The Foundations of Belief: Exploring the Core Doctrines of Christianity – The Bible

1 Timothy 4:1: “…in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”


What are Christian Doctrines?

Perhaps a good place to begin this series is to determine the meaning of “Christian Doctrines.”

Since the Bible is the word of God, as 2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God…” and is accurate, according to Psalm 119:160, “The sum of your word is truth…” we can conclude then that Christian doctrines, which derive solely from the Bible, and Biblical Christianity, are one and the same.

Generally, doctrines refer to instructions or teachings, the content of which is either informational (to be believed) or practical (to be lived out). These teachings, then, serve as a standard or measure by which all other teachings on a given subject are determined to be true or false, sound or unsound.

There is a direct relationship between sound doctrine and godly living, as Paul remarks in Titus 2:7, “In all things show yourself to be a model of good works, with purity in doctrine…” The opposite is also evident; Paul, for example, warns about a time when, according to 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “…people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

It is these truths in the Bible that we will discuss. Some pertain directly to salvation, others to godly living, and even to future prophecies. As stated earlier, they are things to be believed and guidelines to be lived out. In sum, they define Biblical Christianity.


What the Bible Says About the Bible

The Bible identifies itself as the only authentic source of all Christian truth. To comprehend this reality, it is worthwhile reviewing seven statements that the Bible articulates for itself:

  1. God is the source of the Bible.
    • 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God…”
  2. God used men to write the Bible through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
    • 2 Peter 1:20-21, “…no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
  3. The Bible is entirely accurate and everlasting.
    • Psalm 119:160, “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”
  4. The Bible is all-sufficient for Godly living.
    • 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
  5. The Bible is complete and finished, and may not be modified.
    • Revelation 22:18-19, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which is described in this book.”
  6. The Bible can only be accurately interpreted by believers.
    • 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person [non-believer] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” In this regard, a literal, grammatical, and historical interpretive approach, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, is necessary to accurately understand scripture.
  7. The Bible is alive and timeless.
    • Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Reflecting On the Bible as a Doctrine

The Bible, as a Christian doctrine, however, is not without complications. That is to say, outside of non-believers, who may discredit and demean what the Bible claims, even believers may have problems in three critical areas: its source, sufficiency, and accuracy.

Concerning its source, God, the creator, and ruler of the universe, is the very author of the best-selling book of all time – the Bible. Many trivialize that fact. In fact, many don’t thoroughly comprehend this reality. For sure, they may give it lip service, but often fail to really capture the depth of this profound fact – God wrote the Bible, and we are reading the thoughts from the very mind of God. Too few approach this with the sense of awe that is befitting of something that the God of the universe has authored. Until one can fully internalize this, they will lack the mindset necessary to comprehensively appreciate, let alone understand, the Bible.

Concerning its sufficiency, nothing more needs to be added to the Bible. How many religions have the Bible plus something as the source of their faith and practices? How many want to add something to the Bible to “bring it up to date” because, after all, we’re now in the 21st century, and indeed, a lot has changed. How many want to partially replace or supplant the Bible with the teachings of the world on, for example, psychology and science?  Unfortunately, this is not the approach that occurs after all resources of the Bible have been exhausted; instead, it is often the initial course of action. It is essential to understand that if God says that the Bible is sufficient, we should approach how we live and interpret the Bible with that specifically in mind.

Concerning its accuracy, particularly the narratives of the Old Testament: the creation of the universe in six days, the great flood, the story of Jonah and the great fish, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the rise and fall of Israel as God’s chosen people, etc., every bit is true. One cannot state that they believe in the Bible except for the story of Jonah. To do so quickly runs afoul of what Christ Himself states about the Old Testament since His recollection is that of authentic stories. This is evident in Matthew 12:40, where Christ states, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” and even in Matthew 16:4, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” One needs to ask themselves, who is correct, Jesus or you? Everything in the Bible is accurate, and picking and choosing what is or is not true devolves to illogical conclusions, and violates the efficacy of the Holy Spirit Himself as the author of scripture.


As a doctrine, the Bible is to be believed and lived out. The creator of the universe is the complete, accurate, timeless, and sufficient author of the most remarkable book ever written. However, even believers struggle with the depth of its authorship, sufficiency, and accuracy. These are the difficulties that need to be confronted and resolved in order to grow and mature in one’s Christian faith.

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