Posted by: missionventureministries | May 17, 2018


“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine. For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matthew 7:28-29) 

The Bible says they were “astonished at His doctrine” (teaching). They were flabbergasted; and who could blame them, they had truly never heard anyone speak or teach like Christ. 

The crowds were amazed at our Lord’s teaching, since their ears were used to listening to the Pharisaical teachers of the Law who were a mere reflection of authority, and not a very good one at that. Jesus on the other hand was and is the ultimate Authority. He possesses all power and knowledge; and this difference was extremely obvious to His hearers! 

The Pharisees were a mere pretense, unable to fulfill what they preached; they were reciting memorized passages, while Jesus, who spoke the world into being, spoke with authority. 

There were plenty of ‘rabbis’ who had devoted a lifetime to studying the Scriptures, yet Jesus’ teaching struck the crowd as special. He reminded them of the rewards for perseverance in loving God, He exposed God’s words as the bedrock they could trust, and then He revealed its meaning, contrasting His authority with traditional teaching. 

Jesus taught with an assured understanding of the law’s intent, and He was not simply reciting what the Scriptures said or quoting the prevailing opinions of the scribes; the professional theologians of their day and the authority in matters of ‘religious law’. His message was radically different from theirs and this left the crowd astonished. 

In Matthew 7:28 we find the first mention of “doctrine” (Greek didache) in the New Testament, and as such it is significant that it refers to the doctrines taught by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. It is also significant that there are four other verses telling us that His hearers were “astonished at His doctrine” (Matthew 22:33; Mark 1:22; 11:18; Luke 4:32). 

No wonder He could speak with authority since: “My doctrine is not mine,” He said, “but His that sent me” (John 7:16).  

Paul could also teach this astonishing doctrine because he was careful to teach only the Word of God. And so can we if we likewise believe and teach only in the context of the inerrant, doctrinal authority of God’s Word.

Unfortunately, it has become fashionable today, even in many evangelical churches, to avoid “doctrine” in favor of “discussion” and “personal Christianity.” This is a great mistake and largely accounts for the increasing secularization of our society and the weak testimony of the Christian church. The Bible clearly tells us to hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that we may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it – Titus 1:9. 

Doctrine and teaching are the same, and therefore the Lord’s parting words to His disciples is to teach “all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). This is an integral part of Christ’s great commission. It is imperative that we, like Paul, teach “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), for “whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, does not have God.” However, “he who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9). 

So why should we study and teach Christian doctrine? 

  • Because it reveals truth about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, salvation, mankind, sin,  future events (etc.), giving us a correct perspective of the world we live in (John 17:17; 1 John 5:20). 
  • It reveals God’s work of redemption. It is truth that leads to salvation (John 8:31-32). 
  • It gives us instructions on how we should live (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 
  • It makes us aware of error and false teaching. We must first know the truth in order to recognize error (2 Timothy 2:15). 
  • Then, it enables us to defend the truth against error (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 4:3-5). 
  • It grows and strengthens our faith. (Ephesians 4:14).  

And the most important fact is that by applying doctrine, it will give us a greater motivation to live a holy and sanctified life for Him! (Colossians 2:6-7). 

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies (doctrines, teachings), and who seek Him with the whole heart! (Psalm 119:2)


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