Bible

Our Wednesday Bible studies at Wilkesboro Baptist Church this year have been focused around a study of Theology. Theology is the study of God.

In the academic sense, theology can be separated into several categories:

  • Biblical theology—Investigates how each author or book of the Bible considers a particular doctrine. 
  • Historical theology—How different doctrinal ideas arose and were developed in history (over time). 
  • Systematic theology—Is a collection of Bible doctrines that flows out of an organized, logical framework relating the doctrines of Scripture to one another.
  • Practical theology—Connects doctrines to daily living. 

Our Wednesday night study has focused primarily on Systematic Theology. We are currently exploring the doctrine of revelation: God revealing himself to us through Jesus Christ and his Word, the Bible.

One issue that has been on my mind during the preparation and delivery of this series is the importance of understanding basic theology in the life of the Christian.

The reality is that nearly everyone does theology. Anytime, anyone claims to speak for God or interprets some verse of Scripture, that person is engaging in theology. For example, when a parent says to a child, “God wouldn’t want you to behave like that,” that is theology. Or when a politician quotes a verse of Scripture to caption a plank in their party platform, that politician is engaging in theology.

What is troubling is how poorly equipped many Christians are in the doctrines of their faith. I propose that each Christian needs even more understanding and engagement theologically.

“We need to have a faith seeking understanding.”

Augustine, 4th Century Church Father

We will never fully know God this side of heaven. But by studying God’s Word, we can know more about God. We will never have a perfect faith until we are glorified, but we can grow in our faith as we grow in our understanding of God.

If you’re reading this post, let me challenge you to learn more about God, what God has to say about his world, and what God has to say about you. Here are some practical things you can do to learn what God wants you to know.

  • Open the Bible and read God speaking to you.
  • Make a commitment to faithful church attendance where you can worship God and learn from his Word.
  • Read good books that build your faith. I’m encouraging our church members to read Introducing Christian Doctrine, by Millard Erickson during our study of theology.
  • Follow blogs that might increase your understanding and help you apply your faith.
  • Subscribe to podcasts and theological conversations that build your faith. We are uploading this theology series to our Wilkesboro Baptist Church podcast page as well as making the lessons available through iTunes. If you have an iPhone with a podcast app., just search for Wilkesboro Baptist Church.

istock_000011742381xsmallIf it were not that Spring wreaks havoc on my allergies, it would be my favorite time of year. Springtime is the season for new growth. In a sense, Spring can be an analogy for our spiritual lives. We need times that refresh and renew us in our relationship with God. My post below will look at a few ways we can spur on our spiritual growth using Spring as an analogy.

  1. Spring follows winter. In the part of the country where I live, we generally experience four seasons. While our winters are mild, they do give us rainfall, snow, and cold weather that puts plants into dormancy. We all have, and sometimes even need times of winter in our spiritual lives. These seasons reinforce for us our need to grow and provide us a basis for growth. Without winter precipitation, Spring could not arrive in all of its green glory.
  2. Spring is natural. I know, I know, some of you are thinking, “But if only my spiritual growth just happened. It seems so difficult to consistently grow.” While our spiritual growth is more supernatural, than natural, the concept still fits. As Spring arrives without our help, so our spiritual growth is supposed to take place. God designed us and purposed us for growth. I believe not growing in Christlikeness is more unnatural for the believer than growing.
  3. Spring needs resources. You may think I’m being contradictory. While Spring is natural, it is not alone in its arrival. Spring flowers, plants, and grass grow because of rainfall and sunlight. Nourishment encourages Spring’s arrival as God designed nature to work together. Likewise, we need nourishment from the Son (through His written Word) and from fellowship with our Father (through prayer). These are just some of the resources God purposed for our spiritual growth.
  4. Spring brings life. I love looking at the beauty of God’s created world. Flowers that bloom, grass that turns from brown to bright green, leaves that sprout on trees, and even the insects and animals that seemingly swarm with life during the Springtime are testaments to God’s creative genius. Want to have and spread spiritual life? Then, you and I must pursue spiritual growth.

You may not feel like you’re in the Spring of your relationship with God. You may feel dry and dormant, wondering what is going on in your life. You may feel as if you’re wilting under the burning heat of a spiritual summer. Or you may be cold with a wintry blast of discouragement. Spiritual seasons in life are just as natural as the seasons of our year. How do we respond? I would advise that you pursue the God who wants you to grow. Let him speak to you through his Word. Talk to him in prayer. Build relationships with other believers who will encourage you. Make it a point to be in church. Share Christ’s love and story with someone else. In other words, apply the resources of a spiritual Springtime in your life whether you feel like its Spring or not. God desires your growth even more than you do. He won’t let you remain stagnant for long. Spring is here. Let’s pursue our spiritual growth during this beautiful season.