Why should theology come from Scripture? Many professing Christians say they do not need theology, they only need Jesus. When one asks them who Jesus is, they say he is God and Man, the second person of the Trinity. The hypocrisy is apparent. When one makes any claim on God, Jesus, or the Bible, they are doing theology!
Yet, other people will do the opposite. They will study theology from pastors and theologians, but they will fail to seek whether or not the teachers and their theology is biblical. Many times, it is not. This false teaching is one of the major problems in the body of Christ today, attempting to destroy the church. Some people would rather just accept theology which makes them feel good than study to see if it is true.
The problem with this kind of thinking is astounding. If people do not study to see if what they believe is true, then they could be swayed by false teaching. That is one of the biggest problems with the rise of prosperity preaching. False teachers will give just enough Bible to make it sound good. If people would study teaching in the light of Scripture, then the whole of prosperity preaching and the Charismatic movement would die. That is a similar situation Timothy was in when Paul wrote 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2 Timothy 3:16-4:5, ESV).
Scripture is the Word of God
Theology should come from Scripture because the Bible is the Word of God. The word for “inspired” or “God breathed” is the Greek word θεόπνευστος. This is the only place where the word is used in the New Testament. It literally translates as “God breathed.” Since the Scriptures are words which God breathed out, one can say the Scriptures are the Word of God.
Theology is the study of God. Who knows better about the mind of God than God himself? Since He has communicated to us about Himself in His Word, it should be the first place Christians go to think about God. Personal feelings do not matter when one is trying to understand the mind of God. God’s mind must be understood by God’s Words.
Scripture Conforms Believers to God
The end result of verse 17 is believers will “be equipped for every good work.” The methods this happens through are “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (16b., ESV). It instructs the rules, ways, character, and history of how God has dealt with men. It rebukes with evidence the things concerning sin. The Bible teaches how to correct one’s path from sin. Scripture also trains the believer in how to be in a good standing with God on the basis of faith in Christ Jesus. Ultimately the end goal of theology should not be smarter than everyone else. It should be to incorporate truth into the practical areas of our lives.
Scripture Teaches the Foundation of the Faith
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:1,ESV).
Paul gives Timothy a solemn order before his command to Timothy. The foundation of the Christian faith is the basis of this charge. Christians have the presence of God because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit upon belief (Ephesians 1:13-14). The presence of God was also seen in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14, Colossians 1:15-16). Paul also reminds Timothy that Christ is the judge of the living and the dead who will return to establish His earthly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:1b). These are words of hope which every Christian hopes in for eternal life. Yet, these words also are a reminder to Timothy that he is accountable to God for how he handled his ministry.
The command was to “preach the Word.” It is in the aorist imperative, which means it is of the utmost importance to preach the Word. It matches the solemn order Paul gave. This shows the Word relays the foundation for the theological truths of the faith. Preaching them is of utmost importance in ministry and evangelism.
The Scriptures Defend Against False Teaching
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2, ESV).
Timothy was to preach the Word “in season and out of season.” (2b). The context tells us that this means when people want to hear the Word of God and do not want to hear the Bible (2 Timothy 4:3). It defends against sinful appetites, man-made myths using nature to understand the supernatural, and other lies (4:3-4). Any attack upon the gospel can be defended by the right understanding and explanation of the Scriptures, aka exegetical theology.
Why should theology come from Scripture? The Scriptures are the Words of God, conforms believers to God, teaches the foundation of the faith, and defends against false teaching. Theology must start with a proper understanding of the Scriptures in their context. Man-made or man-centered theologies will not do. While God does reveal himself through nature, it is only enough to damn people in their sin (Psalm 19, Romans 1:18-32). Only the Scriptures reveal to people who God truly is, how He works in the world, and what He will do in the future.
People need to stop looking to broken cisterns. Cisterns were used to collect rainwater. A broken cistern would let the water leak into the ground and be unsuitable for drinking. On a spiritual level, people need to stop looking to sinful men to answer their problems. They need to go to and follow the Word of God.
One way to do this is by starting the journey to biblical interpretation. You can do that by going through Andrew Rappaport’s curriculum on hermeneutics and purchasing my book on biblical interpretation When My Ox Gores My Neighbor: Using Hermeneutics to Travel from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Zion. If you want more biblical resources on studying the Scriptures, check out the store at strivingforeternity.org/store. There are also a lot of other articles on the website to encourage you to dive deeper into God’s Word. Please also check out Apologetics Live at ApologeticsLive.com, where Andrew Rappaport, Dr. Anthony Silvestro, and Justin Pierce answer your questions and teach you how to defend the faith. It is on from 8pm – 10pm EST. Also, do not forget to check out the Rapp Report, where you can hear the teaching of Andrew Rappaport and the Christian Podcast Community. Lord bless you.