Every Wind of Doctrine
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Intro: In all the years I have preached through this passage, and quoted or referenced this verse, I have never noticed the significance of the wind. Paul didn’t say, tossed and carried about with every doctrine. He said it was “every wind of doctrine.” Why?
Wind is mentioned well over a hundred times in the Bible.
Wind is neither positive or negative in and of itself.
God used the wind many times to do many things.
The first time we see the word WIND in the Bible is in Genesis 8.
- Genesis 8:1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that [was] with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;
God used the wind to part the Red Sea.
- Exodus 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
God used the wind to blow in quail.
- Numbers 11:31 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea,
In Acts 2, when the early church was filled with the Spirit, the house was filled with the SOUND of a mighty rushing wind.
But when I saw this statement in Ephesians 4, it got me to thinking.
I began to research biblical references to wind and discovered several things that make the statement “wind of doctrine” an oxymoron.
Make no mistake – Paul’s reference to “every wind of doctrine” was a reference to FALSE DOCTRINE.
Paul mentioned DOCTRINE in his epistles no less than 26 times.
A. The Victims of “Every Wind of Doctrine” – children
The victims of false doctrine are the children.
We know that unbelievers are easily influenced by false doctrine.
They lack the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth.
The natural man understandeth not the things of God, neither can he know them. He is spiritually discerned.
This is a picture of ignorant believers; immature believers, illiterate believers
Church members that are uneducated and unlearned.
Knowledge is power.
B. The Violation of “Every Wind of Doctrine” – tossed, carried,
Notice what happens to people that are victims of false doctrine – they get tossed and carried away.
Look at what David said in Psalm 1.
- Psalms 1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
- Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.
CARRIED ABOUT – to be driven here and there…
Paul warned the church at Thessalonica not to be “soon shaken…”
- II Thessalonians 2:2, 3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means:…
SOON SHAKEN: a motion produced by winds, storms, waves, etc
Sound doctrine does the exact opposite. It grounds; it roots; it solidifies; it confirms a person’s faith.
- 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
- 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
C. The Villains of “Every Wind of Doctrine” – liars and deceivers.
Understand this – they know what they are doing.
They are not just confused, or have a good heart, or misinterpreting Scripture.
It would be bad enough if that were the case.
But instead, they are deliberate and diabolical in their deception.
It is fascinating to learn that even the proponents of false doctrine fall prey to their own devices.
- Jude 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
NOTE: These false prophets and false teachers are the opposite of the tree in Psalm 1.
They were not planted by the water; they were clouds without water.
Their fruit withered.
They were not planted; they were twice dead; plucked up.
I. The Unpredictability of the Wind
- John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth…
The wind blows where it wants to.
It has not pattern; no direction; no preplanned route.
It is erratic and unpredictable.
Sound doctrine is not unpredictable.
It has influence, but it is unquestionable in its direction.
We are reminded of the erratic nature; the unpredictability of the wind in James.
- James 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
The wind in and of itself is not a predictable source of direction.
It must be channeled. It must be overruled by a rudder; a governor.
Wind bloweth where it listeth; but you and I should go where the governor listeth!
People are always coming up with new “winds of doctrine;” but we need to find out what God said.
The “winds of doctrine” might be popular; they might be powerful; they might be prestigious – but what does the “governor” say?
(By the way, the word “governor” in James 3:4 means: to make straight, level, plain; to lead or guide straight, to keep straight or direct.)
Sound doctrine is straight; false doctrine is contradictory and confusing.
God likes it straight. He sent John the Baptist as a forerunner for Jesus Christ . Notice His command:
- Mark 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
God’s authority supersedes that of the “winds of doctrine.”
- Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
- Matthew 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
II. The Uncertainty of the Wind
- John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Jesus described the wind by saying, “canst not tell…”
The word “TELL” here means to discern; to perceive; to perceive with any of the senses.
This is powerful. You can FEEL the wind. And you can HEAR the wind. But you “canst not tell.”
Two things that are uncertain: False doctrine is…
A. Uncertain in its Origin – “canst not tell whence it cometh,…”
We know EXACTLY where sound doctrine originated.
It was conceived in the heart and mind of God.
- John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
It is the essence of God.
Jesus said, “I am the truth…” John 14:6
The Bible says, “Let God be true and every man a liar…” Romans 3:4
B. Uncertain in its Objective – “…and wither it goeth…”
Sound doctrine is the exact opposite.
Sound doctrine always has a consistent objective.
It will 100% of the time point a person to Jesus Christ.
It will always drive us; push us; point us; motivate us to be more like Christ; understand Him and know Him.
III. The Unreliability of the Wind
In Acts 27, notice this unexpected progression.
- 13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained [their] purpose, loosing [thence], they sailed close by Crete.
- 14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
- 15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let [her] drive.
It started out soft; soothing; satisfying.
They supposed they had obtained their purpose.
But not long after, things changed.
Comfort turned into chaos; peace turned into peril; rest turned into risk.
False doctrine may be appealing at first, but it produces damnable results.
When a person allows themselves to be influenced by every wind of doctrine, only God knows where they will end up.
When the winds begin to blow, we need something predictable; certain and reliable.
There is only one place a person can find certainty, and that is Jesus Christ.
- 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
- 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
- 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
- 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
- Immutability of his counsel – not transposed, not to be transferred, fixed, unalterable
- Impossibility – it was impossible for God to lie
- Invincibility – an anchor of the soul, both stedfast and sure
Conclusion: When the winds of doctrine begin to blow, we all need a refuge; an anchor; a God that cannot lie who is both steadfast and sure.