Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11: 23-26)
I love good theology. Theology, the study of God, teaches us about God, who He is, what He does, and how He interacts with His people. I hate bad theology. Bad theology has bad consequences. It leads us down the wrong path of believing lies, disobeying God, and giving false hopes.
Orthodox, biblically-based theology has good consequences: it leads us down the right path of believing truth, obeying God, and gives us true hope, both now and for eternity. But make no mistake about it: the best kind of theology is the kind that impacts how we live NOW.
Martha had the right Jewish theology. She believed in the resurrection. She believed she would see her brother Lazarus again one day in the future…she just didn’t necessarily believe she would see her brother that SAME day! So, good theology is not just intellectual; it’s also very practical. Theology is not just what we know; it’s what we believe and live.
Jesus gives Martha some great and practical theology. Like Martha, He offers us life NOW, not just in eternity. The best theology is not just truth we know (in our minds); it’s truth we live (in our lives).
Finally, the best kind of theology is that which is life-giving, not just mind-knowing. Jesus told Martha that he is the “resurrection and THE LIFE.” So, knowing Jesus is an experience that brings life to our spirits, not just information to our brains.
“Father, I thank you for revealing yourself to us. By reading, understanding, and applying your Word, we can have good and proper theology, which is what we believe about you. I thank you for that. I thank you that what we believe about you brings us life, both now and in eternity. You are life-giving. You are the only one who can bring life to my soul. And that life should impact the way I live TODAY. May what I believe about you be something that I receive from you, and that is life. May what I believe about you be more than just intellectual belief…may it be life-giving faith! In Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life’s name I pray, Amen!”
Is there a theological truth that is difficult for you to believe or trust NOW? You know you’re supposed to believe it, but in all honesty, it’s hard to believe.
Can you think of a way that your theological beliefs impact your daily life?
Does your faith in Christ sometimes feel like it’s only intellectual belief, and not life-giving belief?