Theology Is Worship

"Theology is learning the ways of God for the purpose of intimacy with God."    

“Theology” means different things to different people. To some Christians, theology turns faith into a cold, lifeless set of facts and rules. To others, theology is hopelessly divisive. If we forgot about theology, all of these denominations fighting over inconsequential issues would kiss, make up, and be unified. Some think theology keeps the church from changing the world. If we would just stop thinking about doctrine all the time, we could finally start doing something. And others see theology as something that’s only for academic types. It’s way over their heads, and they’re just fine with that. It’s really just about Jesus, right?

But “theology” and “life” aren’t two different categories. Theology is life—and the more you pursue theology, the more you can worship God for who He is and what He’s done. Psalm 86 shows us how theology is at the center of true worship:

"There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol."
–Psalm 86:8-13

On a typical day, we wrestle with a divided heart. While we love and trust the God who saved us, we also find ourselves loving and trusting lots of other things that we think will provide for our needs and desires. How can we get a heart that fears God alone? One that consistently looks to Him as our all in all, our sole provider, our only hope, and our trustworthy guide through life into eternity? Learning the “way” of God—theology—is how our hearts are united to fear God’s name. It helps us give thanks to Him with our whole hearts. It’s how we come to truly understand his grace: “great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul…” Theology is learning the ways of God for the purpose of intimacy with God.

Doctrine is important to us at Cornerstone because it is how we know God more and worship Him better. It’s a lot like loving another person here on earth: you want to know all that you can about him or her. But more than just facts, you want to know what they’re like—what they do, how they respond, how they feel. The only way to pursue a relationship with God is by getting to know Him. What is He like? What does He feel about different things? What does He do? And, importantly, how does He feel about you? All of these questions find their home in the study of theology. If you want to be intimate with God, theology is the only place to start.

This doesn't have to look like reading a very long book full of words you aren't used to. (Though that can help, and, if you're up for it, I'd suggest giving it a shot.) It does have to look like loving God such that you want to know what his word says about the things in your life. What does the Bible say about decision making? Or relationships? What does the Bible say about who God is, compared to the other ideas of God out in the world?

When you look to your Bible, look to wise counsel, and look to other Christians around you to explore the questions, you are doing theology. As a church, we have lots of ways to equip you for the exploration: equipping classes, conferences, community groups, and weekly sermons are some of the ways we do theology together. I invite you to think of theology as exploring your relationship with God, and to jump in with both feet. We do theology because we love the God who saved us—we want to learn his ways, walk in his truth, and unite our heart in worship together.