Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is the chief end of man?

Some of you are probably reciting the answer in your head...others are probably confused...still more are probably wondering what the heck kind of question is that.

Until a few weeks ago I was definitely in the confused category. A lot of things dealing with doctrine get me. I know it's important, to an extent, but it always just seemed/seems too philosophical for my scientific thinking brain. Give me a study bible and some mellow music and I'm good to go.

Except studying doctrine is important. Can you be know God without studying doctrine*? Yes! Can you believe in Jesus without studying doctrine*? Yes! Can you be saved without studying doctrine*? YES! So why is it so important?
*doctrine here refers to books, studies, and information beyond what is presented in the bible. I do believe that knowing and believing truth, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as they are presented scripturally are very much essential to salvation.

(Note: A lot of what I'm writing is pulled from Steve Lammers' [a pastor in the PCA church] sermon which you can listen to here)

  • Is Christianity defined merely by how we live or is there something more? It's something's's truth.
  • Healthy doctrine produces healthy/sound Godly living.
  • Doctrine and truth matters.
  • Truth accords with godliness.
  • "Creeds" were built in the early church to summarize the truth - what we aught to believe.
  • True teaching, as seen in the apostles, matters.
  • How can you love Jesus without loving the truths/doctrines about Jesus.
  • Biblical faith rests on truth.
  • Biblical faith is not opposed to is almost synonymous with truth. It helps us interpret the truth. Biblical faith has to have truth in order to flourish.
  • You don't have to hide from the truth. You don't have to ignore evidence to have faith.
  • Biblical faith is digging into scripture and evidence to seek out what is true. it goes. I'm going to throw off this fear of doctrine and dive in. Why don't you join me? Every Thursday I'm going to post questions and answers from The Shorter Catechism. If you want, buy a copy for yourself. Pray through it. Seek scripture. Post comments and questions. Create discussion. Learn truth. I'll be doing much the same...let's do it together!

Week 1:
1. What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. (See 1 Corinthians 10:31; Revelation 7:15-17)

2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him? The word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the old and new testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. (See 2 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 2:20)

3. What do the scriptures principally teach? The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. (See John 5:39; Ecclesiastes 12:13)

89. How is the word made effectual to salvation? The spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up to holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation. (See Pslam 19:7; 2 Timothy 3:16)

90. How is the word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation? That the word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend therunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer, receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts and practice it in our lives. (See  Pslam 119:11 and 18; Hebrews 4:2; John 7:17)

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