The word “theology” comes from two Greek words that combined mean “the study of  God.” Christian theology is simply an attempt to understand God as He is  revealed in the Bible. No theology will ever fully explain God and His ways  because God is infinitely and eternally higher than we are. Therefore, any  attempt to describe Him will fall short (Romans  11:33-36). However, God does want us to know Him insofar as we are able, and  theology is the art and science of knowing what we can know and understand about  God in an organized and understandable manner. Some people try to avoid theology  because they believe it is divisive. Properly understood, though, theology is  uniting. Proper, biblical theology is a good thing; it is the teaching of God’s  Word (2 Timothy  3:16-17).

The study of theology, then, is nothing more than digging  into God’s Word to discover what He has revealed about Himself. When we do this,  we come to know Him as Creator of all things, Sustainer of all things, and Judge  of all things. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end of all things.  When Moses asked who was sending him to Pharaoh, God replied “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). The name I AM  indicates personality. God has a name, even as He has given names to others. The  name I AM stands for a free, purposeful, self-sufficient personality. God is not  an ethereal force or a cosmic energy. He is the almighty, self-existing,  self-determining Being with a mind and a will—the “personal” God who has  revealed Himself to humanity through His Word, and through His Son, Jesus  Christ.

To study theology is to get to know God in order that we may  glorify Him through our love and obedience. Notice the progression here: we must  get to know Him before we can love Him, and we must love Him before we can  desire to obey Him. As a byproduct, our lives are immeasurably enriched by the  comfort and hope He imparts to those who know, love, and obey Him. Poor theology  and a superficial, inaccurate understanding of God will only make our lives  worse instead of bringing the comfort and hope we long for. Knowing about God is  crucially important. We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world  without knowing about God. The world is a painful place, and life in it is  disappointing and unpleasant. Reject theology and you doom yourself to life with  no sense of direction. Without theology, we waste our lives and lose our  souls.

All Christians should be consumed with theology—the intense,  personal study of God—in order to know, love, and obey the One with whom we will  joyfully spend eternity.

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