Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
Titus 2 goes on to talk about practical matters of Christian conduct and character. The principle that’s important for us to understand is that the right doctrine leads to the right life.
Again in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In the absence of Bible doctrine, I as a Christian cannot become what I am supposed to be for the Lord.
But there’s another factor in this equation. To have the right life, the right character, the right conduct, the right walk before the Lord, you’ve got to have to the right doctrine. But what takes you from right doctrine to the right life is a right heart.
Romans 1-11 is heavily doctrinal, dealing with man’s lost condition; God’s remedy; the way of salvation; the condition of the saved man; future of the nation of Israel.
Romans 12-16 are highly practical dealing with the practical outworking of the truths of chapters 1-11.
And it all hinges on Romans 12:1-2 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.
What translates the doctrine of chapters 1-11 to the life of chapters 12-16? Understanding God’s mercy; presenting your body a living sacrifice; not conforming to the world; being transformed by the renewing of your mind.
right doctrine + right heart = right life
It is also true that:
wrong doctrine + right heart = wrong life
How are you going to please God if you don’t know what pleases Him? How are you going to live by the Bible if you don’t know what the Bible says? How are you going to worship God if you don’t know the truth? How are you going to serve the Lord if you don’t know what type of service He desires? You can’t have the right life without the right doctrine.
right doctrine + wrong heart = wrong life
You can have all the truth you want, but Hebrews 4:2 the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Think of Jonah. A member of God’s select nation. A prophet. He claimed to fear the God of heaven. But his heart was rotten, and so was his life.
1. right doctrine + right heart = right life
2. wrong doctrine + right heart = wrong life
3. right doctrine + wrong heart = wrong life
The best alternative is obviously #1. But between #2 and #3, I believe you’d be better off with wrong doctrine and a right heart than right doctrine and a wrong heart, and here’s why. If you’ve got a right heart, the doctrine is easy to correct. If you have a right heart, you’ll respond properly to the right doctrine. But if you have the right doctrine and a wrong heart, that’s not as easily corrected. It’ll take a work of the Holy Spirit to break your hardened heart.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.