February 29, 2004
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Workmen of the Word
by Jack Northart
There is a great deal of religion in Christianity today. Christianity in and of itself is not a religion. It is a way of a Father with His children. Therefore it is important to understand that our true and vital relationship with God should be of utmost importance to our lives as Christians. This relationship has many times been confused with religion, because many believe that religion is their belief in God. However, we must go deeper than religion if we are to learn and develop our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Rather than being spoon fed an ideology, we must delve into the greatness of Godís Word. Then we must be willing to drop any preconceived beliefs and be willing to change. We must look at manuscripts and different translations of the Bible, not to substantiate our beliefs but to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth. Study and research of the Scriptures does not start with answers, it looks for answers.
II Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.
This verse says so much in so few words. It doesnít tell us that doing certain works will show ourselves approved unto God. It doesnít say that going to church on certain days of the week will show ourselves approved unto God. It says STUDY to show ourselves approved unto God. Furthermore it says we study as WORKMAN who are not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. To be a workman designates that we work. We are not lazy in our study of the Scriptures. As we do this, we begin to see the answers to life and godliness. Without our own personal study of Godís Word, we allow ourselves to be blown about with every wind of doctrine. When this happens, Christianity loses its dynamic power, and our vital relationship with God is diminished.
As an example, letís say somebody comes along and says that God has green hair and if you want to go to heaven, you have to believe that God has green hair. How do I determine if that statement is true or not? If I am diligent in my study of Godís Word, I find out that no where in the Bible does it mention that God has hair, let alone green hair. Furthermore, I find that my salvation does not depend on hair at all, but on believing that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9) If I take someone elseís word for it, or if I study a source outside of the Word of God, I may find something to substantiate a god with green hair. This is a silly illustration but the point is valid.
Letís take another example of finding truth in the face of a false statement. Suppose someone comes along and says that the Bible cannot be Godís Word because it was written by men. It cannot be Godís Word because it is full of contradictions. If I study Rev. So and Soís works, or Dr. So and Soís book, I may find that it does in fact have many contradictions, because, after all, these men should know what they are talking about. However, if I am a workman of Godís Word, I can see what Godís Word has to say of itself.
II Timothy 3: 16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
II Peter 1: 20,21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
These verses are very plain to read and easy to understand. One does not need a Biblical commentary to explain it. It says that all scripture was given by inspiration of God, and that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (Spirit). If that is true, then God cannot contradict Himself for He is perfect. So why are there so-called contradictions? One reason is because the Bible was not originally written in English. It was not written with capital letters, punctuation marks, chapters, or even verses. These were all added later by man. In many cases these things were done by guess work and are not divinely inspired by God Himself. If we understand this as we begin to study, it helps us do a much better job of rightly dividing the Word of truth.
Since the middle of the first century, Satan has managed to infiltrate Christianity with multiple, divisive doctrines that have decimated the Church. Instead of standing together as a united body holding forth the Word of light, Christians have been arguing about issues that shouldnít even concern them. The Church will not again have the power and influence God intended until the born-again believers stop fighting each other and start fighting the Adversary. God is lovingly begging us to do this.
I Corinthians 1: 10
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
It is not a question of who is right, or who has the greatest ďspinĒ on truth. God is right, and as we speak the Word of God rightly-divided, then we are right. Not because we belong to a certain denomination, fellowship or religious group, but because it is Godís Word.
Romans 14: 19
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Romans 15: 5,6
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we study to show ourselves approved unto God as workmen who need not to be ashamed, rightly-dividing the Word of truth, we will be able to be like-minded one toward another. We will be able to follow after those things which make for peace, and be perfectly joined together. Then we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our true and vital relationship with our Heavenly Father will deepen and prosper.
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