• Many people claim that doctrine is not very important. Let’s look at Paul’s attitude about sound teaching and false doctrine.

  • Read this passage to emphasize the importance of sound and false doctrine.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

  • We cannot possibly study all of the false teachings that exist today. We will only be able to address some of the more prominent ones in this Bible study. By far, the best way to know false doctrine is to study sound doctrine. If we have strong convictions about what the Bible DOES teach, we will easily identify what it does not teach.
  • “Federal agents don’t learn to spot counterfeit money by studying the counterfeits. They study genuine bills until they master the look of the real thing. Then when they see the bogus money they recognize it.” ~ John MacArthur


There are many teachings that have appeared over the last 2,000 years that do not agree with scripture. In each case, we will look at the false doctrine and then address scriptures to refute it.


The idea that because of Adam and Eve’s sins, we are all born guilty before God.

Exodus 34:6-7 Children certainly suffer the consequences of their parent’s sin. When their parents divorce, do not love God, abuse them, or do not deal with their own character, it will inevitably affect their children. However, God does not hold the children spiritually responsible for their parents’ guilt.

Ezekiel 18:19-20 We are each responsible for our own sin.


  • The practice of baptising infants before they are old enough to make their own faith decision.
  • The scriptures are very clear on the prerequisites for baptism:
  • Colossians 2:11-12 Buried in baptism through your faith in the working of God
  • Q: Can an infant have faith? (See also Hebrews 11:6, Romans 10:17)
  • Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptised
  • Q: Can an infant repent?
  • Matthew 28:18-20 go make disciples, baptising them
  • Q: Can an infant become a disciple of Jesus?


  • Became popular with Martin Luther during the reformation period (16th century A.D.) in reaction to the “works doctrine” of the Catholic Church. It is interesting to note that Luther did not believe the book of James should be included in the Bible. Why? James contradicts this false doctrine.

19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[b] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

  • Faith is necessary but so is discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • So are repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).
  • Faith without deeds is dead. Faith does save. The idea of faith alone is problematic.


There are many churches that teach that salvation can never be revoked. In other words, once you have been saved, it is impossible to lose that salvation. Many scriptures refute this teaching.

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen[a] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[b]

20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

Stubborn refusal to repent of sin can certainly lead to a hardened heart that no longer responds to God. God’s grace is magnificent. We should never want to test where that line lies!


  • Only began in the 18th century and became popular in Christian revivals on the early 20th century by preachers like Billy Sunday. Belief is that you only need to believe in Jesus, accept him as your personal saviour, and pray for salvation. See article The Sinner’s Prayer by Steve Staten for a more thorough history of this false doctrine.
  • This doctrine is often justified by Revelation 3:20
  • Also justified by Romans 10:9-10
  • Revelation 3:20 (notice who this is written to…see Revelation 3:14) This verse was written to the church, people who were already baptised disciples. The instruction is about repentance from their lukewarm lives. This is NOT about salvation.
  • Acts 22:8-16 Great example connecting faith, Lordship, and baptism. It must all go together for salvation.


(Also known as an “outward sign of an inward faith.”) This evolved in conjunction with the previous two false doctrines. If faith alone and praying Jesus into your heart saves you, what role does baptism have? Baptism is downgraded in importance to justify these other false teachings.

Romans 6:1-5 Baptism is participation in death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. New life begins.

1 Peter 3:20-21 We are saved at the point of baptism and it is compared to Noah being saved through water during the flood.


Luke 23:39 Some will say that the thief on the cross was never baptised. Yes, remember baptism in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins only began after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Moses and Abraham will be in heaven though they were not baptised, they lived and died as Jews under the old covenant.


Galatians 1:6-9 Any other gospel (teaching about Jesus) but doesn’t hold to sound doctrine is condemned by God.

We are saved BY grace (Ephesians 2:10), THROUGH faith (Romans 3:22), AT Baptism (Acts 2:38).

  • Matthew 7:21-23 Only those that obey God’s will are saved
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 Paul warns about false teaching
  • 2 Peter 2:1-3 Peter warns about false teaching
  • Jude 3-4 We are called to fight for our beliefs Titus 3:8-10 We are to avoid foolish controversies