After watching the two videos below, I wrote some of my own thoughts on why Biblical Theology is so important for the Church.
Nancy Guthrie summarized Biblical theology well when she said that it is the “coherent story of what God is doing in His world through Christ.” It is GOD’S world—not ours. Biblical theology re-centers us on Christ and what He is doing rather than us and what we are doing. Shai Linn said something similar when he said that biblical theology is following the Bible’s storyline to see God glorified. I agree with both of them, and my reflection on this is that we need to be reading the Bible with a mind on who God is, knowing that He is revealing Himself in all of it so that we can live a life which glorifies Him.
Shai Linn’s exposition of Luke 24:44-47 was helpful in understanding how this may look practically in the Church today. There is in fact ONE church, despite the cultural and geographic diversity, and it should be centered around who God is, as revealed in Scripture. That is why understanding Scripture is so important.
To take their ideas a bit further, I could not help but think of the phrase “THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST.” I think this is missing in a lot of churches. While we should be preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins constantly, we also need to keep in mind the maturing, sanctification, and perseverance which is expected of us as the Body of Christ. We have to keep in mind not only the cross but also the resurrection and glorification of Christ, who has proven through that His authority to give us new life. This new life should be marked by obedience to the Holy Spirit whom God has given to dwell in us, preparing us and all who would hear and heed the invitation for His eternal kingdom.
With that, we have to be willing to let go of anything which is not useful. Like Shai Linn said, “ARE WE CONVINCED WE ARE RIGHT EVEN THOUGH WE MAY BE WRONG?” That really pricked my heart, and the way I would re-word the question is, “ARE WE TRULY SUBMITTING TO THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST, OR ARE WE MAKING OURSELVES THE LORDS OF OUR OWN LIVES (and churches/ministries)?”
God’s word must be sufficient, or we will lead people astray. When we bring in our own ideas or from this world, we pollute the truth. We must not be pressured to think we need to add any “umph” to God’s Word or try to convince people of who God is or how to live their lives apart from what the Bible says. “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” (Proverbs 25:26)
I was speaking with a woman the other day whose son doubts the coming of the Lord because he does not see any change in the world around us. He also cannot grasp how a loving God could do some of the things seen in the Old Testament. Being aware of what Peter says was helpful. "Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:1-9) We need to be faithful, like Noah was, even though his efforts did not seem fruitful. God’s judgment is certain.
For someone who has their mind made up, the truth of God’s word and the work of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin has to be what we rest on; otherwise, we will get exhausted and discouraged in sharing the Gospel.
This is the blog of Tyler Shepard, the Senior Pastor for Shoaff Park Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, IN.
I hope you are encouraged and challenged to walk more closely with Jesus Christ!