Covenant Baptist Church

I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God,

which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

— 1 Timothy 3:15 —


Does it matter what you believe as long as you believe? Isn't doctrine for pastors, theology students, or religious professionals, and not really for the "normal" Christian? Consider these parallel questions.

Does it matter who you marry as long as you get married?

Does it matter who you vote for as long as you vote?

Does it matter what medicine you take as long as you take medicine?

See? The object of belief does matter. But there is more. It is also not enough to believe in the right things without being personally committed to the truth you claim to believe. Jesus tells us that many will call Him Lord on the day of judgment, but will be turned away (Matthew 7:22-23). This gets us to the heart of belief. Believing is not just mental knowledge, but it is a commitment to live the truth. For example, a person in a burning building is not saved by believing there is a way out of danger, but only by taking that way. Merely to believe in the existence of God, or some truths about Him, is no better than demon belief (James 2:19). Faith (belief), in Scripture, is a dynamic and supernatural event. It is produced by the power of God and is evidenced by a changed life. So, correct doctrine is important in two areas of life:

Before Christ—what an unbeliever needs to believe in order to be saved.

After Christ—what a believer needs to believe in order to walk with and please God.

Doctrine presented to the unbeliever is called witnessing. Generally, God's position and man's condition are taught, with a call to repentance and faith in Christ unto salvation. Upon conversion, a believer continues to walk according to the truth as an expression of the will of God. Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17: "Sanctify them by the truth; thy Word is truth." Emotionalism is often substituted for truth in the church today, but doctrinal truth is always the legitimate source of Christian emotions. It is also common (very!) today to believe that God is waiting for the sinner to DO something in order to complete all the work Christ has done. Salvation is WHOLLY by the grace of God, and there is NOTHING we could ever do to earn it. As clear as the Bible makes this ("For by grace have you been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" -- Ephesians 2:8-9), many still believe it is partly God and partly man that secures salvation.

See the Gospel and Statement of Faith links above to understand better our church's position on how a sinner can be saved, and what the Bible teaches.



©2013 Covenant Baptist Church, Orangeburg, South Carolina