The doctrines that the early apostles taught were Christ’s very own teachings. And Christ’s doctrines were the Father’s. Christ said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me” (John 7: 16). That is why they are so important to God and should be important to us.
The apostles’ doctrine is the foundation. Period. When Christ admonishes us to dig deep and lay our house upon the rock, He means for us to have that solid foundation of His teachings of truth, for He is the truth.
We cannot go any farther in our preparation to fulfill God’s purpose of reproducing Himself in us without these principles established in our hearts. This is the major reason that millions of mute professing Christians sit in the same pew every week for decades. Some feel stagnant, ossified, and stunted. These beautiful and wonderful people spiritually grow very little, for they were not taught the doctrine of Christ, which are the teachings that the apostles embraced. The people in the pews hear sermons about Christ, but not messages from Christ.
At best, Christ’s teachings are not presented as a purposeful curriculum. Preachers accidentally hint around at a biblical theme, but precious few know where Christ wants us to go and how to get there. And yet, it is right there in the scriptures. His teachings are right there, written down in the Bible, but one needs the key to gain “entrance…into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ (Yahshua the Messiah). His doctrine is plainly laid out for us (Heb. 6: 1-2).
Millions of Christians have read the apostles’ doctrine, but without the compass pointing to God’s purpose, the knowledge of God becomes just another nice story, another promise of going to heaven, escaping the woes of this earth. Escaping hell and going to heaven—is that all there is?
No. Christ has promised that “few there be to find this way of truth.” That means that few will be seeking the “high calling of God in Christ.” A few will learn the apostles’ doctrine like the early apostles did. And these few in our day will do the “greater works” that Christ promised some of us will do. They are the remnant; they are the first fruits.
For there is a stark distinction between those on the milk of the word and those on the strong meat of the word. Those desiring the milk are little children spiritually; those on meat will grow strong and brave and will do the same mighty works that Christ did. That is His promise. And by doing what He did, God fulfills His purpose of reproducing Himself. But the strong meat can only be digested by those who have the strong foundation in the apostles’ doctrine. Only those who have studied and shared the milk of the word with the young ones coming into the body will grow into fathers of the faith like the apostle Paul. The apostles’ doctrine is Christ’s pure teachings without the old leaven, which is the error-filled doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees and Herod.
So, yes, Christ’s teachings are important. They are the yellow brick road leading to us fulfilling our very purpose in being here on earth, which is to glorify God. But here is an example of just how humble and great our God is. He will glorify us by filling us up with Himself first, and in so doing, He is glorified. When He will have multiplied Himself in us, then He will be glorified. You talk about giving and thinking of others. What Love!
In God’s Mind It Is Already Done
The key to implementing every step in our spiritual growth is this: In God’s mind and heart, it is already done. His work and purpose is already finished in us. He sees us that way, as already having all of His holy attributes. For He “calls those things which be not as though they were” (Rom. 4: 17). That is a good description of His faith in Himself and in us. Through His apostles and prophets, He has spoken prophecy about us. And He believes His own word concerning us and sees it as accomplished. That is His faith, which now is our faith since He now lives within us.
Take repentance from sin. Nobody wants to talk about that concept. Most preachers equate it to feeling sorry for the bad things that they have done. But that is “godly sorrow which leads us to repentance.” Feeling sorry is good but it is not repentance. Repentance from sin happens when we surrender our old heart, our old nature, our old self and let it die with Christ on the cross. “And he that is dead is freed from sin. Feeling conviction and sorrow and walking the aisle and joining the church does not constitute repentance from sin. For past sins keep rearing their ugly heads in a person’s mind. There is a remembering of sins, and one’s conscience bothers them, and they feel guilty and defeated again. It is only the blood of Christ that can “purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” These dead works are produced by a sinful old nature.
But here is the astounding thing. Our old sinful self, in God’s eyes, is already dead. He is just waiting for His people to believe it. He has reckoned our old nature dead, and He considers us alive unto Him. What we must do is believe it in faith, confess it with our mouth that the Father has raised Christ from the dead, and we then may begin to “walk in a newness of life.” Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him…Rom. 6: 6.
This walk is a huge part of the first two of the apostles’ doctrine: repentance from dead works and faith toward God. The apostles’ doctrine is not only important, but also vital in us fulfilling our destiny here on earth. Kenneth Wayne Hancock