The COVID-19 pandemic has sorted out priorities in all of our lives. We haven’t arrived in this reorganization, but we’re closer perhaps than ever before. As a pastor, this prioritization has taken place regarding theology. Theology matters. But not every area of doctrine has priority. I believe three doctrines emerge as foundational.
1. The foundation of the inerrant word of God. As we have discovered on social media, everybody is an expert and people’s opinions come and go, but the word of our Lord can be trusted explicitly, precisely because there are no mistakes within. God’s word is pure (Proverbs 30:5) and the word of God endures forever (1 Peter 1:25). May we stand upon the inerrant word of God.
2. The foundation of the finished work of Christ. People debate the sovereignty of God in salvation, the role of the ordinances, and so on, but at the end of the day, we are left with this: Jesus’ sin-bearing death upon the cross and His life-giving resurrection out of the grave is enough for me forever. Or it is not. That is the choice we all face. May we stand upon the finished work of Christ.
3. The foundation of the primacy of the local church. I am convinced that the primary way God is accomplishing His will in this world is through the local church. I am also convinced that online supplications, songs, and sermons are not the local church. Do not get me wrong, I am thankful for the opportunity to gather in this way and to connect via technology, but it is an exception. It is an exception that proves that the rule – the power and primacy of the face-to-face gathering of the local body of believers – is in place. The corporate gathering with it’s gospel preaching, biblical fellowship, heartfelt prayers, and family meal, the Lord’s table, are not optional for the Christian life, but essential. May the Lord give us conviction as we long to meet again. May the Lord give us wisdom as we look to meet again. May we stand upon the potency of the gathering of the local church.
“Christian labours, disconnected from the church, are like sowing and reaping without having any barn in which to store the fruits of the harvest; they are useful but incomplete.” –Charles Spurgeon
Yes, all areas of doctrine and theology are important. But not all are equally important. May we stand on the foundation of the inerrant word of God, the finished work of Christ, and the primacy of the local church.