Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!”
People say what they think, but live what they believe. What we believe about God theologically matters. Theology is the study of God. Some naive Christians say, “I don’t get into all that theological stuff… I just read the Bible.” Saying you don’t have a theological belief is proof you have a bad one because you’re in self-denial. No one is without a belief system concerning God- even atheists have them. Likewise, anyone who reads the Bible has theological beliefs.
For example, when you read the Bible, do you believe it’s the Word of God or man’s opinions? Your theology matters. When you read the Old Testament do you try to do everything it says in today’s culture or do you believe Christ fulfilled the Old Testament rituals? Your theology matters. Do you believe there are many ways to heaven or just one way through Jesus Christ? Your theology matters. Do you believe in the moral commands of the Bible or do you think culture should help shape our ethics? Your theology matters. Do you believe Jesus was just a prophet, a good man, a god among many gods or God the Son in the flesh? Your theology matters.
Everyone is a theologian- sadly, not everyone is a good one.
The things that matter in our theology are important, so if you don’t have the proper training and humility to learn the Bible; false teachers or your own imaginations can easily lead you astray. The New Testament is full of examples of people turning from the truth of God to lies. Believe it or not, a false gospel invaded the church in Galatia within a few short years and the apostle Paul started it!
The people were beginning to believe things about salvation that weren’t true. However, to them these erroneous beliefs seemed right because the false teachers were convincing. Paul even said it was like they were under a spell of witchcraft (bewitched) in Galatians 3:1. Why? Because when people are deceived they don’t know they’re deceived- they think they’re right. The problem with deception is it’s deceiving!
The only way someone can realize they are wrong about something in the Bible is if they humble themselves, become teachable, study and hear what God is really saying in the Scriptures. The solution to bad theology is good theology. Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Have you been told by well-trained leaders that you believe things not clearly taught in the Bible? If so, pray this out loud, “Father, I ask you to forgive me for following man’s opinions and not your Word. Help me to discern between truth and error according to your Scriptures. Make me teachable to your trusted leaders in the church. Examine my heart and lead me in your paths of righteousness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Have you ever had bad theology or false beliefs?
- Make time to meet with a well-trained leader in your church to discern if your core beliefs about God are true or false.
- Repent of any false beliefs. A.W. Pink said, “An honest heart loves the truth.”
- Live your life as a student of God’s Word- rightly dividing it and following its path!