
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