The Apostle Paul wrote, "He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."1
In the early days of the Christian church Paul was giving instructions to Titus regarding qualifications for church leadership. One requirement was that leaders were to be well established in sound doctrine; that is, in the understanding and teaching of God's Word. Unfortunately, there are some leaders and some churches whose doctrine may be sound, but as Vance Havner put it, sound asleep! Sound awake doctrine is critical because if we are not well grounded in God's truth, we can easily be led astray by persuasive and charming false teachers. As another has said, "If we don't stand for truth, we can fall for anything."
Sound doctrine, as critically important as it is, is not enough in and of itself. It needs to be balanced with love. Without love, doctrine can become deathly legalism or modern day Phariseeism. On the other hand, love without sound doctrine can become, at best, "sloppy agape" and at worst empty humanism. The real church and true Christianity is based on God's truth (sound doctrine) and genuine love. Both are equally important.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to know and understand Your truth but give me a loving heart to live it as well as to learn it. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Titus 1:9 (NIV).