This summer we will be exploring doctrines of the church. Doctrines can be viewed as a useful way to explore some key themes that we find within the biblical story - a type of curriculum for teaching biblical truths. The danger with doctrines is that we allow them to become abstract truths that sit on a shelf unused. The hope with doctrines is that they delve us back into the story, perhaps reawakening in us the parts we have forgotten.
Scripture: John 14:15-31
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Election is undeniably a prominent theme in the Bible. But what does it mean for us today?
Are we becoming like Christ? The doctrine of Sanctification teaches that having been justified by Christ, and abiding in Him, the Holy Spirit operates within us to purify us into the image of Christ. The notion of ‘being set apart’ is deeply connected to the word sanctification: we are set apart, made holy, in order to do good works for the sake of the common good.
Scripture: Galatians 2:14-21
This doctrine explores the biblical truth that we are accepted into covenant relationship with God through the work and person of Jesus Christ. As Christians we believe this, and yet we struggle and strive to present to God and others proof of worthiness. We add to Christ, while God has said Christ is sufficient; and this ushers scandalous hierarchy into the body of Christ, if not outright and unjust exclusion.
The Doctrine of the Trinity: God in Three Persons
John 15:26; John 17:20-26
“People tell you who they are, but we ignore it, because we want them to be who we want them to be” - Don Draper from Madmen. Could this be true in our relationship with God? God tells us who he is, but we ignore it, because we want God to be who we want God to be. This Sunday, even though we cannot fully grasp the essence of God, we want to dive into what he has revealed about himself, in the hopes of nurturing a healthy relationship with God, in which we allow God to be completely other, rather than projections of our psyche.
Central to the message is that when we dwell in relationship with the Triune God - as he really is, as he reveals himself to be - we are naturally drawn into his mission, and into the sending actions that are core within the Three persons of the Trinity.
The Doctrine of Inspiration
Christians believe the bible is “inspired by God”. What does that mean? Why do we believe it? And what does the Bible do?