Why should we study God? William Ames, in The Marrow of Sacred Divinity, said, the study of God “is the supreme, most noble, and the masterpiece, proceeding in a special manner from God, treating of God and divine matters, and tending and leading man to God.” The study of God (theology) is great, but many say the study of God isn’t very practical. Shouldn’t we focus on things that are “practical”? Shouldn’t we focus on something that we can do?
Practical things are great, but we should also focus on God. Without a healthy focus on God, we can’t appreciate the practical things God teaches. We see the relationship between the knowledge of God, doctrine, and the good life in Peter’s words to Jesus in John 6:68-69, where he said, “ “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” We learn that Jesus’ words are “eternal life” and that those “words of eternal life” lead to the realization that Jesus is “the Holy One of God.” Following Jesus, then, is based on reading Jesus’ words that lead to eternal life through knowing who Jesus is.
Is it practical to have life? Is it practical to have eternal life? There is nothing more relevant to us in this life and the next than life with God. Knowing God through Christ as he is revealed to us in the Scripture by the Spirit determines our quality of life. The eternal life Peter spoke of refers to our quality of life with God now and our quality of life with God after this life. This is why Paul said that he believed all things written in the Scripture and because of his faith in the Scriptures, he had hope in God (Acts 24:14-16).
Our quality of life isn’t determined just by our income, possessions, house, cars, trucks, and health. Our quality of life is primarily determined by our knowledge of and relationship with the God of Heaven who loves us. Is there anything more practical, then, than knowing God?