Building a Working Theology of the Bible
You have to personally build a working theology of the Bible in order to be a healthy Christian. I mean that you have to think through the teachings of the Bible in your own words and examine them through your own heart to make them “yours.” Let me give you an example of how I process the main story line of the Bible (just a few lines).
“God is building a big house called the Church, and He is planning on having lots of children from every tribe, tongue, and nation by the miracle of the New Birth.” God’s children are meant to grow like a newborn baby who is feasting on its mother’s pure milk. Our food is the Bible, which is also a seed planted in our soul that matures over time to produce spiritual fruit in our lives. God’s children are a family of priests who are offering spiritual sacrifices of worship to God in the Temple, where they themselves are living stones. “They are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, where they have been planted in the soil of a hostile world to model the gentle and humble heart of the elder Son of our family, who is LORD of ALL.”
My “working theology” is by no means complete or exhaustive. My understanding of the teachings of the Bible is always growing and expanding. The truth isn’t growing, mind you, but my grasp of it should be growing all the time.
This week, I want to add another component to the great story line of the Bible in my own words. I’ve been thinking about how I can incorporate the teachings of the Bible about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: “God’s greatest provision for our mission on earth is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who is the keeper of God’s invisible and universal house. He resurrects us from spiritual death and baptizes us into the universal body of Jesus. He emboldens and empowers us for our sacred mission on earth. He seals us, teaches us, guides us, and comforts us. He fills us repeatedly as we obey Him so that He can reveal Himself through the operation of a spiritual talent given to each one of us for the common good, i.e., “the body building itself up in love.”
Starting this Sunday, we begin a 6-week sermon series called “Gifted for the Common Good,” based on the teaching of 1 Corinthians chapters 12 to 14. This week’s study is “The Spiritual Gifts, Part One (12:1–7).” I encourage you to read the text and get to formulating your own grasp on what the passage is teaching us as a church family. Feel free to edit and expand your own translation of the unalterable greatest story ever told.
See you at either the 9 a.m. or the 11 a.m. service.