Grace Institute: Systematic Theology: Theology Proper

Grace Institute for Biblical Leadership

Theology Proper

Grace Institute for Biblical Leadership

Winter 2006

Theology Proper

(Jeremiah 9:23-24 NKJV) Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,“ says the Lord.

Some of us can become wrapped up and put our confidence in our wisdom and intellect. We put our trust in how smart we are. Others find themselves captivated with physical fitness. We spend our energy working out, eating right, and taking care of our bodies. Maybe we find ourselves dwelling on finances. We work that extra job or make sure we have overtime just so we can have extra dollars.

But the Lord tells us not to glory in our wisdom, our might or our riches. Instead we should glory in our knowledge of God. We should boast that we understand the character of God. We should be basing our self-worth on the knowledge and understanding of we have about God; namely that we know that He is a God who delights in lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness.

Theology Proper is the branch of Systematic Theology which looks into the nature and character of God himself. It is our attempt to determine what God is like; to look into what defines the divine. Theology Proper is getting to know our God so that we might boast not in our greatness, but so we can boast that we understand and know who the Lord is.

Chuck Swindoll states, there can be no greater pursuit in life than that of “theology proper.”

I am more convinced than ever that life's major pursuit is not knowing self...but knowing God.

As a matter of fact, unless God is the major pursuit of our lives, all other pursuits are dead-end streets, including trying to know ourselves. They won't work. They won't satisfy. They won't result in fulfillment. They won't do for us what we think they're going to do.

You never really begin the process of coming to know yourself until you begin the process of coming to know God. The by-product of such a process is discovering the peace you long for so desperately. [1]

The Christian life should be a continual pursuit of the study of the nature of God. The more we understand and experience who God is, the more we will respond in a manner that pleases Him. Christianity is not developing habits or following rules. It is gaining a deeper understanding of God. In the process, we find ourselves, and we find the abundant Christian life.

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