What is the difference between theology, which is the study of God, and faith? Christian theology is what we know; however, theology apart from personal application of that theology is nothing more than the letter of the law. It is possible for a person to memorize huge sections of Scripture, perhaps even quote the ancient creeds and catechisms, and have no faith as is recorded in Hebrews 11. A person can be a scribe or a theologian and yet not know God at all (Matthew 23:13). A theologian may be able to define biblical terms without ever experiencing the reality of those terms.
When God regenerates a person (Titus 3:5), it is something that occurs in the heart (Romans 6:17, 10:10), or deepest part of one’s being, not from the shoulders up. When a person is born of The Spirit (John 3:6,8), their faith is going to be visible and evident (Matthew 5:14-16). Paul tells us that a saved soul is one where the Holy Ghost sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5). Is this love of God visible? Of course it is, for this word “love” in the Greek is a verb.
Theology is something that we can learn in a classroom or from a textbook, whereas discipleship is the application of theology in the school of life. This is how Paul learned the lesson of contentment (Philippians 4:11-13). When those four people brought their friend, who was “sick of the palsy”, to the place where Jesus was, the Scripture tells us that Jesus saw their faith (Mark 2:3-5). Jesus sees our faith for it is something visible. Faith in God is something that affects the way we think and the way we live. What we learn about the Bible can be called theology, but what we put into practice is our faith. Hebrews 11 is not the hall of theology; it is the hall of faith! How do we know that Noah believed God’s Word concerning the flood? He built the ark. Faith obeys. The epistle of James nails that fact down (James 2:14-26). You don’t grow by simply knowing the Word of God; you grow by doing it. This is the difference between a house built on sand or upon the Rock of Christ (Matthew 7:24-27).
So, as I said at the outset, perhaps this article on the difference between theology and faith has everything to do with water baptism, for if you believe that Jesus is The Christ, The Son of God (John 20:31), The Savior of the world (John 4:42), you will submit to God and be baptized in water (Acts 8:36,37).