April 13, 2013

Proper Theology

Proper: (prä-pər) Characterized by appropriateness or suitability; fitting. Called for by rules or conventions; correct. Adapted or appropriate to the purpose or circumstances; suitable. Conforming to established standards of behavior or manners; correct or decorous. Fitting; right.

Theology(thē-ˈä-lə-jē) Theology (Greek θεός - God and λόγος - logos - word or reason) is reasoned discourse concerning God. More specifically, Christian theology is the rational study and understanding of the nature of God and doctrines of the Christian faith based on the God's revelation of Himself, chiefly found in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Bible. It is the systematic study of the existence and nature of the divine and its relationship to and influence upon other beings.  This field of study can also include analysis of God's attributes and relations to the universe; the study of divine things or religious truth.

How can we try to attain true unity in the Body of Christ with an improper understanding of God, Jesus Christ? How can we try to attain true unity in the Body of Christ when many do not have proper theology or properly study the truths of God and understand these truths?

Luke 11:28 ~ “He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

1 Thessalonians 2:13 ~ “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”

If our unity is in Christ and we have an improper or poorly formed theological understanding of Him, how can there be true Biblical unity?

Ephesians 4:1-6 ~ “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” 

Unity, although it cannot be created by the Christian, must be preserved by him. This is to be diligently pursued by an attitude of humility.

To be able to do this...to be able to know how to do this properly, people need proper theology. Proper theology is found in the Bible.

If we have salvation in a proper understanding of God and His promises (which we should) than theology or a proper understanding is not just critical, it is intrinsic to the Christian life and necessary. Without it, how do we know we have the correct Jesus…the correct God? Is it the Jesus of Islam? Mormonism?

If we don’t have the proper understanding of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit we potentially have no salvation. Acceptance of misunderstandings or interpretive errors potentially negate the conditions of salvation, therefore improper theology can condemn and damn a person.

People need proper theology regardless of their protestations against the need for it.

Proper theology comes from the Bible. Knowing the Bible comes from reading it or hearing it. Without proper theology or understanding of God a believer cannot have a full and proper relationship with God. Without proper theology believers sell themselves short and sacrifice a much fuller relationship with their Maker. People that had real close relationships with God knew Him really well: Adam, Abraham, Moses, the Prophets, Paul, Jesus (tongue planted firmly in cheek), etc. How can anyone that calls themselves a Christian say they have a relationship with God when they know potentially could know virtually nothing about Him and understand so little of His Holy Book?

Start reading the Bible more. Get your theology right.

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