The Doctrine of the Church
A Sermon on Acts 2:42
The Fellowship of the Believers
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (ESV)
Unity for the sake of unity is a current cultural movement. Our culture encourages us to be united, to avoid division, to love everyone and let others live as they please. According to Dr. Martyn-Lloyd Jones, this movement isn’t confined to secular spheres of influence. It is also present in our local churches. There is a great movement underway among churches to be ecumenical, that is to focus on fellowship, love, and unity across all denominations rather than focusing on doctrinal differences. It is the idea that fellowship must come before doctrine. This movement needs our careful consideration. The foundational issue at stake concerns the teaching found in the Bible about the doctrine of the Church. What is a church? What are its objectives and goals? What does it provide and how does it function? As Lloyd-Jones examines the early church, he focuses on the importance of correct doctrine for the life of the church. Doctrine is held in high regard and is the most important feature of the biblical text. The apostolic teaching and focus on doctrine must have preeminence and then, following from necessity, comes fellowship within our congregations. If we allow fellowship to reign over doctrine, we invite confusion and compromise into our midst. We allow the thinking and desires of man to direct our actions, rather than the supremacy of Scripture.