Why Do You Believe That? - Here on Purpose

What do you believe about baptism?  What do you believe about healing?  What is your understanding of the "end times?"  In my experience, the answers to these types of Biblical questions typically start with "I think" or "I feel that." 

Because of this, I've been convicted to mature in my understanding of spiritual things.  I want to grow in what I know and why I believe it.  I want to be able to say, "I believe ______ because I read in the Bible in the book of  ______ that ______."  

People's understanding of spiritual topics is most always based on four common areas: 1) Thinking, 2) Experience 3) Church History and 4) Scripture.  Be honest with yourself...What area do you rely on the most when you are forming your theology?  Let's take it further...What order would you place these in when it comes to developing your theology?

I would like to recommend a potentially new order to the development of your theology.  
1) Scripture - what does the Bible say first.  May we build our theology on what God's Word says rather than trying to make God's Word fit our theology.
2) Church History - What did the early church fathers believe?  What did the saints before me believe?  
3 & 4) Reason and Experience - These two should always be last.  Don't misunderstand me.  These two are important, they just are the most important.  

Therefore, let's open our Bible and read with fresh eyes.  May God's Word have priority in our lives as we read today.  In great expectation of this happening, we will read only 1 book of the Bible.

1 John 
What were the major themes in this book?
What did God say to you by His Word?
What will you do about it?

Pastor Matt