I was asked to explain the difference between having accurate theological knowledge and having faith.
Many good, well-meaning people have sat down with the Bible, read it from cover and cover, and declared it a good book! After all, it has all the components: life, death, catastrophic events, wars, murder, adultery, and numerous love stories. However, the Bible is more than an excellent book to glean accurate theological knowledge.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Accurate theological knowledge is vital to the Christian walk. God’s word is our plumb-line. And, we need to grow in our understanding of the “whole” of Scripture and not just pull out an individual verse.
My father-in-law was a wonderful man and a great Sunday School teacher. He knew Scripture inside and out. However, for whatever reason, he never really went past the theological knowledge into an intimate relationship with his Creator. As I think back on his life, I realize that he missed out on experiencing the fullness of a walk with Christ on this side of Heaven.
There is so much more to the Christian walk. We can know about someone but not have a relationship with the individual. God calls us into a vital, life-giving, transformation relationship with Him. Together with theological knowledge, faith begins to explode within our lives within that relationship. As faith explodes, I lean in closer to a relationship with my Creator, and that relationship becomes the most critical aspect of my life.
It continues to strike me how Jesus taught the disciples to pray. The phrase “On earth as it is in Heaven” allows our hearts to soar as we explore the relationship with Christ here on this earth. All through Scripture, we see God’s desire to have an in-depth relationship with us. It begins in Genesis as God related with Adam and Eve and moves through the whole of Scripture. God calls us into the fullness of a relationship with him! We are each important and valued so much that he wants us to spend time with him and get to know him.
So, do you have a theological knowledge of God, or do you have a growing intimate relationship with God that is exploding your faith?