Why is Theology Important to God?

Why Does God Care About Theology?

In my last blog, Is Theology Important to God?I tried to establish that God does care about theology. I focused primarily on the doctrine of God and tried to show that, because God explicitly tells us about himself, it is important to God that we understand who he is and, based on that understanding, that we act in certain ways.  This post addresses “Why?” Why does God care about theology – especially about our doctrine of God?

I think a small part of the “Why” question has to do with God’s love for us. God cares that we understand who he is and that we will apply that understanding to our lives – so that we will be saved, trust him, grow in holiness, be courageous, and all the other things that God does for us that are for our good.  But I don’t think that for our good is the complete answer.  So, my very short easy answer is, “God ultimately cares about theology (our understanding of him and the application of that understanding to our lives) for his glory.” So, what is God’s glory and why do I say that?1

What is God’s glory?

I don’t have an easy answer. The best summary I can give is that God’s glory is the shinning forth of God’s beauty – the manifestation of all that God is.  When we give God glory we give recognition to the truth of all that God is.2 Below is an incomplete list of some things we learn about God’s glory from his word:

  • God acts for his people in order to display it. Ex. 14:18
  • God gives it to his people. Ps. 3:3
  • It was manifested as a cloud. I Kings 8:10-12
  • It is associated with God’s holy name and accompanied by rejoicing. 1 Chron. 16:10
  • God’s people are invited to declare it and ascribe it to God. 1 Chron. 16:24, 28
  • It filled the house of God. 2 Chron. 7:1-2
  • It evokes praise. 2 Chron. 7:3
  • The LORD is the King of it. Ps. 24:8
  • The heavens declare it, and people can see it. Ps. 97:6
  • Nations and kings will fear it. Ps. 102:15
  • It is higher than the heavens. Ps. 113:4
  • It is great. Ps. 138:5
  • The whole earth is full of it.  Is. 6:3
  • It is the reason for Salvation. Is. 46:13
  • God does not share it with idols. Is. 42:8; Is. 48:11
  • It guards those who do what is right. Is. 58:8
  • It can be seen in the face of Jesus who is the image of God. 2 Cor. 4:4-6
  • People have exchanged it by assigning God-likeness to things less than God. Rom. 1:23
  • Both the wicked and the godly were created for it. Rom. 9:22
  • It is everlasting Gal. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:10
  • It is rich. Eph 3:16; Phil. 4:19
  • Our progress toward holiness is “to” the glory of God. Phil. 1:11
  • Seeing it transforms us. 2 Cor. 3:18
  • Our confession that Jesus is LORD is “to” the glory of God. Phil. 2:11
  • It is sometimes spoken of as if it is a place or state of being. Heb. 2:10; Jude 1:24
  • It is worth suffering for. 1 Pet. 4:13
  • Believers are to share in it. 2 Pet. 1:3
  • Majesty, excellence, dominion, authority, blessing, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, and other awesome things accompany it. 2 Pet. 1:3; 16-17; Jude 1:25; Rev. 7:12
  • It both belongs to God and is received by him. Rev. 4:9; 11; Rev. 5:12; Rev. 19:1
  • It can create smoke. Rev. 15:8
  • It is displayed in the New Jerusalem as radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. Rev. 21:11
  • It exudes light greater than the moon or sun.  Rev. 21:23
  • Believers can see it and unbelievers can’t.3 John 11:40; 2 Cor. 4:4

We can also learn something about God’s glory by looking at things associated with God that are said to be “glorious”- full of or in possession of his glory. For example:  God’s deeds, name, power, praise, presence, law, arm, throne, grace, inheritance, body, might, and people are glorious.  Things spoken of God are glorious, and even where he puts his feet is glorious.  God himself is glorious.4

Why do I say that God cares about theology for his glory?

  • All of God’s acts are ultimately for his glory.5
  • Everything God created is ultimately for his glory.6
  • Jesus lived and died to show God’s glory.7
  • Our salvation is ultimately for God’s glory.8
  • Everything God commands us to do is ultimately for God’s glory.9

So I repeat, God cares about our understanding of him and our application of that understanding to our lives (our theology) for his glory.

What is the connection between God’s glory and our good?

The wonderful thing is: God’s dedication to his glory works out for our good.  First, in the ways I mentioned previously and also for our joy since only in God’s glorious presence will we find fullness and joy and pleasures forevermore.10


Related Blog Posts

Is Theology Important to God?
Why is Theology Important to Artists and Everyone?
Theology and Cooling Love
Free Theology Resources
Creating Art from Theology & an Excerpt


Endnotes:

[1] Want to learn more about God’s glory in relation to the Holy Spirit? “The Glorifier” Lesson 5 in the Creating Art from Theology small-group study available free on this site under the Small-Group Study tab.

[2] When we communicate God in one way or another we can detract from his glorious reputation in the sense that we communicate less than he is or something that he is not.  Our less than accurate recognition, description, or reflection of God does not detract from his true glory.

[3] God reveals his eternal power and divine nature to everyone. Rom. 1:20.

[4] If you are interested in the verses that validate this information, just go to www.biblegateway.com and type “glorious” in the “Keyword Search” bar; I used the ESV translation.

[5] 1 Sam. 12:22; Ps. 106:8; Is. 43:25; Is. 25:2-3; Is. 48:9-11; Ez. 20:9, 14, 22, 44; Ex. 36:22-23, 32; Phil. 1:9-11; Rev. 15:4

[6] Ps. 19:1; Ps. 86:9; Is. 43:7; John 11:4; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:15-18; Heb. 2:10

[7] John 1:14; John 13:31; John 14:13; John 17:1, 4; John 21:19; Rom. 15:8-10

[8] Ps. 50:15; John 17:24; 2 Cor. 1:20; Eph. 1:1-14; Eph. 2:5-7; Phil. 1:10-11; 1 Cor. 6:20

[9] 1 Cor. 10:31; 1 Pet. 4:11; Rom. 15:5-7; 2 Cor. 9:13; 1 Pet. 2:12; 1 Pet. 4:16

[10] Psalm 16:11; Ps. 21:6; Ps. 43:4; Ps. 63:1-3.  Note also that the Westminster Shorter Catechism answers the 1st question, “What is the chief end of man?  “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

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