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God's nobility rating


How has your theology been formed? We all have theology - it's our ideas about God and His purposes, thoughts and actions. The theology you have will help or hinder your walk with God. It is important then that you take personal responsibility for the theology you hold.


"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Acts 17:10-11 - NKJV


If you come from a formal church background you might be forgiven for wondering what on earth these Bereans were doing researching whether the teachings of Paul had foundation in scripture or not. Shouldn't they have just taken it on board without question? He was, after all, the guest speaker!

Well, apparently not. Luke, the writer of the above account, credits the Bereans as being noble - more noble than the Jews in Thessalonica - because of it. Luke judges that they were of a noble disposition by being ready to receive but conscientious to check whether what he said was an accurate reflection of God's written word before making it their own.


The Bereans give a good sample of how we should respond to teaching. We should greet teaching with enthusiasm and readiness to respond. We should then go off and study it avidly looking for how the scriptures might support it. Good teaching will find plenty of support in scripture. A personal search of scripture arising from good teaching will get you excited about what God by His Spirit is showing you from His Word. In this way, you develop for yourself a scripture-formed theology that powerfully benefits your life. Romans 1:16.

Sadly, the average Christian would not get much of a nobility rating from Luke! Complacency, laziness or lack of zeal in this matter has resulted in the average Christian having lots of theology floating around in his thinking but very little that is personally substantiated from scripture. It should not be surprising then that the average Christian struggles to make progress in faith and rarely gets to experience the benefits of a powerful, operative theology that has foundation in and is an accurate reflection of God's Word.


There is a lot of arbitrary theology presented from church pulpits. An arbitrary theology is one that has no definite substance in scripture but is rather based on someone's postulations of convenience. By this I mean, someone's come up with a theory that conveniently explains to their satisfaction how things can be interpreted, categorised or explained but they possess no clear foundation for it in scripture.

Let me warn you, you may well have picked up some of these along the way since you came to Christ and, if you have, they will be slowing you down, making it hard for you to make progress in your life and walk with the Lord. If you want to make progress you'll have to take steps to deal with it.


Everything that we have been taught, recently or in the past, must be examined with the help of the Holy Spirit - and, yes, some scholarly skills - for its substance in scripture. You should not be dismissing out of hand what is preached to you from the pulpit. At the same time, you're not meant to be swallowing it without chewing - you measure its food value this way.

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

2 Timothy 2:15 - KJV


You ought to say to yourself, "I am eager to learn but I want my learning to be thoroughly grounded in the Word of God! Let me thoroughly investigate this teaching to determine the extent of the support it gets in scripture?"

You can pray, "Lord, guide me by Your Spirit to establish right connections between what I'm hearing from this teaching and what Your Word presents to me."

If you find clear substance in scripture for a teaching you should meditate on that teaching thoroughly. You should look for how to apply that teaching to your life. You should give it every opportunity to benefit you.

"Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all."

1 Timothy 4:15 - NKJV


On the other hand, if a teaching's substance or foundation in scripture begins to look fragile or tenuous, questionable or weak we can, perhaps, take pleasure in the teacher's enthusiasm or zeal but we should not take it too seriously to our lives. We might, in some circumstances, want to wholly reject it.

Give yourself a theology that comes from God. It takes work but it's worth it. By it you'll come into an unshakeable foundation in life and access to all that has been made available to us in Christ.


In the process of establishing a foundation of good doctrine in your life you should also question whether or not you are developing peculiar doctrines. By this I mean, doctrines that are peculiarly your own. If you're the only one seeing it the way you're seeing it then there's a problem.

If it's a sound doctrine you will find men and women of God of good spiritual credentials preaching that doctrine with the authority of scripture both now and back through the generations. The scripture came to men by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit opens scripture to men. It cannot be that a particular slant on scripture or doctrine has come reliably to you alone. Sound doctrine has a good tradition.

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

2 Peter 1:20 - 21 - NKJV

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