2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
To some people work is an ugly or dirty word and they think of work as something they must do rather than something fulfilling and gratifying. On the other, hand we find those who treasure their work and receive tremendous satisfaction from getting up everyday and going to or being employed in a specific job or occupation. As children of the Living God, we should treasure every moment we get to spend in the Word of God and we should earnestly desire to rightly interpret what we read.
The English definition for work is defined in many different ways for example as a noun work is defined as; 1) Activity directed toward making or doing something. 2) The occupation for which you are paid. However, as a verb we find work defined in this manner: 1) Exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity. 2) Have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected. 3) Proceed towards a goal, along a path, or through an activity.
The verb definition of work is more of what Paul had in mind when speaking to Timothy. The Greek word Paul used in this text above is the word ergates, which means to toil or labor hard at something. Paul wanted Timothy to see this task as something that would be ongoing without an ending or conclusion. It would have to be the aim or goal of his entire life and ministry on a daily basis until called into the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Paul wanted Timothy and us to know that we should be much more diligent in our daily study of the Word of God than our earthly jobs. Paul told us in Ephesians that we were to work for our earthly bosses as if we were working for our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. When we work for our earthly bosses, we work hard expecting to receive some compensation for our labor. What could be more compensating than speaking and teaching the truth and seeing someone go from forever in torments in hell to forever in comfort in heaven with Christ?
While in our earthly occupation we work hard for a temporary (though needful) reward (money), we must see our hard study in the Word of God as affecting not only ourselves eternally, but also every person we witness to or teach the Word to in this life. Every time we witness the gospel to someone lost, we have a huge responsibility to testify to the truth.
Acts 24:24-25 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he (Paul) reasoned about righteouness, self-control, and the judgement to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” (NKJV)
To be ignorant or unlearned in the Word of God could rob those of us already saved of some of our spiritual blessing right now. Others could mislead people into a false hope by believing and teaching that which is not true. It can be very tempting to water down the gospel as not wanting to offend people, but we would be doing them far worse eternal damage by not fully understanding God’s Word and presenting it to them as Jesus did throughout His earthly ministry and as Paul did above to Felix. Christ was never embarrassed or afraid to speak of hell, on the contrary he spoke of its reality and told people on many occasions that if they did not believe that He was the Messiah they would spend eternity in that dreadful place.
Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched.
The Bible is not like any other book on earth. No one can understand this book without illumination from God the Holy Spirit the Author. With that said, however, He still requires each one of us to work hard along with His help to uncover truth. Paul says that the Word must be “rightly divided” which may make some uncomfortable, because he is also saying that the Word of God can and will be wrongly divided or interpreted. The phrase “rightly divided” is from the Greek word orthotomeo, which literally means to make a straight cut.
In woodwork (I learned about this from my earthly Father), carpentry, and construction straight cuts are not all right if we can get them, no they are absolutely mandatory, irremissibly, and or obligatory. The safety of people living and working in the buildings constructed with such material and workmanship depend on the accuracy of every piece of material cut. Paul is telling Timothy that there is not many ways to interpret this book the Bible but only one way.
Today we here many people say these words of “Well that may be your interpretation of that passage, but I interpret it a different way.” Either a piece of wood is straight or it is crooked, there is no in between. The Bible in its entirety is complete and final truth, but it can be twisted and made false if not rightly divided.
2 Peter 3:16 “As also in his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (NKJV)
Therefore, we see we must allow the Holy Spirit to teach directly through the Word and through godly teachers who are rightly dividing the Word themselves.
Dear Heavenly Father help me by Your grace to not neglect every moment I should be in Your Word. I know I must work, eat, and sleep while I’m still here on earth, but give me wisdom to keep Your Word ever before my eyes and my ears that I may not drift far of course away from You...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon as my Lord wills)
“He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus had a most profitable journey. Their companion and teacher was the best of tutors; the interpreter one of a thousand, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The Lord Jesus condescended to become a preacher of the gospel, and he was not ashamed to exercise his calling before an audience of two persons, neither does he now refuse to become the teacher of even one. Let us court the company of so excellent an Instructor, for till he is made unto us wisdom we shall never be wise unto salvation. This unrivalled tutor used as his class-book the best of books. Although able to reveal fresh truth, he preferred to expound the old. He knew by his omniscience what was the most instructive way of teaching, and by turning at once to Moses and the prophets, he showed us that the surest road to wisdom is not speculation, reasoning, or reading human books, but meditation upon the Word of God. The readiest way to be spiritually rich in heavenly knowledge is to dig in this mine of diamonds, to gather pearls from this heavenly sea. When Jesus himself sought to enrich others, he wrought in the quarry of Holy Scripture. The favoured pair were led to consider the best of subjects, for Jesus spake of Jesus, and expounded the things concerning himself. Here the diamond cut the diamond, and what could be more admirable? The Master of the House unlocked his own doors, conducted the guests to his table, and placed his own dainties upon it. He who hid the treasure in the field himself guided the searchers to it. Our Lord would naturally discourse upon the sweetest of topics, and he could find none sweeter than his own person and work: with an eye to these we should always search the Word. O for grace to study the Bible with Jesus as both our teacher and our lesson!