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Christ Our Doctrine
AUTHOR: Unknown
PUBLISHED ON: May 2, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN

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From    : FRANK VIOLA                          Number    : 155 of 156
To      : CHARLES WOOTTEN                      Date      : 01/26/95 23:16
Subject : Living Water #5                      Reference : NONE
Read    : 01/28/95 09:05                        Private  : NO
Conf    : 26 – Devotions      phileoNet

            Living Water From Deep Wells of the Spirit

                PRESENT THEME: THE PERSON OF CHRIST

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Vol. 1                  Christ our Doctrine              Num. 5
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    The uniqueness of Christianity is found in the relationship
between its founder and its doctrines.  Unlike all other religious
systems, Christianity is not based upon a set of teachings, a
creed, an idealogy, a philosophy, or a code of ethics.  Buddhism,
Confucianism, Islam, Taoism, and all other religions are based
upon specific doctrines that were originated and passed down by
their founders.  But it is not so with Christianity.  Christianity is
based upon a Person; in fact, it is so deeply bound up with this
Person that it cannot exist without Him.  This, of course, is not
to say that Christianity does not contain teachings and doctrines.
It most certainly does.  However, the unique characteristic of
Christianity–which sets it apart from all other religious systems–
is that its Founder is the very substance of all of its doctrines and
its teachings.
    Consider the religion of Islam, for example.  Islam is based
upon the teachings of a man named Mohammed.  It has been
many years since Mohammed has passed away, and yet, the
doctrines, teachings, and philosophies that he promoted continue
to this day without him.  There is, in effect, a marked detach-
ment and disassociation between the founder of Islam and its
teachings.  The founder has passed on, but his teachings survive.
Another example is found in Buddhism.  Buddhism was founded
on the teachings of Sakya Muni.  Yet, the crux of Buddhism is
found in its philosophies and doctrines; it has little to do with
Sakya Muni.  Therefore, one can be a good Buddhist today
simply by following the teachings of Buddhism without being at
all familiar with its founder.  This is characteristic of most all
religions.
    In contrast, Christianity is not built upon teachings and
doctrines; rather, it is built upon a Man.  The –Person– of Christ
is the center and crux of Christianity rather than the doctrines
that He taught.  Accordingly, the Gospels spend much more time
concentrating on Christ’s life, His deeds, His actions, His
attitudes, and His work than it does on His teachings.  Notwith-
standing, the Scriptures teach us clearly that Christ Himself is
the very embodiment of all of His teachings.  Without Christ,
there is no Christianity, for His teachings and His doctrines are
vitally bound up with Himself.  The crucial question that
Christianity asks, then, regards the Person of Jesus Christ; the
central question of the Bible is–“who is Jesus?”  In order for a
person to become a Christian, then, they must know its Founder,
and not just His teachings.
    Let us consider some examples of the inseparable connection
between the doctrines of Christianity and the Person of Christ.
In Christianity we have many essential doctrines: incarnation,
justification, regeneration, sanctification, the baptism of the
Spirit, etc.  Now, let me ask, what is the doctrine of incarnation
based upon?  Is it not based upon the Person of Christ–who is
the only God-Man?  And what about the doctrine of justification
and the forgiveness of sins.  What is it based upon?  It is based
upon the work of this Man Jesus, particularly in His shedding of
blood.  What is the doctrine of regeneration based upon?  Again,
it is based upon Christ, namely, upon His resurrection.  What is
the doctrine of sanctification based upon?  It is based upon His
all-inclusive death on the cross (see Romans 6:6).  And what
about the doctrine of the baptism of the Spirit?  The Bible
clearly teaches that this doctrine is based upon Christ’s exalta-
tion.  The doctrines of Christianity, then, are inseparably bound
up with the Person and work of Jesus Christ; every Christian
experience, therefore, is actually an entrance into the reality of
Christ and the Divine facts that concern Him.
    The very doctrine of Christianity is embodied in its founder,
Jesus Christ.  For this reason, Christ calls us to believe in –Him-,
not simply in His doctrines.  God’s intention is that we go beyond
accepting the teachings and doctrines of Christianity with mental
assent, but instead, to have a living and vital relationship with
Christ –Himself–.  We must understand that there is a vast
difference between believing in the doctrines of Christianity and
believing “into” (as the original puts it) Christ Himself.
    In conclusion, Christianity does not emphasize doctrine, but
a Person; it does not give us a code of teaching, but a Man.  In
fact, every doctrine that is mentioned in the Bible points back to
the Person of Christ.  While all other religions pass down their
teachings to future generations without demanding an intimate
knowledge of their founders, Christ passes down Himself to all
who will receive Him.  While the creeds of all other religions are
detached from their founders and can exist without them, the
doctrines of Christianity are inseparable from its Founder–for
Christ Himself is our Doctrine.

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