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.

#PastorsTip

Losing When You are Right.

Son, you ‘won,’ but you lost!

~ My Dad

“If [you]… can fathom… all knowledge,… but do not have love, [you are] nothing.”

~ My Heavenly Father, 1 Corinthians 13:2

When I was a kid I would argue with my Mom about almost everything. Why? I don’t know, but I do regret the frustration that I brought into her life during that stage of my life.

One day I was arguing with her about something, and this time I was right. I had the information that she did not have. In fact, because of my having the right information I was able to argue her “under the table,” so to speak. I won the argument, and she knew it.

My Dad had been patiently listening-in on our conflict and once I had won the argument he took me for a walk.

He told me that though I had “won” the argument with my Mom (I had the truth and information on my side), he said that I had actually lost. I had “won,” but I had lost.

He taught me a powerful lesson that day! I learned that though I may have all the right information, all the right knowledge, and all the truth regarding a situation, I have nothing if I have not loved the other person.

Does this mean that knowledge and truth are irrelevant? No, of course not! It just means that the value of those things are found and enjoyed only when they are used and shared in an attitude of love.

I think we have all met fellow Christians who have a lot of knowledge about the Bible, doctrines, theology, Church history, denominational differences, and they have an opinion about every iota of information they have ever filed away in their mind. But they also are a horrible experience to encounter because they argue and make their point without any sense of love for those who may disagree with them, or who just may not know as much as they do.

They “win” their arguments, but they actually lose the encounter… they have knowledge without love… they are nothing (v.2).

This is a life-lesson that I have been continuing to learn throughout my life. I invite you to join me in this journey… if you aren’t already on this same journey. If you are ahead of me, send to me some lessons that you have already learned. I don’t like to learn the hard way when someone has already paid that price and can now offer that lesson free of charge.

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