To some this is a contradictory statement. Theology is the study of God, and if everything exist because of God, through God and in God, then to say that theology isn’t real life is indeed contradictory.
What is real life? Real life is waking up in the morning and not wanting to go to work. Real life is feeling the warm sun on your back on a cool morning, a good cup of coffee, and then feeling a deep appreciation that you even have a job. Real life is what we all know it to be- real life- struggle, pain, love, happiness, etc… It doesn’t need much explaining. Question is how do we mesh the grand theology of God and real life together? The key is not separating them. Jesus is our mediator. God became man, died in our place, and rose from the dead because of our justification… Therefore we must submit to Jesus (God) in order to properly “hold” to a proper theology- an effectual and sanctifying theology…
I was a former universalist. Simply put I took arminianism to it’s logical conclusion. If Jesus died for the sin of the whole world then the whole world would be saved. To say otherwise would be blasphemous. So since coming to reformed theology, particular atonement was no stumbling block for me, I welcomed it with open arms… Since Jesus died for “all” (people from every tribe, nation and tongue), He would indeed redeem those whom He came to save. This was one of the most enlightening times of my life… No doubt. In this beatiful doctrine of particular atonement, I had never seen Jesus so highly lifted up before. I thank my boys two paragraphs down for that…
My dad introduced me to reformed theology after He stumbled upon a video from Pastor Jim Mclarty from salvationbygrace.org entitled What Did Jesus Accomplish On The Cross. My dad was also a universalist at the time, but little did he know, he was about to be reformed. It was not soon after, that he confronted me with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. I did not take this doctrine in as easily as the doctrine of limited atonement. I fought it and fought it, until I found no way around it. God is God I am not. God is Good I am not. God is holy, I am a sinner. I deserve nothing, to God be the glory alone. Who am I to think I can do something? I am dead in sin, Jesus is alive in righteousness. It was when I took the theology of the bible in that I truly submitted my self to God. And to this day I consider myself (in the most derogatory term) a Calvinist 🙂 For all those haters out there, Calvinist is just another word for biblical… J/k, but seriously 🙂
So with piles of sermons and books from McArthur, Mohler, Piper, Sproul, Driscol, Chandler, Chan, Harris, Mahaney, Clark, White, Spurgeon, Edwards, Luther, Calvin, among others, and about 4 years later… I have officially jumped in way over my head.
I have spent years inside a books and sermons on a theology that has been preserved by God through these godly men of old and recent, that have impacted my way of thinking and life forever… But how do we take this theology to the market place, community, and our culture, and even more, making it truly effective in our own lives?
This is what I have come to understand. You can’t tell “personal doctrine” to some one, you have to tell them the gospel. You can’t bank your whole thought process on a chapter in the Bondage of the Will without first submitting your life to Christ first; ultimately when you tell someone about it, you will be telling them of a “personal doctrine” and not Jesus, even if it’s about Jesus. Though people can be saved by God through my pride or ignorance, this is just about my own sanity while delving in such rich doctrine from these men and the bible.
So to say it short: we need to know doctrine to know the gospel, and we need the gospel to keep our minds in check from prideful knowledge. But the good new is… If you study reformed theology long enough, your bound to become somewhat of a genius… What else could happen? Your studying the real and only theology… Your studying God. Submit to the gospel, tell the gospel, the doctrine will work it’s way in…
“In the begining was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…” John 1:1
“He must<sup class="xref" value="(A)”> hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in<sup class="xref" value="(B)”> sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:9
“… so that you may charge certain persons not<sup class="xref" value="(H)”> to teach any different doctrine…” 1Tim 1:3
“so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Col 1:10
“…the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Col 3:10
Yours in Christ,