“And the Lord said: ‘Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.’” (ESV)
This passage may be familiar because Jesus quoted it in Matthew 15:8-9 and Mark 7:6-7.
The lesson we should learn from this is that we can have all the right answers but still be wrong. We can say all the right things and still be far away from where we need to be.
There much to commend in pursuing theological accuracy. We certainly need to build upon a foundation of correct Biblical understanding. But we must always remember that theological accuracy is a means and not an end.
Theological accuracy is only beneficial when it is the means of deepening our relationship with God.
The problem is that I do not primarily have a knowledge issue, I have a heart issue. My heart, left to itself, will twist Biblical knowledge into something that God did not intend.
For example, I can take a right understanding of the sovereignty of God and use it as an excuse for inaction on my part. Since God’s will cannot be thwarted, does it really matter if I do such and such?
The antidote for this behavior is given in the passages cited above. We need to honestly evaluate if there is a divergence between what we say and what we truly believe. When there is such a divergence, our actions will show our words to be false.
If we find that our actions belie our words, the only proper response is repentance.