I’ve spoken before about how Sunday School lessons can pretty much be summed up today with “Obey God” and not much else. I do believe that the conquest of Canaan in Joshua teaches us more than “We ought to obey God.” However, a problem does occur when we have no personal application.
If we just have floating out there a command to “obey God”, then we don’t have much really. Someone can ask “Why?” “Well, you’re supposed to?” “Why?” It could go on and on from here. The claim will have to be rooted in who God is and how he has revealed himself.
If we are going to study any doctrine of God, it should change how we live our life. Let’s suppose that we are arguing with a JW on the doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinity should not be seen as this little doctrine that only matters on theological aspects but the world would be the same if God was a monad. Instead, we should realize there are implications.
We cannot say any aspect of our doctrine of God doesn’t matter. If you think God is immutable and someone else doesn’t, that should change how you view the world. I should view the world differently than I do an OVT. Because I know that God knows the future, it should change my outlook on it.
This is a problem in the church in that while we do have application, it often has no basis. When we finally teach doctrine, we don’t talk about what a difference it makes. If doctrine makes no difference in how you live your life, then I would say why bother even studying it?
Now let us consider some things we believe about God.
We believe he loves us perfectly and unconditionally.
We believe he is sovereign over the world.
We believe he is Lord of Heaven and Earth.
We believe he sent his Son to die for us.
We believe that he can do all that can possibly be done.
Draw some applications?
Are you living like you believe that God exists or some weaker God exists? If you could for just one second grasp how true your faith is and the ramifications of that, would you live your life differently? You say you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he died and rose again. Are you living like that?
Of course, this will require something else. You will have to know what you believe. However, I believe that once you have that, you will have to have the virtue to live accordingly. I contend that we have separated knowledge from virtue. We do not need knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Knowledge is not an end in itself. It is a means to living the right life.
Friends. Be assured of this as well. I’m in the same boat. As I preach this message to you in this blog, I am preaching it to me as well. My own friends could and have called me on this many times. However, that is one purpose of the church isn’t it? To exhort to righteousness and encourage one another.
Friends. Know the truth. Believe the truth. Love the truth. Live the truth.