Matthew 7:7-8 – ““Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
In this famous portion of the sermon on the mount, Yeshua encourages believers to be vigilant in all things. Each of the action words relating to ask, seek, and knock, are all in the present imperative which implies an ongoing action. This means that believers are to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking in order to receive those things that one may be searching for.
This may sound like a relatively simple encouragement for believers to apply in their lives, but it becomes even more prominent when it comes to us understanding our beliefs and the truths related to us in the Bible.
The topic of theology is one that was recently brought to the forefront of my attention by listening to a sermon about this very thing. The pastor was decrying the fact that statistically most Christians today have not read the entire Bible through even once. Many Christians rarely read their Bibles, yet are very vocal about their biblical opinions, even if their theology is not very sound.
While most believers may not think about theology as being something necessary for them, it becomes apparent that the more one reads the Bible, the believer begins to build up a personal theology on how all of the various pieces of information in the Bible fit together. This is a necessary and vital function of our continual growth. This is one reason that faithful believers who are in the word on a regular basis may change their opinions over time as they study and learn more about the text and the culture.
The basic areas of theology that one encounters when reading the Bible include some of the following main ideas:
- Theology: The study of the nature of God.
- Christology: The study of the nature of Messiah.
- Soteriology: The study of The doctrine of salvation.
- Ecclesiology: The study of the doctrine of the church, or Ekklesia.
- Eschatology: The study of last things.
As one reads the Bible on a regular basis, these various doctrinal concepts continue to present themselves and force the believer to make decisions about what they actually believe about these various areas. This is critical to believers having a well-rounded faith, as illustrated by the directive of the apostle Paul to Timothy and to the congregation at Colosse:
2 Timothy 2:15 – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.”
Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.”
By being vigilant in our continual and ongoing study of God‘s word, we provide God the opportunity to continue to mold and shape us according to the truths that are found there. We need to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking when it comes to understanding the finer points of our beliefs about eternal things. This allows us to be more open and willing to share with those around us who may have legitimate questions about the Bible.
This is who we are called to be, not just pastors and leaders, but all believers should grow in the grace and understanding provided by the spirit of God for our lives; this is to his glory and the growth of the kingdom.
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