Doctrine, what a person believes, is the source of practice, what a person does. Doctrine is the core foundation for practice. Doctrine defines the object of a person’s faith. Faith in faith is not true saving faith. Faith must have an external resting place. True saving faith must rest on the realities of God’s Word. Biblical doctrine frames the Scriptural resting place for one’s faith in the reality of Scripture and provides a resting place for faith that is grounded in God’s truth rather than mere experience.
Practice, what a person does, naturally flows from what a person believes. Practice does not just flow from what a person professes, but ultimately from what a person actually believes at the core of his being. As such, practice is a demonstration of belief and a natural outflow from true belief.
It is necessary, given the effects of true belief and our sinful flesh, for us to continually challenge ourselves and our beliefs from Scripture. It is necessary that we examine ourselves continuously for areas of unbelief.
Biblical doctrine is a source of joy and comfort for believers. John expresses this in 1 John 1:4 when he tells the believers that he is “writing that our joy may be complete.” Biblical doctrine brings us joy, instructs us on properly serving Jesus, and encourages us to persevere. Even more significantly for those who love God, it allows us to know that we are truly bringing glory to God through Jesus Christ.