The word theology comes from two Greek words, theos (God) and logos (word). I like a simple definition for such a profound topic: Theology – The study of God. The ultimate goal of Christian theology is to learn about God, His nature and His will, and how they apply to ourselves. Therefore, Christian theology also includes the study of man because God deals with man, saves him (Eph 2:8), and loves him (John 3:16).
It is our ideas about God that shape the Christian’s worldview, that give rise to our insecurities or inspire confidence as we engage in daily living. It is the calling of every Christian to examine our narratives, our own ideas about God, and, rather than craft those ideas to our tastes and preferences, to give those notions a continuous and thorough examination in light of Scripture, finding where those concepts ring true, and where they have gone dreadfully astray. Our calling is to know God as God is, not as we would like Him to be. Theology enables God’s people to think correctly and live rightly. What we do always flows from what we believe, and a sound theology helps us think clearly, rightly, and, most importantly, biblically about God. Jesus instructed us in Matthew 22:37, that you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Theology is one means whereby we love God with our minds.
We are commanded throughout Scripture to work through a Biblical, well reasoned theology. To neglect this command is to disobey God.
Paul encourages Christians at the church of Philippi to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) Notice the verse does not say one must work for salvation. Instead, the command is an admonishment concerning theology; precisely, the proper role of God, and man, in salvation.
Peter reminds us to set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15).
By God’s grace, with the help of Holy Scripture and the body of Christ, may we know, love, and worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)