I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (Ephesians 1:17 NIV)
Do you remember the BT advert of the 1980s starring Maureen Lipman?
She played a Jewish granny by the name of Beattie Bellman (pun intended) who had just been told on the phone by her grandson Anthony that he’s flunked his exams, passing only pottery and sociology.
Beattie says: “He gets an ology and he says he’s failed… you get an ology you’re a scientist…”
As a Christian there are a number of ologies we get that are significant to how we live our lives. Here are four that are related and cannot be separated:
- Ecclesiology and
It all seems very complicated but simply put theology means the study of God, Christology means the study of Christ, ecclesiology means the study of the church and missiology refers to the study of mission.
These four ologies must not be disengaged from each other; indeed they are to be held together as one leads to the other.
As Paul sets out in our text its important for us to know God better (theology) and the only way we are going to make progress on that understanding is to look at who Christ is and what he has done (Christology). Christ himself said to the enquiring Philip, anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14:9).
As we come into a relationship with Christ we are not to remain a lone Christian but we become a part of the body of Christ and should be actively involved in a local church (ecclesiology). As the writer of Hebrews wrote, let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do (Hebrews 10:25 NLT).
Then as we come together as the church one of our primary jobs is to share the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ, with the world; that has to be our mission (missiology). The Great Commission given to us by Jesus is to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Our theology must be Christ centred, grounded in the warmth and security of the church, with an outward focus to join with Christ as he seeks to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
Ultimately our study of God is not to get to know God completely as we will never get to fully know God. If we feel we have, our God is too small. No, the reason we study God is to be able to worship him better.
And there is no better way to worship him than by participating with Christ, in the body of believers, as the message of salvation is shared with the world.
Father as we get to know you more through Christ and the work of the church may our lives be one of worship to you as we pass on the good news to others.
Have a good week with your ologies.