Last Sunday, Steve McAlister from Anchored in Truth ministries preached at Grace Church Southall. The message was taken from the following passages:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:25-27 ESV)

As I pondered upon these passages, it became evident to me that Jesus was having a doctrinal discussion with Martha. In the previous passages Martha says to Jesus:

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” (John 11:21-24 ESV)

It is apparent that Martha understood and had a basic grasp of doctrine. She believed in the resurrection of the dead and the day of judgement. But after that it seems to fall flat. So Jesus steps in and upgrades her doctrinal understanding. He says:

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.

Jesus doesn’t reproof Martha for not knowing this but feeds her with truth: a doctrinal statement that He is the resurrection and the life. Upon hearing this statement of truth, Martha then responds with a clear, articulated and joyful new understanding:

She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:27 ESV)

I love these passages of Scripture because here we see how Jesus deals with women and how He feeds Martha with doctrinal truth. Ultimately, He points all doctrine to Himself for He is the chief end of all doctrine.

In last night’s Bible study, here are some questions we looked at and worked through together as a church:

  1. What is doctrine? Doctrine in its most purest and simplest form means teaching. Check out the greek word ‘didaskolos’.
  2. Where does doctrine come from? Read 2 Timothy 3:16
  3. What is the purpose of doctrine? Read 2 Timothy 3:16
  4. Who is doctrine for? For the church: men and women. Read John 11:17-27, Titus 2
  5. What is the difference between doctrine and theology? Doctrine is teaching about a particular subject. Theology is the study of God.
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