Limits of a doctrinal statement

Doctrinal statements can’t truly reflect the experience of following Christ

To be honest, the entire Bible represents our “doctrinal statement,” since it provides the most complete description of God and how He operates than any other document or book ever written.

So to pick a few verses to describe the fullness of the Bible, and what a church believes, becomes a daunting task. Which verses to use? Who chooses the verses? You get the idea. 

Doctrinal statements—such as ours—reflect only some of our beliefs, and are offered only to provide a sense of where we fall on core beliefs.

Knowing doctrine doesn’t mean we are changed people

If one were to read the owner’s manual for a car, write notes in the margins, even highlight key information, but one never actually got into the car and drove it, the knowledge about the car becomes useless.

The same is true about doctrine. It’s good to know, but if we don’t let the truth of God sink in, permeate, and ultimately work out into our daily lives, our ability to quote chapter and verse to support a doctrinal position helps no one.

Ultimately, we’re more concerned that people become acquainted with Jesus Christ, and learn to take Him at His Word. We seek to live as His disciples in a world that desperately needs to hear Jesus’ invitation to be free in Him. Do we live each day in a way that more reflects the holy and loving nature of Jesus Christ? Do we show love in our interactions with others in the church, those we work with, our neighbors, strangers driving past us on the road? Do our lives reflect the true fruit of a life saturated in, led by, and surrendered to the Holy Spirit (Galatians, chapter 5, verses 22-23)?