“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
Contrary to the popular belief that Christians are either Orthodox or Charismatic, the truth is that Christianity is an orthodox faith. However, when we fully understand the meaning of orthodoxy, we’ll realize that no one can claim to be truly orthodox without being charismatic.
Now, let’s look at the meaning of orthodoxy. It refers to singleness of beliefs; the creed and the doctrine of a group of people. 1Cor. 1:10 says: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
So what is a doctrine and why is it so important? It is a body of teachings revealing the position of a people, relating to a subject matter.
It is a tradition, a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting. The Apostle Paul in 2Thess. 2:15 says: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” God is more interested in us holding fast to the traditions of the Apostles than in us creating a new ‘revelation.’
As a Christian, you can’t afford to be indifferent about doctrine. In fact, the ‘anything goes’ kind of Christianity is in itself a doctrine, albeit a wrong one. Titus 1:9 admonishes us to hold fast to sound doctrine and to exhort others to do the same.
A stronger term than ‘hold fast’ is used in Jude 1:3. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
We are to contend, to insist upon the faith that was delivered to the saints. We believe what the Apostles believe, we emphasize what they emphasized, we don’t make up our own doctrine.