Theology versus a Jesus Experience

Theology is a system of beliefs based on the study of God through a scholastic interpretation of the Bible. The Pharisees, who persecuted Jesus, were focused more on scholastic achievement rather than a relational experience with the Lord. For the most part, the Bible is a record of God’s actions and interactions with the world and man, some may say an entry level understanding for finite man to interact with an infinite God. The early Christians didn’t have the New Testament but they did have the fresh, vibrant experiences of those who walked, talked and lived with our Lord Jesus Christ (see Luke 13:13-35). 

The Lord does not say anywhere in His word that you are to test your experiences against your theology; He does not even say that you are to build a theology about Him. Too many people are seeking to approach Him with their minds first rather than with their hearts. What He intended was that you would live life as an ongoing experience with Him and that you would compare your experiences with Him with those in His Word to ensure that your experiences could be confirmed by others. When you go back to read Scripture after you have had a fresh and new experience with Him you find that His Word has also become new to you. It speaks to you on another level because you yourself are on another level. It is not that His Word changes, it is that you have changed and now see things which before were veiled to you. 

To build a theology before you have an experience of a certain thing is to live on a very shallow plan. He has called you to experience Him and then to compare your experience with a fresh daily study of His Word from your current vantage point in life. You only know that which you can see at this time. 

We should not build theologies with our minds that are unrelated to the experiences we are having in our hearts. His scriptures are stories of direct divine revelation and each story can be seen from many different vantage points. Your vantage point is based on where you are in your walk and relationship with Jesus. The vantage view gets better as you experience more of Him – that is one of His promises to you.

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