It doesn’t matter, as long as I Know Jesus.
People often dismiss doctrinal issues with statements like, “It doesn’t matter, as long as I know Jesus.” This is a popular discussion stopper, since, why would anyone argue the importance of knowing Jesus? However, what is really happening here is an attempt to deflect the discussion away from an important topic. Sound doctrine is important, because, Scripture says that doctrine is important. Sound doctrine is also important because it reveals the person and character of God. Therefore, when someone says, “It doesn’t matter, as long as I know Jesus,” they are actually contradicting themselves, since all sound doctrine reveals Jesus Christ and sound doctrine does matter. Conversely, every false doctrine points to a false Christ and a false God.
Know God by His Doctrine:
We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me (1 Timothy 1:8-11).
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Timothy 4:16).
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:7-9).
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. … You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine (Titus 1:16-2:1).
Sound doctrine reveals the true Christ. The biblical account also reveals the person and character of God by what He says and does. If we claim to know the Lord God but we do not believe what he says and does we deceive ourselves. If we have some fanciful idea of who Jesus is based on what we have heard or been taught, but do not know the Word of Truth, then we do not know the Lord God. Let’s read and reflect on some Scripture and see if the God we know fits with His Word of Truth.
Know God by what He says and does.
Before we read in Scripture about what God has said and done, we should remember an important truth, the Lord God never changes.
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
I the LORD do not change (Malachi 3:6).
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:16-17).
Now, we know the God of love, grace, kindness, and mercy.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, (Acts 15:11)
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7).
Do you know this Jesus? Here is what He said to His disciples.
"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me." Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "Because you have so little faith (Matthew 17:17-20).
This is what He said to the Jewish religious leaders of Israel.
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. "Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' You blind fools! (Matthew 23:15-17)
Some say, “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” However,
Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:13-24)
Is this the Jesus you know?
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming (Colossians 3:5-6).
Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty (Revelation 19:15).
God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest (Hebrews 4:3).
What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day" (Romans 11:7-8).
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
Remember, “I Yahweh do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go,Yahweh killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal (Exodus 13:15).
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments (Exodus 20:5-6).
For Yahweh your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24).
Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for Yahweh your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land (Deuteronomy 6:14-15).
Yahweh saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. "I will hide my face from them," he said, "and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding. For a fire has been kindled by my wrath, one that burns to the realm of death below. It will devour the earth and its harvests and set afire the foundations of the mountains. "I will heap calamities upon them and spend my arrows against them. I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts, the venom of vipers that glide in the dust. In the street the sword will make them childless; in their homes terror will reign. Young men and young women will perish, infants and gray-haired men (Deuteronomy 32:19-25).
This is what Yahweh Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys’ (1 Samuel 15:2-3).
Therefore, … this is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: … They will come against you with weapons, chariots and wagons and with a throng of people; they will take up positions against you on every side with large and small shields and with helmets. I will turn you over to them for punishment, and they will punish you according to their standards. I will direct my jealous anger against you, and they will deal with you in fury. They will cut off your noses and your ears, and those of you who are left will fall by the sword. They will take away your sons and daughters, and those of you who are left will be consumed by fire (Ezekiel 23:22, 24-25).
Yahweh is a jealous and avenging God; Yahweh takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. Yahweh takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies (Nahum 1:2).
Therefore wait for me," declares Yahweh, "for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them-- all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger (Zephaniah 3:8).
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
Isn’t it clear who God is and why “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7)
Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of Yahweh called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son" (Genesis 2:10-12).
But select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain--and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens (Exodus 18:21).
'The fear of Yahweh--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding' (Job 28:28).
The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10).
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
It does matter! Do you know Jesus? Do you fear Yahweh our God? “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Bye the way.
Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah says that He is Yahweh.
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, (John 8:58-59)
Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God (John 10:30-33).
Yahweh says that He is the Messiah.
"The days are coming," declares Yahweh, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: Yahweh Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
Richard H Perry