Category: What is biblical theology?


New Testament theology is what God has revealed about Himself in the New  Testament. The system of New Testament theology takes the various truths that  the New Testament books teach us about God and presents them in an organized  fashion. The New Testament discloses the coming of the predicted Messiah in the  Old Testament (Isaiah 9), the birth of the New Testament Church (the body of  Christ), the Church age, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the rejection of the  Messiah by Israel, and the doctrinal beliefs applied to the believer in Jesus  Christ as Savior and Lord.

The phrase “New Covenant (Testament)” was  spoken by Christ at the Last Supper, and is claimed by Paul as the substance of  the ministry to which he was called. He preached the Good News, the Gospel of  Jesus Christ for salvation. New Testament doctrines were primarily for believers  to be instructed and learn how to live lives that would be pleasing to Father  God. The Old Testament deals with the record of the calling and history of the  Jewish nation, and as such it is the Old Covenant. The New Testament deals with  the history and application of the redemption provided by the Lord Jesus Christ  on the Cross, and, as the New Covenant, it supersedes the Old.

The  application of theology to the New Testament is the same as that of the Old  Testament. It is the study of the progressive revelation that God gave through  the New Testament writers. The study of the major doctrines of the Bible makes  up a systematic theology for the believer, following the progressive revelations  that God made to man from the beginning to the end of the prophetic book of  Revelation. Again, theology is the gathering of facts concerning God and His Son  Jesus Christ and the work of God the Holy Spirit in all the historical, present,  and future events spoken of in the Bible.

Recently, there is a renewed focus on worship—what it is and how it is to be  done. The church that does not operate under the biblical theology of worship is  in danger of both failing to give God glory and failing to offer worship that is  pleasing to Him. Worship is as misunderstood a doctrine as any other within the  church. Contrary to popular belief, worship does not begin and end with the  singing portion of our church services. Worship is also not limited to only  bowing in reverence before God. To begin with, worship is only determined by God  Himself, and not everything we do is acceptable to God as worship just because  we are sincere or it makes us feel good.

Hebrews  12:28 tells us that we must “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly  fear” (NKJV). The Greek word translated “serve” here is a form of the word  “worship” and is used 21 times in the New Testament in the contexts of service  and worship. Another form of the word “worship” is the Greek word  therapeuo—from which we get the English word “therapy”—and this is most  often seen translated “heal” in reference to the healing of others. In the New  Testament, this word is seen in every case of Jesus’ healings.

Other  Greek words translated “worship” are prokeneuo meaning “paying homage”  (1  Corinthians 14:25), sebazomai, meaning “to render religious honor”  (Romans 1:25), and  sebomai meaning “to revere or adore” (Acts 16:14).  We see this same word used by Jesus to describe the vain, hypocritical worship  of God (Matthew  15:9), leading us to the conclusion that not all “worship” is acceptable to  God.

But true biblical worship is to be first and foremost reverent (Hebrews 12:28). This means  it is to be done with the understanding of who it is being worshiped. God is  holy, just, righteous, perfect, powerful, loving, wrathful etc. Those who wish  to worship biblically must worship God as He is revealed in Scripture. Second,  we must worship in truth (John 4:24).  This means that it needs to line up according to the truths in Scripture. Adding  our own version of worship and “expressing ourselves” is not true worship if it  does not accord with the Word of God. Personal expressions of worship are not  indicated anywhere in Scripture and can lead to activities that are not  God-honoring. Third, true worship is worship in Spirit. Because God is Spirit,  true worship is a pure, holy, spiritual worship, the offering of the soul and  the homage of the heart rather than merely that of the lips. Finally, true  worship will always produce a change in the heart of the worshipper, causing a  greater desire to love and obey the God we worship. If worship does not propel  us into greater obedience, it isn’t worship. Unless we come out of it with a  greater commitment to obedience, it isn’t worship. Jesus said those who love Him  will keep His commandments. If we say we love and worship Him, but do not obey  Him, our worship is worthless.

True biblical worship of the one true  and living God is to be a lifestyle, not a moment in time (1 Corinthians  10:31). Just as they will be in eternity, our lives now are to be lives of  total worship of God. When we eat, sleep, work, serve, and live from sunup to  sundown, all that we do is to be in a spirit of worship of God. We are not to  offer temporary, experience-oriented worship on Sunday, and then lead a secular  life the rest of the week. True worship is offered to God from the depths of our  inner being in praise and prayer, in song, in giving, and in living, but always  based upon His revealed truth.

Old  Testament theology is what God has revealed about Himself in the Old Testament.  The system of Old Testament theology takes the various truths that the Old  Testament books teach us about God and presents them in an organized fashion.  God’s revelation of Himself begins in Genesis 1:1:  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That is a  presupposition that all believers accept by faith and is based on the study of  God throughout all the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Since the Bible is  true in all of its aspects, then all of it, as it comes from God, is true and  eternal. It never passes away, nor will it ever deny itself in any of its  parts.

God said, “My Word is true…it is eternal…it will never pass  away.” God Himself is true: Jesus said, “For I am the Way, the Truth, and the  Life” (John 14:6). John 1:1-3 states, “In the  beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the  same was in the beginning with God.” Paul wrote in 2 Timothy  3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed).” Second  Peter 1:21 states, “But men spoke from God as they were carried along by the  Holy Spirit.”

Since God revealed Himself, His character, His attributes,  etc., then a theological study is made of the Old Testament, and it is  discovered that the Old Testament (Old Covenant) gives us an application of  theology to a relationship that God established with a created people, the Jews.  We must relate the word theology to the word testament or covenant. All through  this Old Testament there is a progressive revelation of God to his people in  order that they might learn who He is, what He is, and what He was doing in the  world, especially with them. The application of the word testament carries one  beyond the simple fact of books or writings to their main theme. Into the very  heart of the Old Testament is woven the idea of a covenant between God and man,  first made with Adam, then with Noah, also with Abraham, with the nation of  Israel, and with David. The Scripture refers again and again through the  history, the psalms and proverbs and prophecy, to this covenant into which God  entered with His chosen people. In Jeremiah, prophecy reaches its height in the  sublime prediction of the New Covenant, a prediction declared by the writer of  the letter to the Hebrews to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.