Grace Bible Church
Basic Training in Doctrine
Guest Speaker: Pastor Joe Sugrue
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

“if you abide in my word” – Knowledge of doctrine is the greatest virtue in the Christian life.

“shall know” – ginosko, means to learn by studying. It connotes discipline in learning so it refers to the disciplined student of the word of God that learns all the categories of the word of God.

“the truth” – aletheia = Bible doctrine in categories. Compound word of a [not] and letho [conceal] – divine truth revealed categorically.

Divine truth has been expressed in terms of categories so it can be assimilated. In other words, there are categories of doctrine in the Word that match up the empty shelves in your human spirit.

The word for free is eleuthereo which means freedom in the sense that the plan of God defines freedom.

This failed for them and it fails for Christians today who think freedom is not being a part of a local assembly and being under a pastor teacher.

Freedom is no longer freedom if it becomes the freedom to do as one likes.

After the ancient Greeks came the Hellenists and the Stoics. They saw freedom as being more than a freedom of the state and carried it further to the freedom of the individual.

“To find freedom we must explore our nature. We cannot control body, family, property, etc., but we do control the soul”.

Hellenistic freedom: Asceticism is to deny oneself of all things pleasurable and pacifism is to surrender to all circumstances.

God gave us a picture of freedom that if a slave loved his master he could remain with his master as a man who chose to be a slave to his master forever, Ex 21:6; Deut 15:17.

Ex 21:6
then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

The piercing of the ear is a picture of the importance of Bible doctrine in being a slave to God – which makes you free.

The word for free eleuthereo = freedom to serve the Lord. It means liberated from slavery so you can serve as a non-slave.

The N.T. shows us that a retreat into inwardness does not in fact bring freedom. If the inward creature is defective then to retreat to it would only result in more defect.

Faced with a lost existence we can only realize freedom in ourselves by subjecting ourselves to the will of another, i.e. we achieve self-control by allowing ourselves to be controlled.


To live so that sin does not reign [freedom], we must conform to the knowledge of our place in Christ. Our relationship to sin is pre­cisely the same as Christ’s relationship to sin.

When that fact is seized by faith, sin can no longer be king in our mortal bodies or make us yield to its passions.

GAL 2:4
But it was because of the false brethren who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

Unlike the ideas of the Hellenists that said that freedom would be escape from suffering, God’s plan is escape in suffering.

Therefore freedom is freedom from the O.S.N. that seeks to put as again under its anarchic impulse of self love that misuses God’s claims and blessings.

Freedom from the Law is freedom from our need to seek justification on our own, but rather to consider it a gift from God’s grace.

Freedom from autonomy as we relinquish the control of our lives to the perfect One who has promised to keep it and guard it and provide for it above and beyond.

Freedom from moralism and self lordship under the guise of serious and obedient responsibility.

Freedom from self-deception as we see ourselves through the word of God the same way in which God sees us – dead in our flesh but holy in spirit.

Freedom from death means freedom trying to jump-start a corpse and freedom to live the plan of God knowing that the power of sin has been broken by grace.

Freedom from death means freedom from all fear since death is the greatest fear.

in the N.T. is freedom from sin [ROM 6:18ff], freedom from the Law [ROM 7:3-4; GAL 2:4], and freedom from death [ROM 6:21-22; ROM 8:21].

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