Doctrine matters and anyone who rejects the importance of beliefs will be swayed back and forth like a ship on the sea without a proper sail and rudder. We must remember, the gospel of Jesus Christ is a body of doctrine—and if “doctrine” doesn’t matter—how can a person come to believe the gospel and urge others to believe it too?
Recently I asked the readers of this blog to “quiz” themselves on 20 Bible doctrine questions. Some of the questions were really basic and easy to answer while others were a bit more challenging. Below are the answers to the questions along with brief explanations. I hope you will be encouraged to read, learn, study, and worship God with your mind.
Before reading the answers, if you would like to quiz yourself first—you can find the quiz here.
Question #1: Jesus was God (fully) but he only appeared to be human in order to identify with humanity?
True or False
Explanation: Jesus is the second Person of the Godhead and was fully God before his incarnation (taking upon human flesh at conception and subsequent birth). At the point of Jesus’ incarnation, he did not cease to be God. He remained God throughout his entire earthly ministry. While he was here in the flesh, he was also a real human being. Jesus added to his deity the flesh of his humanity in a hypostatic union so that he felt real pain, hunger, and experienced the needs of humanity. We find these words in John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Question #2: Jesus was the first of all of God’s created beings?
True or False
Explanation: Jesus was never created. Jesus has always existed, and we see the teaching of Jesus’ preeminence taught in places like Hebrews 1 and John 8:58.
Question #3: The devil is the enemy of God, but if he repented he would be offered forgiveness.
True or False
Explanation: Jesus died for the sins of his people (Matt. 1:21) and there will never be an opportunity of salvation extended to one of the fallen angels (demons) or Satan himself (Heb. 2:16-17).
Question #4: God created the world over a period of:
A. 6.5 Billion Years
B. 6 Days
C. 6,000 Years
Answer: 6 Days.
Explanation: In the Genesis account (Genesis 1-2), we find that God created the entire universe by speaking it into existence over a period of six literal days and rested on the seventh.
Question #5: The Holy Spirit Is:
A. The Spirit of Jesus (Jesus’ Soul)
B. The Force of God that he uses to accomplish all of his work in this world
C. The Third Person of the Trinity
D. A Supernatural Dove
Answer: The Third Person of the Trinity
Explanation: The Holy Spirit is God—specifically the third Person of the Godhead. The idea that the Spirit is a supernatural dove must be rejected since the text clearly states that the Spirit “like” a dove descended upon Jesus at his baptism (Luke 3:22). Furthermore, the idea that the Holy Spirit is merely a “force” that God uses to accomplish his work is what cult groups, who have an agenda to pervert Christian doctrine, believe and teach (this is a teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses—a cult group).
Question #6: Every person has a free will that enables him or her to repent and obey God.
True or False
Explanation: One of the most controversial doctrines in the evangelical church today is the doctrine of man’s will. Is it free or in bondage? The Bible teaches that man is free, but only free to sin. We see such teachings in texts like John 1:12-13 and Ephesians 2:1-10. Man freely chooses and makes decisions everyday, but such decisions are rooted and grounded in depravity. Only when Jesus makes a person free can he then choose to obey and live for God (John 8:32-36). You may find R.C. Sproul’s answer helpful.
Question #7: Before the foundation of the world—God the Father existed without Jesus or the Spirit.
True or False
Explanation: There never was a time when God the Father was in existence without the Son or the Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity is taught all throughout the Bible and we clearly see that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father make up one God who is co-equal and co-eternal in all three Persons of the Trinity. See Colossians 1:15-20 for the preeminence of Jesus. You can also see the preexistence of Jesus (prior to his incarnation in John 1:1). You will likely find this book by James White helpful.
Question #8: The Bible is a trustworthy book, but it does contain a few errors.
True or False
Explanation: God’s Word is totally true and trustworthy. It contains the character of God. The Bible was breathed out by God and preserved over time (2 Tim. 3:16; Ps. 19; Ps. 119).
Question #9: Michael the Archangel is:
A. The Spirit of Jesus
B. A created angelic being
C. Satan in disguise
Answer: A created angelic being
Explanation: Michael is the name of a created angelic being that is mentioned in the Bible (Jude 9). Any teachings that suggest he is “Jesus” is a false and perverse idea purported in cult groups who have an agenda to oppose Christian teachings.
Question #10: The Bible was written over a period of:
A. 300 Years
B. 6,000 Years
C. 1,500 Years
D. 6 Days
Answer: 1,500 Years
Explanation: The Bible is a collection of 66 books that make up the totality of the biblical canon. The time period of the writings span over a period of 1,500 years, on three different continents, by forty human authors who were led by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). You may find the writings of Michael Kruger helpful on this subject.
Question #11: All religions have their own god and all of them point to the same being by using different names?
True or False
Explanation: God is a jealous God—meaning that he will not share glory with any other false deity (Ex. 20:5). God has revealed himself to us in the pages of Scripture, and he has appropriate names / titles—including his sacred name—YHWH. To call God any other name is offensive and to suggest that all religions lead to the same God is the false teaching of universalism.
