2Jn 9: "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son." (NKJV)
Today we hear the Christian life described purely in terms of behavior. Acts of kindness are emphazised over personal belief. It is said that one's doctrine does not matter as much as abiding in Christ and showing Christ's love through action on behalf of others. Christ did command us to abide in Him (Jn 15: 1-8). But the Apostle who recorded these words of Jesus did not seperate abiding in Christ from our beliefs concerning Him. "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God." Christian doctrine is a set of teachings handed down to us from the Apostles themselves, who received this teaching from Christ Himself. We are to abide in this doctrine. We are to know it, pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten us concerning it and we are not only to mentally assent to it, we are to live it. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that doctrine transforms us. Here, John is speaking of the particular doctrine that Jesus lived on earth as fully God and fully man, that he was a true human being as well as the second person of the Godhead. Those who teach otherwise John calls deceivers (v.7). Those who abide in the doctrine have both the Father and the Son. Those who have both the Father and the Son through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the heart (Eph 1:13) are transformed into the very image of Jesus. When we abide in the doctrine of Christ by faith, that doctrine is used by God to mold us into the people He wants us to be. God cleanses us from sin, and then we are free to minister to the world without selfish, impure motives.