UCOG Blog Logo
News and views from the German-language region of Europe

July 26, 2019

Do you have a "doctrinal drawer?"

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

You probably have never heard of a "doctrinal drawer." But all Christians need one in their walk with God – and one another.

The holy spirit leads us "into all truth" (John 16:13), i.e., to a correct understanding of the God's truth as revealed in the Bible, which is truth (John 17:17). This wonderful process is also a potential source of misunderstandings, discord and even division within the church.

Why is that the case?

The example of the Israelites leaving bondage in Egypt serves us (1 Corinthians 10:11), but there is a big difference between Christians and those Israelites of old. They were all called at the same time. Christians today are called and begin their walk with God at different times.

That means that there are different levels of understanding within the church as we are all being led "into all truth."

What happens if we don't understand something right away or don't have an answer for a Bible question? That's when we need our "doctrinal drawer."

When Jesus told His disciples that they needed to eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to have eternal life, some had difficulty understanding what he meant: "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" (John 6:60). Jesus didn't explain what He meant right away, either. A few months later He gave them bread and wine as symbols of His flesh and blood, enabling them to understand what He had said.

However, many of His disciples could not wait for understanding. "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more" (verse 66). They did not have a "doctrinal drawer" where they could put their question until it would be answered.

His twelves disciples stayed with him, because they knew that He had "the words of eternal life" (verse 68).

We need a "doctrinal drawer" for temporary storage of unanswered questions we have in our walk with God. We also need to believe that we are part of a fellowship that has access to God's holy spirit and thereby access to understand the truth as we are led into it. So we can be confident that the day will come when we can remove the unanswered questions we may have from our "doctrinal drawer."

In the meantime the holy spirit gives us something else that enables us to respect one another in a fellowship characterized by different levels of understanding: the love of God (Romans 5:5).

That love serves to preserve our fellowship "till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


internal links:


search blog: