Theology Matters

Intro: Theology matters; in this day and age, we see and hear people who try to gloss over this. A friend of mine graduated from a Bible college with poor grades in Theology but said that didn’t matter. The truth is it does. Paul's rights about theology matter not just to the Galatians (Galatians 1), but in 2 Corinthians (chapter 11), he talks about the church walking away from the true teachings to follow another one. Peter mentions the coming of false prophets and teachers in 2 Peter 2, John talks and deals with them in  2  and 3 John, Jude in his letter named after him, and James warns teachers about being judged harsher than others based on what they teach (James 3:1-12). We understand through these passages that theology matters; it goes beyond a denominational stance. It goes with orthodoxy throughout all denominations and how we know which denominations truly follow the Word of God and who don’t.

1.       The Bible tells us that people will abandon sound teaching 2 Timothy 5:1-5

a.       Today we can list groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons who sound like their teachings are from the Bible, but when we match it to what the Bible teaches, we find the holes grow, sinking their boats.

                                                               i.      Even a number of mainline denominations have holes in their teachings that don’t match the Bible.

                                                             ii.      They have developed doctrines they try to make logical arguments for, but it doesn’t fill in the holes in their theology that don’t match what Scripture teaches us.

b.       We must ensure that what we believe is orthodox to scripture.

                                                               i.      Today, people watch pastors on TV, and the question that we should be asking is “is what this person is teaching match up to scripture?”

                                                             ii.      This is why it’s essential to study the Bible together.

c.       This goes beyond Calvinism and Arminianism, which have solid scriptures to back both up.

                                                               i.      The teachings deal with what the World thinks is something we need to battle, but the Bible deals differently with it than what those churches teach.

2.       The Bible teaches many things that we often forget or don’t realize are in there.

a.       Paul says Study (2 Timothy 2:15)

b.       Studying the Bible was foundational to the early Church (Acts 2:42-47).

                                                               i.      The early church not only gathered in the temple but would meet in homes, sharing meals and their lives, but be devoted to what the Apostles were teaching.

c.       Many churches in the last decade have shifted a new focus on Bible Studies.

                                                               i.      Not in the old way, but in which they discuss the hard questions, do life together and feel safe to admit where they struggle.

                                                             ii.      The reason to learn and study is so that we will have leaders rise, which is what the early church had to do to get leaders.

d.       We see that the Bereans Studied the scriptures daily to know the things they were hearing were true and not being led astray by false teachings. (Acts 17:10-15)

                                                               i.      This is one reason I began having the handouts: to encourage you do go home and study deeper.

3.       As we stated, the apostles fought heresy from the beginning. This shows us that Satan was already attacking the church on many fronts, aside from persecution outside of its organization, but with heresies within it too. It’s like the plot of a good book or film where you see the struggles going on from both sides.

a.       Whenever we devote ourselves to studying the scriptures deeper, the devil will attack us in many ways so that our focus turns away from God.

                                                               i.      Why? Satan knows that when our faith and hope are in the love of Christ, nothing can shake us. Even when tragedy happens, we know God has us in his hands.

b.       Our focus turns from ourselves and to others; we have a genuine concern for our church family and for others who are lost from God.

                                                               i.      Our attitudes, language, and focus change; we become more Christ-like in dealing with what life throws at us. It helps us to train others.

c.       We see that the Bible tells us how we’re to live in this world while waiting for the Kingdom to come.

                                                               i.      The Bible teaches us things like praying for our leaders (Romans 13:1, 1 Timothy 2:1-2, 1 Peter 2:17)

                                                             ii.      Respect our parents, Love God, Keep the Sabbath, and what that all means.

1.       When we dig deeper into the Bible we find out the reasons.

a.       The big question many have and wrestle with is why God wanted to live with us. The Bible gives and shows us clear channel to that reasoning.

                                                           iii.      It also teaches us the things that God dislikes, the things that breaks his heart.

1.       There’s many things that we could say and point to. God has feelings, he tells us he’s a jealous God for one (Exodus 34:14)

2.       We know he loves (John 3:16)

3.       He weeps (John 11:35)

End: So, how do we begin to become more theologically minded? We study together, more than just a Sunday, we gather on another day of the week. In the past, churches looked at midweek services, which in some gatherings morphed into a midweek Bible Study. The issue that many had was that they got too big in some churches. In some of the larger churches, it almost became like another midweek service. There was no interaction. Studying together helps propel studying for ourselves. That is why we’re launching a Growth Group on September 20th. The idea behind small groups as the new Bible Study is living out Acts 2:42-47, and the goal is to branch out to more groups with theologically sound leaders as groups reach 12 people. The ultimate goal is to have groups in all the towns that we have people coming from. Please see me after service if you have any questions. How do we begin? What do I read/need?


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