"Christ's Shocking Doctrine"
Can you imagine something being told to you that was so shocking that you could not believe
your ears? Can you imagine something so shocking being told to you that you became enraged, or
that you shook all over? Can you imagine something so shocking being said to you that it made you
weep? Would it be difficult to fathom something being told to you that was so wonderful that it
brought you great joy?
What could do these things? What kind of information could elicit such responses as we have
mentioned above? It is the doctrine of Christ! Yes, the doctrine of our Lord is so shocking to some
that even our "knowledgeable" and "enlightened" society today has a hard time coming to terms with
what Christ taught.
In our Lord's day, people were "astonished at his doctrine" (Matt. 7:28). Why? Among
other reasons, our Lord was speaking things to these people that they had not heard before. It was
unfamiliar to them. In truth, such a statement as Matthew 7:28 ought to shock US! Why? Because,
Christ was teaching these people things they should have known already, since they were children of
What are some things our society finds shocking about the doctrine of Christ? Please consider
some of the shocking statements below that Christ taught, and see if these are things which shock us.
"He That Believeth And Is Baptized Shall Be Saved" (Mk. 16:16).
This is a shocking doctrine to most of the denominational world today. In fact, many claiming
to be Christians and brethren in Christ are not so sure about the verse, anymore! The reason this is
so shocking to people is because they have been taught that men are saved at the point of faith alone.
Nothing could be further from the truth. As one reads the New Testament, he will learn that
NOTHING alone will save you. Yet, so many are shocked to consider the fact that Christ demanded
men be baptized in order to be saved! Peter said, "the like figure whereunto even baptism doth also
now save us ..." (I Pet. 3:21). Could anything be clearer than this?
"I Will Build My Church" (Matt. 16:18).
The singular nature of the Lord's church shocks many. Unfortunately, men in our society have
the idea that one can simply choose the church of their choice; and that so long as the name of God
is invoked at one point or another, God is pleased. Nothing could be further from the truth! Just
because men choose to be associated with a particular group, does not mean God chose that group!
Just because a particular group pleases its neighbors and the community by the good works they
perform does not mean God is pleased. Please read Matthew 7:21-23, and notice that though those
standing before Christ claimed to do "many wonderful works," Christ told them, "I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity"!
It is our responsibility to be associated with the church of God's choosing, and not our own.
Which church is the church of God's choice? It is the church built upon the foundation of His son (I
Cor. 3:11); purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28); and the one which worships Him in spirit and in
truth (Jn. 4:24). Paul called it the church of God, or the church of Christ (Acts 20:28; Rom. 16:16)!
This true doctrine is shocking, to some, but we must respect it and obey His precepts!
"Be Thou Faithful Unto Death ..." (Rev. 2:10).
Another shocking aspect of Christ's doctrine is the fact that being a Christian is a life-long
commitment. Being a Christian is not something that we can simply do, or not do, as the mood strikes
us! Yet, many today consider those of us who are Christians as "religious fanatics" because we wish
to live for Christ every minute of our lives. This is shocking to many because they want a religion of
convenience, one where they are served; not one where they must serve!
Paul wrote, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not
conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2). Being a Christian means
we "present" our bodies as "living sacrifices" to God. We belong to Him, and live to do His will in
all things. Though some do not care, those who are Christians realize that all of our lives must be
given in service to Him. He died for us, therefore, we need to live faithfully for the Lord (II Cor.
"Adorn Themselves In Modest Apparel" (I Tim. 2:9).
It is expected of Christians that we dress in a modest way. In our current age, we find that
many who claim to be Christians are not interested in dressing modestly, but in dressing like the
world! Many men and women have long since become comfortable appearing in public in various
states of undress. Both Paul and Peter tell us something quite different than we are hearing among
those in the world!
Paul said: "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with
shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which
becometh women professing godliness) with good works" (I Tim. 2:9-10). Peter said: "Likewise, ye
wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; ... Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning
of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man
of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which
is in the sight of God of great price" (I Pet. 3:1-4).
The way in which a Christian should dress is one of "shamefacedness," "sobriety,"
("soundness of mind, self-control," Strong's) a profession of godliness, and "the ornament of a meek
and quiet spirit." Based upon these characteristics, how could one professing godliness wear what
most of the world wears today? How could Christians justify wearing the shorts, bikinis, and other
outfits that are being worn by both men and women in our society today? If you will read carefully,
even in the beginning, God "clothed" the man and woman (Gen. 3:21). In so doing, he gave them
"coats of skins" or "tunics" as some versions say. Before this time, the man and woman were naked
(Gen. 2:25). When they sinned, they attempted to cover up themselves, but failed. Adam even
admitted he had hidden from God because he was "naked," though at this time wearing the
equivalent of modern-day "biker's shorts" (Gen. 3:8, 10). BOTH were topless, and God covered
them both with these "coats" or "tunics." There is no double-standard in God's eyes for men and
Yes, such talk about modesty and our clothing is shocking to the worldly. But, if we are going
to be what Christ wants us to be, we will dress in the appropriate manner -- at all times!
"Whatsoever Ye Do In Word Or Deed, Do All In The Name Of The Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17).
Perhaps one of the most shocking things people learn about the doctrine of Christ is that for
all we do or say, we must have authority from Christ! There is nothing that falls outside this realm.
Sometimes, you'll hear people say, "There are lots of things we do today without authority from
God." Friend, if you do "lots of things" without authority from Christ, you need to repent! The things
we do without authority from Christ are sin! Colossians 3:17 declares plainly that whatever we say,
and whatever we do must have sanction from Heaven! If we do not have it, then we are asking for
problems. We will answer to God for words said and actions done that were without authority from
Christ. Christ's response will be "depart from me" (Matt. 7:21-23)! The Scriptures have been given
to man that they might thoroughly furnish us unto all good works (II Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, if
something is not authorized of God, it is NOT a good work! Shocking? Yes, to some! But,
sometimes we need a good shock in order to get us back on the "strait and narrow"way that leads
to life (Matt. 7:13-14)!
Let us always appreciate and follow the doctrine of Christ. Yes, it is shocking to those who
are not familiar with it, but it is comforting and of great value to those who are (I Cor. 1:18)! Our
greatest delight ought to be in the will of God (Ps. 1:1-2). Let us study it, live it, and teach it to others
while there is still hope. God forbid that we ever get so settled and acclimated to this world that His
doctrine shocks us!
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