Contend Earnestly: Theological Implications of a Theological Lived Life

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Theological Implications of a Theological Lived Life

I know this is a tough title to get through and then try and understand what this post will be about. My thoughts on this is the simple fact of studying the word of God as much as pastors do and those of us who have decided that God has called us to teach it to others. This also spills to another part of the world that Augustine, Calvin, Bunyan, Edwards and even someone like Machen never thought would be possible: blogging.

I spend a lot of time reading other posts, books, articles and even listening to sermons on the subject of God and the implications of His commands. The danger that comes through this is the fact of me thinking I am holy merely by studying holiness. This is like me thinking I am going to lose weight by merely reading diet books, thinking I can fix a car because I read mechanical engineering books, thinking I am a gardener because I read "Home and Garden."

Will these readings aid and help me in my application of these skills? Yes, but only in the head knowledge and the teaching of others about the methodology, but not in the transforming of my own life into becoming slimmer, becoming an auto mechanic or a gardener.

The only possibility of me becoming these things is the actual outpouring of my knowledge into the work of those skills and that knowledge.

Same can be said of our theology. We must all continue to ask ourselves, "Why am I continuing to study, read and listen to theological issues?" Is it for personal gain...a knowledge that puffs up? Is it to merely teach others? Is it so I can defend my position? Or is it so that I can grow in a loving relationship with my Father who sent His Son in my stead? I am not saying that our works make us a Christian, but our works prove that we are truly a theologian to be imitated.

I find this an interesting discussion as we see the words of a very popular verse, one that you have heard if you are a pastor:

For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra 7:10

Notice that as pastors and teachers it is natural for us to do the first and the last of these practices of Ezra: studying and teaching. But the most important is the glue that holds these two together. If the study of the law in Ezra 7:10 is its introduction and teaching the statutes are its conclusion, then the practice of the law is its thesis. It is the meat, it is the central reason for doing the other two.

We must make sure that we imitate Ezra in all his ways, not just in the introduction and the conclusion.

We must practice our theologies, be shepherds, loving the sheep, instead of being the pious theologians from the tower shouting down to the poor downtrodden simple minded milk drinkers.

for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

1 Thessalonians 1:5

You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;

1 Thessalonians 2:10

For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

2 Corinthians 1:12


Anonymous said...

Great post Seth! Hit me right between the eyes.

Soli Deo Gloria

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