Creator’s Covenant

Doctrine by Example

Important Doctrine can be Lived

Text Box: Contact us
Challenge Rules
Bible Keys
Traditional Beliefs
Hebrews Old Covenant
Patriarchs Covenant
New Covenant
NT Teaching
The Judgments
Other Studies

There are many exhortations for the leaders of the New Testament congregation to lead by example. By its very nature this example is primarily concerned with what can be outwardly seen in ones conduct. Many more scriptures are available that highlight the importance of example.


"Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern." (Phil 3:17)

"Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." (1Cor 10:11)


On the other hand, many congregations today distinguish themselves not by their conduct, but by certain dogma or beliefs; how they understand some historical or future event or relationship. It may or may not have anything to do with how they conduct their lives. These "important" doctrines cannot be evidenced from their conduct or example.


Improved understanding is good, but even where scripture talks of doctrine it is often connected with how one conducts their life. Sound doctrine teaches godly conduct.


"But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered" (Rom 6:17). The "doctrine" they heard was obeyed. The doctrine was reflected in their conduct.


"But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance" (II Tim 3:10). In Hebrew speaking style this list is not of many different things, but many aspects of the same thing. They are all things that provided the basis for how Paul conducted his life.


"for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine" (I Tim 1:10). The lack of sound doctrine is evident in conduct.


"If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed" (I Tim 4:6). Good doctrine is followed or obeyed. It was reflected continually in Timothy's conduct.


"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart" (I Pet 1:22) The truth, which would include the doctrines of the believers, can be obeyed.


We should probably add the following to this list as well. "in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility" (Tit 2:7). How one lives one’s life and the values one teaches are inextricably intertwined. Titus good works were evidence of his doctrine, which exemplified integrity.


The distinctive of the body of Christ is seen in their conduct. Doctrine revolves around conduct that can be followed or obeyed, not necessarily in any esoteric belief or opinion regarding any historical or future event or relationship. For instance: Can one discern the nature of God, i.e. a Trinity or not, by examining a believer’s conduct?  Those who chose as distinctives, doctrines that cannot be reflected in the believers conduct don’t understand what is truly important to the Creator.


It is likely that one diligently seeking his Creator will come to understand things about his creator that cannot be reflected in conduct. Some may understand things others do not. However, these things will be of secondary importance and should not put believers at odds with one another. The one with additional knowledge will want to share it, giving God the glory for new insight. The other should patiently consider the matter, using the word of God as the guide.


The example they set was one of meekness, gentleness, humility and genuine concern. They had a deep concern for the flock. Sometimes this required being firm, but this was not their preferred mode of communication.


"Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ––who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you." (II Cor 10:1)


"Therefore, my beloved and longed–for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved." (Phil 4:1)


"For I have no one like–minded, who will sincerely care for your state." (Phil 2:20)


"to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men." (Tit 3:2)


They were able to have this sincerity because they feared their Creator. They knew that not judging another man’s servant (Rom 14:4) applied to them too. They were only the messenger. Jesus Christ is the judge (II Tim 4:1). They also looked to the Creator to provide for their physical needs and wished to give the truth of God free of any charge. They looked to their master for support. He provided sufficient.


"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other" (Mat 6:24abc)


"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal 2:20)


"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil 2:5)


"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." (Rom 8:5)


"Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His" (Rom 8:9b)


The preferred method of shepherding the congregation was by example and also teaching the word of God. The important doctrines of the church leadership were visible in their conduct.