Doctrine or Gospel


†††† Some people today try to separate the gospel and doctrine, with the apparent idea that gospel is more important than doctrine.Gospel is the term used for the message of salvation in Christ.Doctrine is teaching or the message taught; and when the term is used in regard to the teaching of the truth, it embraces all of the teaching concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ.


†††† What does the word gospel embrace in the New Testament?We are warned against false gospels (Galatians 1:6, 7).The gospel of Christ reveals truth and contains facts to believe such as Christís death for our sins, His burial, His resurrection, and the hope laid up for the faithful (I Corinthians 15:1-8; Colossians 1:3-5,23).It contains commands to obey (Romans 10:16; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; I Peter 4:17; Mark 16:15,16).It covers and includes such issues as circumcision (Galatians 2:3-5), Paulís authority as an apostle (I Corinthians 9:18), and various exhortations given in the word (I Thessalonians 2:1-13).The gospel is the word of God preached by the Apostles (I Peter 1:22-25).It reveals Godís righteousness Ė not just the fact that God is righteous, but also His way of righteousness in which we are to live (Romans 1:16, 17; Titus 2:11-14).


†††† Sound doctrine is the teaching of the gospel of Christ.It contains first principles such as faith, repentance, and baptism (Hebrews 6:1,2).It is of God, therefore authoritative (John 7:16), and of Christ, therefore authoritative (II John 9; Matthew 28:18).Sound doctrine is contained in the gospel (I Timothy 1:8-11).It effects our salvation through faithful obedience (I Timothy 4:16; Romans 6:17,18).We must mark and avoid those who teach a different doctrine (Romans 16:17; I Timothy 6:1-5).Sound doctrine encourages believers and convicts those who contradict (Titus 1:9) as it directs us in godly behavior and holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Titus 2:1-15; Hebrews 12:14).


†††† It should be obvious that the gospel, when taught, is doctrine; and sound doctrine is the gospel of Christ, which we must obey if we are to have fellowship in the gospel (I John 1:1-10).


Gilbert Alexander

Beulah Church of Christ

(256) 232-1050