In medical school one of the biggest challenges is learning new terminology. Everything is medicine has this fancy medical term. Similarly every medication has two names. Why we doctors have to make things so complicated I will never understand. We spend so much time learning this new doctor language that when we actually meet the patient and talk with them they have no clue what we are talking about. The actual patient does not understand medical terminology at all. They need to hear the doctor talk to them in plain old English.
As someone not raised in the Christian church and as a new believer I often came across terms that were confusing. Similarly I often felt dumb and self conscious when talking to other believers. They would use all the terms that I did not understand. I often found myself thinking, these people are weird. Why can’t they talk in English. Now when I attend christian gatherings, bible studies and such I find myself thinking, I have now become like those weird christian people.
There are many terms commonly used in the Christian Faith that are not commonly talked about outside of Christian circles. This is also one reason reading the Bible can be a bit confusing. For there is much language used that can seem foreign. Terms like the sinful flesh. The Holy Spirit. Living by the Spirit. Sanctification. The Trinity. God being 3 persons in one. Satan and demons. Heaven and Hell.
All these concepts are very important to understanding the basics of Christian theology. And they are abstract, difficult concepts to understand. For they are things we cannot see with our human eyes. I think this is one reason why Jesus spoke in parables. For the things of God and God’s kingdom are beyond our little human minds ability to grasp or comprehend in fullness and entirety.
But Christianity is not about understanding every word in the Bible. Christianity is not about having a perfect theology. Christianity is not about using fancy terms that most of the world does not understand. Christianity is about accepting Jesus as your personal savior. It is about repenting for yours sins, being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and receiving the grace offered to us through Jesus. It is about being obedient to the lord our God by following his commands. You can know all the terms. You can understand all the Christian theology and it will not save you. For it is not knowledge of the truth that saves you, it is faith in Jesus through the act of repentance and obedience.
We are not saved by knowledge. We are saved by faith. But at the same time having a solid gasp of the truth helps protect us from false teachers or being a false teacher ourselves. Just like no one wants to be the person spreading Covid-19 around to everyone, let’s make sure our Christian theology is sound and in-line with scripture so that we are speaking the truth and not false teaching. We each as Christian believers have an opportunity and responsibility to educate ourselves with God’s words. To study God’s words. To be experts in God’s truth. Just like a doctor is responsible for being an expert in medical terminology, we as Christians should work to be experts at knowing God’s words.
“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 30:28-30