Theology matters. Knowing what you believe and why you believe is foundational to being able to live a life pleasing before God. It is also a cornerstone principle to my work as a Christian life coach. I encounter people on a regular basis – Christians – who do not know the basic doctrines of the Bible. That means they don’t know what the Bible teaches and therefore have little basis for their beliefs. In other words, they’ve built their lives on sand.
Doctrine is a term that many Christians – and too many preachers – are steering away from. Doctrine simply means teaching. In this case, Christian teaching or biblical teaching. Under this general umbrella are two other branches: theology and ethics. Theology deals specifically with the study and knowledge of God and His Word. What He wants us to believe. Ethics addresses how we are to behave. If you want your living to be right, your beliefs and thinking have to be correct first.
- Theology = What is true
- Ethics = What is right
Right believing will lead to right living and both will be pleasing to and in keeping with God’s will. Therefore, apart from doctrine, you cannot know who God is or how to please Him. Doesn’t that seem fairly important, especially if you call yourself a Christian?!
Many people are reluctant to study theology because they fear the terminology. They are under the false impressions that learning doctrine and theology are exclusive to academics and bible scholars. Not true! In fact, Scripture makes is very clear that every Christian bears responsibility for knowing biblical doctrine and living in accordance with it. How can you live it if you don’t know what is expected? And yet, millions of Christians are following the lead of churches and preachers who continually downplay and steer them away from God’s Word.
This divorce and separation between theology and right living cannot be found in the Bible. As a matter of fact, Paul especially condemns such practice. Nearly all of the New Testament letters present doctrines followed by how to live them out. How can you live in obedience to unknown laws and expectations?
These and other issues relative to theology are discussed in this episode.