Introduction: Doctrine Series.
We are instructed in the scriptures to always be ready to give a defence to anyone who asks us about the hope that we have. We often think this speaks of merely making sure that we know the gospel so that when some friend asks us the way to be saved we can tell them. Often, however, a friend considering the claims of Christ in the scriptures will have lots of other questions first. Many of those questions will be difficult and will regard theology. This is why we need to know what the Bible teaches. Our hope is that for those of you who haven’t previously studied theology that this will be a spring-board for you to go deeper.
As part of the Church, and ambassadors of Christ, we are required by him to be prepared to take on the world. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to do this and the scriptures, through which we learn theology and doctrine, are our weapons. Taking on the world is not optional but God will help us, that is why he has given us weapons.
When introducing the upcoming series we have to take on board two warnings that are always important in the area of theology:
1. The study of theology or doctrine should never, never lead to lack of graciousness. Knowledge puffs up but love builds up. All your knowledge is of no use, and is actually harmful and dangerous, if it isn’t used with graciousness, care, love, and gentleness. If you find that studying theology or doctrine is leading you to stop caring for and loving people stop studying. Better to stop studying than to stop loving. However, theology and doctrine, rightly learned will actually enhance your ability to love others.
2. While the subject of theology can sound intimidating it isn’t actually and is, in some degree, something we should be all engaged in doing. The word theology merely means the study of God, and isn’t that what we are all wanting to do as Christians anyway? So let’s dive in and be excited to see God at work and learn more of him.
By Thomas van den Broek