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2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
The word ‘doctrine’ simply means teaching. Bible doctrine, therefore, refers to the teaching of the Scriptures. Since the days of the apostles, Bible-believing people have had an emphasis upon sound doctrine, but today doctrine is often downplayed in favour of ecumenical unity.
1. We know sound doctrine through obedience (John 7:17) - If a man is open to the truth and willing to obey God, the Lord will give him wisdom so that he can discern sound doctrine from false. In Proverbs 1:23 God says, “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” God has promised to make His truth known to those who repent and submit to Him.
2. We know sound doctrine through continuing in God’s Word (John 8:31-32) - In 2 Timothy 2:15, the believer is commanded to rightly divide the Word. This refers to interpreting it properly and knowing its doctrine correctly. Would God require a Christian to rightly divide the Word of truth if He did not intend to give him the ability to do that? This verse indicates that God will hold the Christian accountable for this task, because the one who rightly divides the Word of truth is approved. It is implied that the one who does not rightly divide the truth is disapproved. This means that Pat Boone and other ecumenists are wrong when they say that God does not hold the believer accountable to know sound doctrine.
3. We know sound doctrine through the Holy Spirit - 1 John 2:20-21 says, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” Verse 27 says further, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” Thus the Scriptures plainly state that the believer has the Holy Spirit to teach him and he can know the truth. – David Cloud