Recently, I have been re-reading John Piper’s excellent book God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself, and I was profoundly impacted by something he states early on:
Gospel doctrine matters because the good news is so full and rich and wonderful that it must be opened like a treasure chest, and all its treasures brought out for the enjoyment of the world. Doctrine is the description of those treasures. Doctrine describes their true value and why they are so valuable. Doctrine guards the diamonds of the gospel from being discarded as mere crystals. Doctrine protects the treasures of the gospel from the pirates who don’t like the diamonds but who make their living trading them for other stones. Doctrine polishes the old gems buried at the bottom of the chest. It put the jewels of gospel truth in order on the scarlet tapestry of history so each is seen in its most beautiful place. (p. 22)
What a beautiful description of the importance of doctrine. Put this way, gospel doctrine is not some kind of cold, academic knowledge—it’s absolutely stunning and lifegiving! Imagine how embracing this view of gospel doctrine might transform the way you teach. What a wonderful reminder of why we must carefully teach and explain essential gospel doctrines with increasing clarity and depth as children grow and mature—doctrines regarding the nature of God, creation, man, sin, the person and work of Christ, salvation, and more.
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