Theology is for Everyone

To most Christians, the idea of learning “Theology” is an overwhelming and daunting suggestion. “I’m not a scholar,” or “I’m not interested in working for a Ph.D” is a very common thought process that shuts the door on the subject.

However, Theology is NOT just a scholar’s domain. The learning and the application of Theology to our own heart, mind, and daily life is of the utmost godly value!

“Theology”—though it does include some branches with extremely deep waters—is basically the study of God: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, and how He interacts with humanity. Every believer who is committed to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior needs to know as much as they can from the scriptures about their God.

As attenders of [good] churches, we have a tremendous number of opportunities to grow in our knowledge about God (“Theology”) so that we can also grow in knowing Him personally. Faulty thinking about who God is and how He interacts with humanity leaves us very, VERY susceptible to failures and deceptions.

The writer to the Hebrews (most consider this author to be the Apostle Paul, as do I) was teaching and developing their understanding of God and their walking through life in the Spirit of Jesus. Here is what he summarizes as being the foundation or elementary teachings [of Theology] that every believer SHOULD have well established so they can build and grow the rest of their life.

“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”‭‭

( Hebrews‬ ‭6:1-2 )

Unfortunately, there are too many believers who have had their faith in Christ for 10, 20, or 30 years, but their maturity in truly knowing the things of God and living a godly life are at an “elementary” level. Using a school analogy, by now they should be graduates, instead they are repeating the 1st Grade over and over, not having grasped the basics and not yet demonstrated a practical proficiency in godly knowledge, wisdom, and behavior.

To be clear, though I used a school analogy, growing in Theology is not necessarily about formal academics. It is about growing in the personal study of God’s scripture, and the prayerful application of the scriptures to personal and daily life.

“Let us go on to perfection” means to grow in maturity. It means to shed more and more imperfection, and to draw closer and closer to Christ and the perfection He represents.
Most of us will never be “Theologians” in an academic setting with a Ph.D next to our name, but each of us should be growing in our Theology of God. Anything less than our constant growth in our knowledge of God is not part of God’s great plan for our life. Let’s be sure, every day, that we progressively “go on to perfection” in Him.

See you at the altar of Christ as we read the scriptures, pray, and build each other up in the Theology of our great God.

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The Fellowship of the Saints

Defining Fellowship:

Koinonia’ (Greek term in Acts 2:42, et al.), translated as:

  • fellowship, relationship, association, community, communion, joint participation.
  • The beneficial outcome of relational interaction with others.

Our fellowship with the saints (the followers of Christ, also called the Church) is a powerful and integral part of our being healed, renewed, and discipled in our life of faith in Christ. Fellowship, our interaction with other people through relationships is so important that 6 out of the Ten Commandments deals directly with our relations with other people (the other 4 out of the Ten Commandments deals with our fellowship with God Himself).

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At An Impasse?

Has God called you to a destination, but you have reached an impasse? God’s calling is followed by His provisioning.

“So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.'”

( Genesis 22:14 )

When God calls us as Christians to a task or to a destination, He will always provide that which we will need to fulfill His call. Our part is to walk in obedience, to live in prayer mode, and to perpetually believe in His willingness and in His plan to provide what is necessary for the mission.

Most of the time when God calls us our journey will require miracles of one kind or another, miracles done by Him in sync with our steps. If we stop walking in the right direction, His miracles may cease until we get back on the right track.

Sometimes His miracles are not in the form that we think they should be. We might think we need money for the next step, but He may provide a different resource. We might think that He will open big doors to big places, but instead He may lead us into a desert. We might think we need gift certificates to a grocery store, but He may instead command Ravens to bring us scraps of food.

“’Elijah, you will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.’ So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there.

The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

( 1 Kings 17:4-6 )

Certainly there are times in our lives when God will provide in abundance, and we certainly enjoy those times and we thank Him with great appreciation and sincerity. However, as servants of the King of all Kings, our willingness to go with the flow of His provision is of utmost importance. Our time of service is not about our comfort, it is about our being trained and developed for service to the King in any environment with any resources He provides.

Good servants, good soldiers, good athletes, good princes and princesses of the King are not discouraged or offended by their training and their assignments that take them through mud and sewers, in extreme heat and cold, while being sick and experiencing loss. God is not treating us like dirt, He is helping us to overcome our weaknesses and shortcomings, and building within us great self discipline and a willingness for personal sacrifice of comfort and security.

God will provide, but His specific provisioning serves many more Divine purposes than just building a bridge for us to get from Point A to Point B. He is training us, building us, and using us all at the same time. And He gets the maximum glory out of all of it!

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Press On Today!

Forget Yesterday’s Failures, Press On Today, Envision Tomorrow’s Victories!

“Not that I have… already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me… Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me…”

( Philippians 3:12-14 )

In the Athlete’s gym, disciplined body-training with perseverance turns today’s crushing weights into next year’s normal workout routine.

In the Christian’s life, disciplined spirit-training with perseverance turns today’s crushing trials into next year’s routine challenges.

Press on today, my friend. God allows trials into our lives to serve as instruments for our character development, and as environments in which we can practice and learn how to walk in step with the Holy Spirit.

“… whenever you face trials of many kinds… the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

‭( James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ )

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Circumstance and Character

God cares very much about our circumstances, especially when our circumstances involve suffering.  But there is something that He cares about even more than our circumstances: its our character and its development.  Our circumstances will pass away sooner or later either by miracle or by our rapture, but our character is developed with eternity in view.

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,  for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

( 1 Peter 1:6-9 )

In this passage our “faith” refers to our entire belief system concerning God, our belief in His existence, our belief in His goodness, our trust in His forgiveness, etc.  These are all tied to our character development in the course of our life’s relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Our faith in God is proven genuine as we walk through life’s circumstances with Him according to His character example.  No, we are not perfect, but even in our imperfection our faith is developed and proven to be genuine as we walk in agreement with His will and His ways to the best of our current abilities with which He has graced us.

Regardless of your circumstances today, God cares incredibly about you and what you are experiencing.  However, let’s remember that He cares even more about your character development wherein your faith is established and proven to be genuine, a genuineness that is then carried into eternity where the line is drawn and the remaining circumstances are left behind.

Our joy is not just in the change of difficult circumstances, but is more so drawn from the knowledge that as our character and faith develop into a genuine and functional condition and we are receiving “the salvation of [our] souls.”

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