“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). What is the Apostle’s doctrine? The accurate answer would be what Jesus taught them. They learned doctrine from the Author. That’s known as on the job training.
I started my Bible education through long-distance studies. My pastor was my mentor and proctor. He taught me the Apostle’s doctrine as it was taught to him, by faithful professors. After awhile, I felt a need to devote my life to full-time Biblical studies. The hardest part was telling Pastor Sam I was leaving for school and off we went. I felt as though I had to immerse myself more so in the ‘Apostle’s doctrine’.
Countless examples are in the Bible of Jesus schooling the Apostles (His students); and they in turn, passed it on to others. Paul is a prime example. Shortly after his conversion he learned the Apostle’s doctrine from Jesus too. “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12). He taught an untold amount of folk the doctrine. The key is what do we do with our knowledge? We pass it on to others. If a pastor’s message is based solely on the Word of God, he is faithfully contending and passing on that which he learned. Anyone can attend Bible College for personal knowledge, but the real reason should be to act as a continuing link in this doctrinal chain. Yes, I wanted to soak up all I could, but I had a strong desire to teach what I learned to others.
Sad to say, the majority of pastors today don’t teach the Apostle’s doctrine. They have added or subtracted something. Be it denominational dogma or their own interpretation, it is wrong to dilute true doctrine. Some feel they have to create new ways or gimmicks to attract people. The end result is watered down truth. Remember the crier says, “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth….” A noted theologian said, “The mark of a church is not the height of the steeple nor the sound of the bell. It is not whether the pulpit is stationed in the middle or the chancel is divided. The important issue is whether or not they hold to the apostles’ doctrine. Correct doctrine was one of the fingerprints of the visible church.”
This is why it’s terribly important to know a pastor’s background and where he received his training in the Apostle’s doctrine. We can’t always blame pastors for apostate churches. We need to be Berean’s and make sure our churches teach this all important doctrine. Thank God there are men and women in little country churches throughout our land that adhere to the Apostle’s doctrine!