Lent began (for most of us*) on Wednesday February 17th. I have decided this week to leave Five Resources For Lent. By the way if you haven’t started your fasting for lent but want to it’s okay better late than never. Anyways Here are Five Resources For Lent…
Depending on your translation the word “love” is mentioned in the Bible between 442-759 times!
Love is vastly important to the narrative of the Bible.
But what does the Bible actually say love is?
1 Corinthians (13: 1-7) 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Theology and biblical study can be overwhelming. I am the furthest thing from an expert but I do want to share with you some tips on how to form your theological opinions.
Truth is a lot of times we can form opinions on scripture prior to even reading scripture. We hear someone take a position and tell us why that is true in the Bible and that version sounds good so we resist anyone else’s take on scripture because our mind is made up already.
Don’t put any theologian on a pedestal no man has it exactly right, only God has full knowledge. You can be a Lutheran or a Calvinist or a part of any other denomination while disagreeing with the person who started the denomination or the person the denomination is named after. As a matter of fact you should disagree with them on occasion as they’re a fallible man.
It is very important when you hear a scripture verse used in an argument to cross reference that verse with the rest of the Bible. Scripture doesn’t contradict itself if you find a verse that seems to do so then find another interpretation of the original verse from scripture you were cross referencing and see if that view makes more sense.
Read those who you disagree with, you can still learn from your brothers and sisters even if you disagree with them.
Learn what heresy is, it is not just something you disagree with, true heretical doctrine should be spoken out against in a different manner than a non-heretical stance that is different than your own.
It’s okay not classify yourself, you can hear all sides and form your theology. For example when it comes to soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), I don’t classify myself as anything. I have my opinion (I will not share it because soteriology is like the politics of theology it cannot be brought up without a big argument ensuing). I listened to all sides of the argument and read the scripture and came to my opinion on salvation. I am sure it may fall in a category but that doesn’t really bother me. I just want to focus on being a Christian first and a category within Christianity second.
Most importantly read scripture on your own and let the Holy Spirit be your teacher.
God is the ultimate teacher, He can teach through man but it is His Word not ours.
I was listening to podcast on Mishandling Prophecy by The Remnant Radio and one of the hosts said a quote that really stood out to me from a Pastor named Matt Chandler. The quote is, “People want the Kingdom, but not the King.”
Sadly this is true.
You hear prosperity Gospel preaching which will tell us that God will make you rich and in order to do that you have to give your money to the Pastor.
Others will preach on TV and promote false doctrine and prophecy and unfortunately sometimes a different Gospel.
This is of course does not mean anyone on TV is a false teacher. I am saying the wolves who are in sheep’s clothing* promote false ideas that benefit themselves. Sometimes they do so by saying things about God that sound nice but they’re actually false.
So what do we do? We do what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 (English Standard Version), “33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
But how do we do that? How do we know the difference between false teaching and the truth?
Get in the Word of God, read the Bible, learn to understand it and pray. You will learn to use discernment.
Sometimes just because something sounds good to you and meets your opinions or personal beliefs doesn’t mean it is Biblically accurate and sometimes because it sounds bad to you or goes against your opinions or personal beliefs doesn’t mean it is Biblically inaccurate.
Read and (this is very important) submit to God’s Word, seek the King and His Kingdom, not men and their kingdom.