“Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”
The Sadducees wholeheartedly believed that there was no afterlife. They were a major branch in the Jewish religious system of Jesus’ day, and they were teaching false doctrine.
How many false doctrines are being taught today? How many do you believe?
Jesus points out that our errors in doctrine arise from two deficiencies, not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God. Knowing the Scriptures backwards and forwards is not enough. Seeing the power of God is not enough. We must diligently combine the two to form sound doctrine.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned... For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Before we can understand which doctrines are sound, we must first understand the Scriptures. At the moment of salvation, Jesus Christ comes to live inside of your spirit through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Only once we have been born again with a new spirit can we begin to understand spiritual truths. Without this spiritual discernment, the Bible is nothing but a collection of words; we cannot glean the spiritual doctrine woven in the physical words unless we, too, are of the Spirit.
Outside of growing in spiritual discernment of the Scriptures, we must also acknowledge the indescribable power of God. We have to have faith that God’s power is unlimited. If we do not believe that God is able to change our bodies so that they never experience pain or death, then the Sadducees’ doctrine seems reasonable. This lets us see that if we limit God’s power, then we also blind ourselves to doctrines that point to God’s awesome power. We will disregard a doctrine as being absurd when, in fact, the doctrine might be true.
This week, I challenge you to examine your doctrines. Why do you believe what you believe? Did someone tell you? Is it a tradition that everyone takes for granted? Did you form your own opinion after reading the Bible and praying for discernment? Take the time to make sure that you have not accidentally adopted an unsound doctrine because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God.