Is theology important? You bet it is!
Depending on what you’re talking about, the difference in what you believe versus what the Bible actually teaches could be as different as Heaven and Hell itself.
There are lots of “gray” areas (but nothing is “gray” as far as God is concerned) with regards to what Scripture teaches, but there are also some absolute essentials regarding what a person must understand and/or believe in order to be defined as a genuinely saved Christian.
Below are a few of my own personal interpretations, understandings, and beliefs about what the Bible really teaches.
God’s Word. I believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (comprised of 66 books) are inspired by God and without error in the original manuscripts, and that they alone are the complete, supreme, and final authority in faith and life (II Tim 3:16-17; II Pet 1:20-21).
God. I believe there is one living and true God, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — equal in power and glory (Deut 6:4; Matt 28:19; II Cor 13:14).
God The Father. I believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, is the Creator and sovereign Ruler of all things (Gen 1; Psalm 103:19; Rom 11:36; Eph 3:9). He is the Father of all mankind (Eph 4:6), but is the spiritual Father only to genuine believers (Rom 8:14; II Cor 6:18).
God The Son. I believe that Jesus Christ, God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father. I believe in His pre-existence, incarnation, virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, burial, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, & personal and visible premillennial return (John 1:1-3; 10:30; 14:9; Matt 1:23, 25; John 1:14; II Cor 5:21; Rom 3:24-25, 5:8; I Cor 15:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; Heb 9:24; Phil 2:5-11; I Thess 4:13-18; Rev 20).
God The Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is coequal, consubstantial, coeternal with the Father and the Son (Matt 28:19; Acts 5:3-4, 28:25-26; II Cor 13:14), and is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all genuine believers into the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Rom 8:9; II Cor 3:6; Eph 1:13).
Humanity. I believe that man was created by God in His image, and created free of sin; that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical but also spiritual death, which is utter separation from God. Because of the first man Adam’s original sin, all men have inherited a sin nature and are sinners by nature, choice, and divine declaration. Man became inherently corrupt and totally incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace (Gen 1:27, 3:1-19; Rom 3:9-18; 5:12).
Salvation. I believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, through His sacrificial death, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Rom 9:16; Eph 1:7; 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Pet 1:18-19). This salvation is appropriated through repentant faith, which is a faith that turns away from sin to God and trusts in Jesus Christ alone. (Mark 1:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 20:21). True believers will reveal and exhibit the spiritual fruit of a changed life (Matt 13:8, 23; John 15:8; Gal 5:22-23).
The Church. I believe that all who trust in Jesus Christ with a repentant faith are immediately and forever sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13) and, therefore, placed into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Cor 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (II Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Eph 1:22; 4:15; Col 1:18).
Christian Life. I believe that the purpose of the local church, i.e. the localized body of believers, is to glorify God (Eph 3:21) through the instruction of the Word, obedience to the Great Commission, discipleship, fellowship, service, and the keeping of the ordinances (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-42, 47; I Cor 15:58; Eph 4:12-16; II Tim 2:2).
Ordinances. I believe that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt 28:19; Acts 2:38-42; 8:36-38; 10:46-48; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Luke 22:14-20).
Final Judgment. I believe in the bodily resurrection of all men; the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Rom 8:10-11, 19-23; II Cor 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment in the lake of fire (Dan 12:2; John 5:29; Rev 20:13-15).
Second Coming. I believe in the personal, imminent, pre-tribulational, premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His church (John 14:1-3; I Cor 15:51-53; 1 Thess 4:15-5:11; Titus 2:13).
PDF download: Doctrinal Statement of Faith (long version)
PDF download: Doctrinal Statement (short version)
Image credit: Matt Gruber (Creation Swap)