If Biblical Doctrine Doesn’t Produce Life Change It Isn’t Of Value
I’m a practical person. I like to learn but not just facts or theories. I don’t mind learning information as long as it leads to being able to do something with it. It’s what motivates me as a pastor, Bible teacher and writer. I study God’s word to understand it so that it changes my life. Then I teach it with the goal of life change in others.
But it’s hard and I don’t always do it well. It’s easier to explain what the Bible says than it is to explain why it matters. If we don’t teach for life change then we might as well be studying the periodic table in chemistry class as studying the Sermon on the Mount. Facts are facts.
The Bible wasn’t written just to give us information. The Bible was written for personal transformation. This is where the importance of biblical doctrine comes in. It can be taught as information or it can be taught so that it leads to life change.
The best way to demonstrate this is to give you some examples. In the table below are 5 random biblical doctrines. I’ve intentionally chosen doctrines that may seem theoretical and informational. Beside them are applications of the doctrines for our lives. It’s the kind of life change that can happen if we understand the biblical doctrine.
5 Examples of Teaching Doctrine for Life Change
|Biblical doctrine||Application for life change|
|Creation Genesis 1-2||Worship God daily for His greatness Psalm 104; trust God to provide whatever we need as He is the original source of all things (life, health, provisions); share the good news God created us to live in relationship with Him.|
|Flood of the earth Genesis 6-9||Understand our sin grieves God Genesis 6:6; purpose to live a godly life 1 Peter 1:14-16; seek forgiveness when we sin 1 John 1:9|
|Angels Colossians 1:16||Thank God for angels who help us Hebrews 1:14; realize they’re watching us and intentionally honor God in our actions when no one else is watching Ephesians 3:10|
|Baptism Matthew 28:19||Realize we’re a new person in Christ, permanently identified with Jesus and learn to think and act like it Romans 6:3-4|
|Return of Jesus Acts 1:11||Live morally pure lives expecting Jesus to return any time 1 John 3:3|
Set a goal. If you teach the Bible, next time prepare to teach for life change. Ask “How can this teaching change the lives of those who hear it?” If you can’t think of anything practical to apply, do you think those listening to you will be able to? Study more, pray more and God will reveal how to teach it for life change.
If you’re studying a doctrine don’t stop until you know what it means for the way you live your life.
What do you think? Should we ever preach or teach without practical application? Please leave a comment or question below.