Question #12: Baptism accomplishes the following:
A. Washes away a person’s sin
B. Publicly identifies a person as a follower of Jesus
C. Acts as the point where the Holy Spirit indwells a person
Answer: Publicly identifies a person as a follower of Jesus
Explanation: Baptism is the most pure profession of faith in Jesus and is a public declaration of a person’s faith in Christ. No teaching that baptism is necessary for salvation or that it washes away sin can be clearly substantiated from the pages of Scripture. Only the work of Jesus on the cross can atone for sin (1 Pet. 2:24-25). We come to Christ by faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone, and all responses and acts of obedience that flow from our faith (which is a gift of God) is purely obedience to God for his glory. You can find several articles that I’ve written on the subject of baptism here.
Question #13: The Lord’s Supper is:
A. A part of worship that is required in order to become a Christian
B. Fuses a person with Jesus in a mystical union
C. An act of worship by the Church in order to remember the body and blood of Jesus while anticipating his return
Answer: An act of worship by the Church in order to remember the body and blood of Jesus while anticipating his return
Explanation: The Lord’s Supper is part of Christian worship which involves the remembrance of Jesus’ body and blood that was poured out for the sins of his people (1 Cor. 11:17-34). It also involves a corporate attitude of worship that anticipates the return of Jesus (you can view more articles on this subject here).
Question #14: Who led the Israelites away from the bondage of Egypt?
Explanation: See Exodus 4:21; 6:11; and various other texts in the Exodus account.
Question #15: What Bible did the apostle Paul use in his preaching ministry?
A. King James
B. New American Standard
C. English Standard Bible
D. Original Hebrew and Greek
Answer: Original Hebrew and Greek
Explanation: Sure, this question was intended to cause a few chuckles, but we must remember that when Paul write the epistles that we have in the New Testament, there was no complete canon of Scripture. His “Bible” was mainly the Hebrew Old Testament with a few New Testament letters that were already beginning to be received as holy Scripture (2 Pet. 3:15-16).
Question #16: After the birth of Jesus, the Holy Spirit entered his body on the 8th day in order to enable him to live a perfect life.
True or False
Explanation: The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and was instrumental in Jesus’ earthly ministry, but Jesus lived a sinless life because of Jesus’ personal deity. Jesus is God and he would never break the Law of God in one point.
Question #17: How many good deeds are required in order to make it to heaven?
Explanation: Salvation is a work of God’s grace and mercy alone—not based on the slightest degree of man’s work (Titus 3:5). God saves sinners based on God’s grace—not man’s work so that no man can boast (Eph. 2:8-9). We come to God clinging to the finished work of Christ alone. Sinners receive the imputed righteousness of Christ and are received before God based on Jesus’ righteousness—and not one single act of righteousness is received by God on behalf of our sin.
Question #18: Who wrote the book of Ephesians in the New Testament?
Explanation: According to the opening verses of Ephesians (Eph. 1:1), Paul is the author of the letter to the church of Ephesus (and surrounding churches in surrounding cities).
Question #19: What doctrine is absolutely essential in order to be a Christian?
A. Premillennial Eschatology
B. King James Onlyism
D. Bodily Resurrection of Jesus
Answer: Bodily Resurrection of Jesus
Explanation: There should be charity issued between believers on various points of non-essential theology, but there are certain doctrines that make up the foundation of the gospel that cannot be negotiable. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is essential for true Christian belief. Even from the very beginning the haters of Jesus were spreading lies about the resurrection in order to retain their power and authority (Matt. 28:11-15). Paul said that without the resurrection of Jesus, our faith is vain (1 Cor. 15).
Question #20: God chooses people before the foundation of the world unto salvation based on the following:
A. Foreseen potential in the person to render as much service and worship to God as possible
B. Foreseen repentance and faith as God looks through the tunnel of time and sees the person make a decision to follow Jesus. At that moment, and upon that knowledge, God elects that person to salvation in Christ
C. God’s mercy without any foreseen merit or potential in the sinful human being
Answer: God’s mercy without any foreseen merit or potential in the sinful human being
Explanation: God chooses people for salvation before the foundation of the world, and this is a clear teaching in the Scriptures (Eph. 1:3-10). However, what is the basis of his choice of sinners? The idea that God looks through a tunnel of time to see how man will respond to offers of salvation in Christ and then bases his choice on what man does in time is a false teaching. That idea teaches that God has to gain knowledge, and we know that God is perfect and never needs anything nor lacks any knowledge. God is outside of time and knows that man is unable to save himself because he is dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1-10). Therefore, God makes a free and sovereign choice to save sinners based on his mercy.
Thank you for taking time to take the short quiz. I hope it was beneficial for you to think through the questions and I trust these explanations are helpful for you as well. Look for quizzes to appear here on the DBG website periodically in the days to come.