Actually, one of the most dangerous things we can do as Christians is to determine our theology by our experience, because no one’s experience is normative for the Christian life. We have to determine our theology from the Word of God, not from what we feel. Not only that, we are open to misunderstanding and misinterpreting the meaning and significance of the experiences we go through. That’s why we are called to check our experiences against Scripture, so that we define our faith by what Scripture says, not by what we feel or what we experience. If we rest our assurance on experience and not on the Word of God, we’re inviting all kinds of doubts to assail us in our pilgrimages. We need to seek authentic knowledge of our salvation, not just some warm and fuzzy experience.
Still reading through St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary on Romans. Still recommend St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary on Romans for extracurricular reading. Below is another excerpt from St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary on Romans.
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. Romans 3:10,11
No one in his natural condition seeks after God. Seeking after God is the business of the believer. The moment we become a Christian is the moment when our quest for God begins. Prior to our conversion we were fugitives from God; we fled from him. Churches today structure worship, teaching, and preaching toward the pagan to help him find what he is desperately searching for but just cannot seem to uncover, but it is foolish to structure worship for unbelievers who are seeking after God when the bible tells us there aren’t any seekers. It manifest a failure to understand the things of God. If we understood the things of God, we would know that there is no such thing as unconverted seekers.
Thomas Aquinas was asked on one occasion why there seem to be non-Christians who are searching for God, when the bible says no one seeks after God in an unconverted state. Aquinas replied that we see people all around us who are feverishly seeking purpose in their lives, pursuing happiness, and looking for relief from guilt to silence the pangs of conscience. We see people searching for the things that we know can be found only in Christ, but we make a gratuitous assumption that because they are seeking the benefits of God, they must therefore be seeking God. That is the very dilemma of fallen creatures: we want the things that only God can give us, but we do not want him. We want peace but not the Prince of Peace. We want purpose but not the sovereign purposes decreed by God. We want meaning found in ourselves but not in his rule over us. We see desperate people, and we assume they are seeking for God, but they are not seeking for God. I know that because God says so. No one seeks after God.
St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary on Romans, R.C. Sproul (p. 90)