Saints, there is a great need for us to get beyond mere evangelical right doctrines to the place of importance of putting the life of God higher than verbal doctrines. Right doctrines are important and good but we must realize they are doctrines that speak of a living God and living Christ with whom we are to be in relationship with.
Many believers judge other believers who do not hold to exacting doctrines or ideas but Paul the Apostle rather put a much higher test before the believers in His day: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Is the life of Jesus Christ in you? Do you have the Spirit of God in you? Do you have intimate communion with God who is Spirit by the Spirit that is now in you?
Paul did not have a checklist of 5 doctrines or beliefs that believers had to ascribe to and you were “in” Rather the early Church revolved around life! namely that was found in the person of Jesus Christ (John 17:3).
Here are some excerpts from George Fox a godly preacher in the 1600′s who was used of the Lord to challenge the status quo of his day that had departed greatly from the life of Christ:
[...the priest] took for his text these words of Peter: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well, that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.” And he told the people that this [word] was the scriptures, by which they were to try all doctrines, religions, and opinions. Now the Lord’s power was so mighty upon me, and so strong in me, that I could not hold, but was made to cry out and say, “Oh! no; it is not the scriptures;” and told them it was the Holy Spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth the scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments were to be tried; for it led into all Truth, and so gave the knowledge of all Truth.
That which I was moved to declare was this: “That the holy scriptures were given forth by the Spirit of God; and all people must come to the Spirit of God in themselves, by which they might know God and Christ, of whom the prophets and the apostles learnt; and by the same Spirit know the holy scriptures; for as the Spirit of God was in them that gave forth the scriptures, so the same Spirit of God must be in all them that come to understand the scriptures; by which Spirit they might have fellowship with the Father, with the Son, with the scriptures, and with one another; and without this Spirit they can know neither God, Christ, nor the Scriptures, nor have right fellowship one with another. I had no sooner spoken these words, than about half a dozen priests, that stood behind me, burst out into a passion. One of them, whose name was Jackus, amongst other things that he spake against the truth, said, That the Spirit and the letter were inseparable. I replied, “Then everyone that hath the letter hath the Spirit; and they might buy the Spirit with the letter of the scriptures.” This plain discovery of darkness in the priest moved Judge Fell and colonel West to reprove them openly, and tell them, That according to that position, they might carry the Spirit in their pockets, as they did the scriptures.
…for he that believes in the light, it lets him see the scriptures, the prophets, Christ and the apostles’ words, and by it they do distinguish the true prophets’ words from the false, the holy men’s words from the unholy, the sanctified from them that are not sanctified, Christ’s words from the antichrist’s, the true apostles’ words from the false. So Christ the light teacheth his people to believe in that which manifests all things; and they that believe in the light have the witness in themselves of Christ, in whom they do believe, they have the witness in themselves, that he is their redeemer, and savior, and their way, their truth, and their life….