The Church of God Doctrine
by the late Elder George Dugger
Originally published in The Hope of the Undefiled Gospel

Allow me to state from the outset, that the Holy scriptures upon which the Church of God doctrine is based are not the words of man, but rather the Word of God. Man was merely the instrument that God used to convey his message. Hence the scriptures do not reflect the dictates of the mind of man. They express to us the will of God for our lives. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Neither is the Word of God open to private interpretation or personal opinions. The Holy Spirit gives the understanding of that which he has written. For the prophecy came not in old times by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine,... (John 7:17)

Therefore the Bible is the only valid source of doctrine. Webster defines doctrine as, "That which is taught; a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject or particular principle taught or advocated." I agree with this definition, and in light of the scriptures, Christ is our teaching. It is Christ and his life-changing influence that we advocate. Christ Is the Word. That is why the Church of God doctrine is not formed by man's belief but is founded in god's holy Word. This is what distinguishes it fro the doctrine of all other churches. John, the Revelator, describes it as follows: "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven... (Revelation 21:2) John did not mean that he saw a city of brick and mortar descending from the sky. He is saying that the teaching that builds the true Church of God (the city of God) descends directly from heaven.

In other words, when this same John wrote "sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and all unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17), he was not expressing his own teaching. He was relating the teaching that he had received from Christ.

Space does not allow me to go into each point of doctrine individually. However, I will deal with one of the most essential ones - that is the doctrine of living free from sin. Is it possible to live free from sin? Let the Word of God answer.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
~ Phillippians 4:13

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation...
~ Revelation 3:10

For even hereunto were ye called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
~ 1 Peter 2:21,-22

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
~ Jude 1:24

Yes, we are kept by the power of God. Kept from what? Sin. The Word of God affirms that it is possible to live free from sin.

It is Absolutely Necessary to Live Free From Sin

Indeed.... every man that hath this hope in him... What hope? The hope of eternal life, which according to the scriptures requires one to live a sin-free life. ...purifies himself even as he is pure. (1 John 3:3) And ye know that he was manifested (made known) to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (1 John 3:5) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, (commit sin) we lie, and do not the truth... (1 John 1:6) The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness, and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (Luke 1:73-75) So we can see through the Word of truth that not only is it possible, but it is absolutely necessary to live free from sin.

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
~ 2 Corinthians 7:1
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
~ 1 Thessalonians 4:7

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