Christ’s Doctrine Is Astonishing

The most distinguishing characteristic of Christ’s doctrine is that it is astonishing. “And they were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power” (Luke 4: 32).

The word “astonished” in the Greek means “to be struck with amazement as by lightening.” The Latin roots of our English word is “to be thunderstruck.” In both, there is an attack on our complacency. We are shocked and shaken, as when a lightening bolt and its deafening blast of thunder hits so close that it frightens us and shakes us to our core. That is what the doctrine of Christ does to the hearer.

He owned the words He was saying, and they had a force that shook up the hearers. His word was with power because He did not speak words about  the word of God, but He spoke God’s words. Big difference. Christ’s mouth was God’s mouth, and His words were “spirit and life” to the hearers. And God is still speaking by His Spirit, now desiring to speak through us.

However, most preachers today, at best, speak about God. Many speak only about themselves. Just briefly listen  to them. They go on and on numbingly about their personal lives, and you keeping waiting patiently, but precious few have God speaking His words through them. Their teachings are not astonishing, for their words are not with power. Their doctrine is filled with words about God, not words from God. If the message spoken by modern ministers is not astonishing, then it needs to be re-examined to see if it really is the word of God or just words.

But Christ spoke the Father’s words, the word of God. And we know that the word of God is powerful (Heb. 4: 12). And the hearers of it will be astonished!

The Teachings that Bring Astonishment

What exactly did Christ say to them that shook them out of the rut of their everyday lives? He told them, “Repent,” the first of His doctrines [1]. And the hearers were “astonished at His doctrine.” Why?

When you and I bear witness to the heart-changing doctrine of true repentance from sin, when we stand up and testify before others that this hand that stole steals no more, and this tongue that cursed, swears no more, and these eyes that lusted after women desires them no more, and this mouth that lied in self-promotion and delusions of grandeur now issues forth the sweet waters of love and encouragement to those that thirst–this is an astonishing miracle of transformation of the human heart.

This is an astounding change that God has wrought in my heart–a change totally sustained by the heart that He has given me, a heart that is new, a heart that is born from above, a heart transplanted from heaven by the Great Physician who has done a truly marvelous work, a lasting work founded upon His great love and mercy in that while we were yet sinners, “Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5: 6).

That is astonishing! To be in such a state of grace (favor from God) that I am now free from the slave master called Sin! “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6: 7). Dying with Christ on the cross is how we repent of our sins and how we are made free by faith in Him. I am now free from the bondage of sin and sinning! That is astonishing!

And you are free now, too. He has already secured our liberty from the bondage to sin! We just need to believe it! Which is, of course, the second principle of Christ’s doctrine, which is the milk of the word that helps us to grow up and be another Peter, John, James, or Paul. I know this is what we all want–to walk in power. But first things first.

First, we need to surrender our old self to the death of the cross with Christ, die with Him, be buried with Him, and by believing that He was raised from the dead, we too can walk in a “newness of life.” What’s newer than being freed from sin and sinning?

You know that Christ came to take away our sins, thus destroying the works of the devil. “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” [2].

That is astonishing! That is earth shaking and heart rending. This is it. No more playing around. This is repentance from sin, the first of the principles of the doctrine of Christ, the first cup of the milk of the word, and it is astonishing!

{Send this milk on to all you know and love. They are hungry for righteousness; they need it. Feed His lambs, brothers and sisters. Feed them…Visit my new blog The Milk of the Word devoted to the first principles of Christ’s doctrine found here: https://themilkoftheword.wordpress.com/ } Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. Matt. 3: 2 & 4: 17; Mark 1: 15, 6: 12; Luke 13: 3 among others

2. I John 3: 5-9

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Filed under cross, death of self, faith, repentance

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