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DOCTRINE— WHO NEEDS IT?  

Scripture: Matthew 7:24–27; Ephesians 4:14–15; 1 Timothy 4:12–13; Hebrews 13:9

Memory verse: 1 Peter 3:15
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

 Lead—In

Explain that today’s study will show them the importance of having a solid foundation for their lives. This foundation is based on God’s Word. Only by knowing what they believe and why, can they be strong Christians.

Hearing God’s Word

Ask: “How many of you have watched a building being built? What are some of the steps in constructing a building?” (Allow brief discussion. You may want to have a builder in the church visit the class and describe the initial steps.)

A Foundation Is Important

One of the first things a builder does is make sure the ground is solid and level. Then the builder digs a trench that forms the outline of the building. In the trench he sets up wooden forms. Then he pours concrete in the forms. This concrete forms the foundation upon which the rest of the building will stand.

The foundation is about the most important part of any building. You may not see much of it when the building is finished; it is not the most attractive part of the building. However, without a solid base or foundation, the weight of a building will cause it to fall or tilt.

Doctrine—Our Spiritual Foundation

Throughout this study we are going to build a foundation—not the kind that supports a building but foundations that will help you understand God and His Word. It is a foundation upon which you can build your spiritual life. The blocks in this foundation are called doctrines. (Write doctrine on the chalkboard.) Doctrine may be a new term to some of you.

Ask: “What do you think the word doctrine means?” (Allow responses.) Doctrine is basically a group of teachings. Bible doctrine is teaching about God and His Word.

If we do not learn what God’s Word says, we will not know how to have a relationship with God and to live as He wants. Everyone will have his own idea of how God wants us to live, believe and act. But by knowing God’s Word we will not have to wonder about how to know God or the right way to live. Our doctrine, or teaching about God, will be sound. (Have a student read Ephesians 4:14, 15.)

Many teachings or doctrines are given in God’s Word. We will be taking a brief look at each of the following subjects through the studies. (Write the following on the chalkboard: The Bible Is God’s Word, The Trinity, Creation, Salvation, Baptism In Water, Communion, The Baptism In The Holy Spirit, Sanctification, The Church, Divine Healing, The Second Coming, Events After The Rapture.)

Ask: “Is it possible to be a good Christian and not understand what the Bible teaches?” (Allow responses.)

A person must know or understand certain Bible doctrines, or teachings, before he will know he can have his sins forgiven. If a person does not know Jesus is God’s Son and died for his sins, that person will not know how he can be saved. A person must also know other doctrines, or teachings, before he can grow in God and live as Jesus commands. If we do not know what God’s Word says, we will find it difficult to make right choices when temptations come our way. Satan may even trick us into accepting teachings that are not true. He can do that when we do not know what we believe.

Jesus’ Parable of the Houses

Jesus told a story that shows how important it is to build our lives on God’s Word. (Have the students look up Matthew 7:24–27 in their Bibles.)

This story tells of two men who each built a house. One man built his house on a rock; the other, on sand. Later a storm came. Rain and wind beat upon the houses. The house built on sand was swept away and destroyed, but the house on the rock stood firm. The difference was their foundation. The house on sand could not stand against the storm. Its foundation was not solid. The sand moved with the water.

Jesus wanted to teach us that the kind of foundation we build for our lives is very important. If we only listen to God’s Word but never pay close attention to what God is saying to us and do what He says, we will be like the house on the sand. When the problems of life come, we will not have the belief in God’s Word to hold us firmly in place and keep us strong.

Knowing What We Believe

Suppose someone said to you, “I do not believe the Bible is God’s Word. It is just another book.” Could you tell that person why you believe the Bible is God’s holy Word? Or perhaps someone may make fun of you for attending a church that believes speaking in tongues is a sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Do you understand enough about this doctrine to explain it to that person?

Your belief in God and in His Word will be challenged many times in the years ahead. That is why it is important to study doctrine and know what you believe and why you believe it. It will help you sort out what is true from what is not.

Today’s memory verse gives an important reason for studying doctrine. (Ask the students to look up 1 Peter 3:15. Read the verse together with the class.)

We should always be ready to explain to others why we believe what we believe about God and the Bible. It not only proves that we understand God’s Word, it may also help someone find the right way to live. Knowing what you believe and living what you believe is an excellent witness to others. (Have a student read 1 Timothy 4:12.)

Glorifying God through Our Beliefs

A carefully built building speaks well of the one who designed it. People who look at the building will say, “He sure knew what he was doing. He built a good building. Everything is done right.”

It is the same with our spiritual lives when we have a solid foundation through good doctrine. When we really understand God’s Word and live by what it teaches, our lives will glorify God, the Master Designer. Those who know us will say, “He is a good person—always kind, fair, and honest. He surely knows how to live right. Maybe God is real. Maybe the Bible is true.”

Before we can glorify God, however, we have to know Jesus as our Saviour. If you have not yet invited Jesus into your life, this would be a good time to do so. It will make this study much more meaningful as you begin building your foundation of doctrine. Salvation is the beginning of a great way of life and a wonderful eternity.

Accepting God’s Word

Salvation is an important Bible doctrine. It is the only way we can escape eternal punishment for sin. Ask if anyone would like to accept Jesus as Saviour now. Pray with each student who responds. Encourage them to tell someone this week about their decision to live for Jesus.

Heart for His People 

Jesus had a heart for the salvation of the Jews, for Jerusalem. He expressed His love and concern in Luke 13:34: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."

The apostle Paul had a great love and concern for his people, the Jews. He clearly revealed his passion for their salvation in Romans 10:1: "Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved."

Pastor Mohammed has a heart-felt compassion for his people too, the Digo of Kenya. His personal commitment to present the gospel to his family, friends and the Digo community at large is remarkable. As Jesus longed for an unwilling people to repent and Paul prayed for Israel's salvation, so Mohammed has endeavoured to share his faith in Christ with the resistant Islamic Digo.

REMEMBER TO PRAY
Pray for Digo Pastors 

1. Recognize their advantages in reaching their Digo people, such as: language, culture and family,
2. Wisdom to guide the Digo community from its Islamic theology to biblical truth,
3. Proclaim the gospel with a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer Promise

"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16).
 

Remember: DOCTRINE— WHO NEEDS IT?

Memory verse: 1 Peter 3:15
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

1. Doctrine is our spiritual foundation.
2. Bible doctrine is teaching about God and His Word.
3. I must be able to explain to others what I believe.

Pray for Digo Pastors. 

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Study 2 | Jesus Says Go/We Believe | africaatts.org/go-teach

 

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