The Importance of the Doctrine of God

People may ask, “Why is the Doctrine of God so important?” My answer would be, “because all you have to do is look around to see the decline of a society that no longer knows God or seeks Him.” Darkness and evil are growing everywhere like an unstoppable cancer. God’s power of restraint has been loosened because mankind has abandoned His teachings and commandments. The world has been turned upside down, good is now evil and evil is now good. Violence, immorality, corruption, and paganism are now the norm instead of the exception. So, if God is real, if he truly exists, then knowing Him, loving Him, and entering into a relationship with Him is the most important thing in life that you can do. God is sovereign over all things, and He offers protection and salvation to those that are His. Only He has the power to restrain evil and restore peace.

Unfortunately, people are turning away from God and the Church in growing numbers. The knowledge of God, even among Christians, is at an all-time low. The source of their knowledge of God is not from the Bible, but from the popular media. For example, the idea that all religions worship the same God is quite popular, but it is a false teaching which contradicts biblical truth. God’s glory has been trampled and His image has been tarnished by these false beliefs. A.W. Tozer identified this situation masterfully decades ago in his book, “Fiery Faith.” Here are some of his quotes from the book:

“I don’t suppose there is ever a time in the history of the world when we needed a restored knowledge of God more than we need it now. We’ve suffered the loss of that high concept of God, and the concept of God handled by the average gospel church now is so low as to be unworthy of God and a disgrace to the church. Christianity has lost its dignity. And we’ll never get it back unless we know the dignified Holy God. But because the church has lost her lofty concept of God and no longer knows what God is like, her religion is thin and anemic, frivolous and worldly and cheap. This is the day of the common man–and we have not only all become common, but we’ve dragged God down to our mediocre level. If we can restore again knowledge of God to men, we can help to bring about a reformation that will restore God again to man.”

“Fiery Faith,” A.W. Tozer

Knowing God

The doctrine of God is in my opinion the most important doctrine of the Christian faith. I believe that unlike most other religious faiths, the God of Christianity is a personal God. He expresses His love for believers and desires their love. From the moment a person accepts Christ and becomes a Christian, he enters into a special relationship with God. His life will be transformed and directed by this relationship with the almighty God.

The Christian life is a progressive transformation from a spiritual infant to a mature believer. The believer will be in relationship with all the persons of the Godhead as he grows in the faith. He will be in union with Christ as he strives to become Christlike. He be led and filled by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will lead him toward a life of holiness as he obeys the commandments of God, and his will is united with the Father’s will. The believer will be filled with the Spirit as he denies the desires of the flesh and instead seeks the desires of the Spirit. The filling of the Spirit in the believer is the submission to the power of the Spirit to guide him toward actual holy, righteous, and godly conduct.  This is the sanctification process for every Christian and the relationship between God and the believer is the foundation of this process. Every Christian experiences hardships and difficulties in life, and God is always present with them as they pass through them. The believer must learn to rely on his relationship with God as he navigates through life’s peaks and valleys. We pray for God’s mighty hand to help us through hard times, and we give thanks to Him when we receive His blessings. All these things are the result of our relationship with God as we experience Him as the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the significance of the doctrine of God.

Knowing God Through Relationship: A True Story

The true-life story of Nicky Cruz is an example of how the doctrine of God unfolds in the life of the believer. Cruz was a violent leader of a New York street gang during the 1950’s. His path happened to cross the path of a young pastor named David Wilkerson who introduced Cruz to Christ. Cruz resisted the pastor’s plea to accept Christ, but Christ prevailed, and Cruz accepted Christ as his savior. Cruz would abandon the gang life and become a street preacher. He would also write a few books detailing his experiences and promoting the Christian faith. The story of the encounter between Cruz and Wilkerson would be written into a book by Wilkerson called The Cross and the Switchblade, and it would be made into a Hollywood movie.

Cruz describes his conversion experience where he had no knowledge of Christian teachings or doctrines but knew only Christ who reached his heart and brought him to saving faith. This was the beginning of his relationship with God and where he began to know God. As the relationship grew so did his knowledge of God. To become closer to God he studied and learned the doctrine of God which included the Trinity, Christology, and the work of the Holy Spirit. This story is typical of how a believer progresses through his sanctification process. It begins by meeting God and develops into a relationship. This relationship is sufficient for saving faith, unfortunately many believers do not progress any further. So, this is where their spiritual life stalls. However, the sanctification process requires that the believer grow in wisdom and knowledge of the faith through the reading of Scripture and through teaching from church leaders and teachers. For those who continue to grow, understanding God is the next step in spiritual growth. In a relationship the more you know about a person the closer you become. The same goes for the relationship with God. As the believer’s bond with God becomes stronger so does the desire to learn more and to try to understand Him in His great majesty and glory.

Those Who Know God Have Great Contentment

“There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them, and that this relationship guarantees God’s favor to them in life, through death and on forever.”

J.I. Packer, (from “Knowing God,” pg. 31)

Final Thoughts

The Doctrine of God which includes the knowledge of Him and a relationship with Him are the foundation on which the Christian life stands. There is no greater achievement in life than to know God and be loved by Him. In these dark times where the forces of evil are growing in their ability to cause pain, suffering, and destruction in the world it is essential to draw closer to God through relationship and knowledge. As those in darkness descend further into wickedness, let those who are of the light remain steadfast in God’s word and truth.

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