WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 7, 2022
TOPIC: ABIDE IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST
BY T. O. BANSO
“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9 New King James Version).
Another word for doctrine is teaching. The Bible talks about different kinds of doctrines. These include the doctrines of men, the doctrines of demons, and strange doctrines. The Bible also talks about the doctrine of Christ (2 John 1:19), good doctrine (Proverbs 4:2; 1 Timothy 4:6), pure doctrine (Job 11:4), the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:12), worthless doctrine (Jeremiah 10:8), new doctrine (Mark 1:27; Acts 17:19), the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42), and sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:9; 2:1).
Other types of doctrines mentioned in the Bible are the doctrine of God our Saviour (Titus 2:10), the doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14), and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:15). Our focus in this devotional is the doctrine of Christ, which also means the teaching of Christ.
The apostle John says, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9 New King James Version). The phrase “the doctrine of Christ” is mentioned twice in this verse. This scripture emphasizes the need for the followers of Christ who are called Christians to abide in His doctrine. We are to abide, remain, or continue in what Jesus taught when He was on earth. Anyone who doesn’t abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God but whoever abides in His doctrine has the Father and the Son.
To abide in the doctrine of Christ also means to obey or keep to His teaching. “Anyone who goes on and does not keep to the teaching of Christ, has not God: he who keeps to the teaching has the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9 Bible in Basic English). Jesus says further that if anyone comes to his followers and does not bring this doctrine or teaching, we should not receive him into our houses or greet him, for he who greets him, shares in his evil deeds (verses 10-11).
As highlighted earlier, the Bible mentions different kinds of doctrines. Even today, we have different kinds of doctrines and if you are a child of God or a follower of Christ, you must not allow yourself to be led astray by them. Don’t allow anyone to deceive you with doctrines that are different from that of Christ. This is why you must study your Bible and know the teaching of Christ so that if anyone wants to mislead you, your knowledge of the truth will preserve you.
There are heretical teachers today just as they existed in the time of the apostles. The apostle Peter says, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1 New King James Version).
Beware! Not everyone who claims to be a servant of God is. And not everyone who preaches or teaches the Bible is genuine or ministering the truth to people. Jesus warns in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (New King James Version). Also, in Mark 13:22, Jesus says, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (New King James Version).
Beware! Don’t be deceived. The apostle Paul says false apostles, deceitful workers, transform themselves into apostles of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13). Addressing the elders of the Ephesian church, Paul warns, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29 New King James Version).
We have savage wolves today whose teaching is not consistent with that of Christ. They are peddling worthless doctrines, strange doctrines, new doctrines, the doctrines of men, and the doctrines of demons. Don’t believe them no matter their status, large following, or even the signs and wonders they perform. Jesus says you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). Don’t take everything hook, line, and sinker just because of the fame of a minister.
Search the scriptures for yourself and hold only to the truth the ministers preach or teach. Be like the Christians in Berea. Acts 17:11 says the Berean Christians were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
The apostles received the teaching of Christ, walked in it, and taught their listeners the same everywhere they went. The teaching of Christ became the apostles’ doctrine. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. The apostles built on the foundation that Jesus had laid. Every doctrine that doesn’t agree with what Christ taught during His earthly ministry is not a good or sound doctrine. Don’t listen to the doctrines of demons, strange doctrines, and worthless doctrines. Don’t be deceived by the modern-day doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the doctrine of Balaam, or the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.
Abide in the doctrine of Christ. Abide in the doctrine of God our Saviour, as Titus 2:10 put it. The doctrine of Christ was the doctrine of God. “Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me’” (John 7:16 New King James Version). His doctrine was from God and He spoke on His authority (verse 17).
If you’re a minister of the gospel, let your doctrine be the doctrine of Christ. In 2 Timothy 3:10, Paul refers to his doctrine, which could be described as the doctrine of Christ because, in 1 Corinthians 11:1, he says the Corinthians should imitate him, just as he also imitates Christ.
What is your doctrine? Is your doctrine pure, as Zophar the Naamathite, one of Job’s friends, quoted him as saying? (Job 11:4). Let your doctrine be pure or sound. Let your church doctrine be consistent with that of Christ. Writing to Timothy, his son in the ministry, Paul says, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16 New King James Version). Take heed to your doctrine, too.
Don’t teach any other doctrine but the doctrine of Christ (1 Timothy 1:3). Speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). Don’t teach as doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7). Be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine, following the doctrine of Christ (1Timothy 4:6).
The Bible says if anyone teaches a different doctrine, and doesn’t consent to sound words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. Believers should withdraw from such a person (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
Abide in the doctrine of Christ. Don’t depart from it. Be careful of following all manners of doctrines. Grow up. God doesn’t want you to be a child, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Ephesians 4:14).
Embrace the doctrine of Christ and remain in it. Jesus says you must abide in Him to be fruitful (John 15:4-6). He says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7 New King James Version). Don’t live contrary to the doctrine of Christ, which you have learnt, and avoid those who live contrary to it (Romans 16:17). Hold fast to the doctrine of Christ. Abide in it.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not teach, receive, or believe the doctrines of demons, strange doctrines, and worthless doctrines but the doctrine of Christ. I shall not exchange the doctrine of Christ for any other doctrine. My doctrine shall be the doctrine of Christ. Holy Spirit, deliver all those who have been led astray and are held captive by doctrines different from the doctrine of Christ. Let such people know the truth, be set free, and abide in the doctrine of Christ.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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