Making a Difference
By Our Relationship to the Scripture
By Dr. Tom Walker
2 Tim 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
There is a famine of Bible study in these days. Due to people being occupied with lesser important things, there is a deficient knowledge of what the Scriptures have to say to our generation. It is about time we wake up and realize how important the Word of God is to our daily lives.
One of my greatest treasures is my Dad’s old KJV Thomas Chain Reference Bible. Many of its pages are worn, not from abuse but rather from use. The most damaged pages in his Bible is the book of Ephesians. My dad would not have lived the quality of spiritual life he demonstrated if he had not been a diligent student of the Bible.
So much is said in the Bible about the importance of the Word of God in our lives. Here are a few examples from God’s Book, looking only at one chapter in the Bible, referring to Psalm 119:
Psalms 119:9: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
Psalms 119:11: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Psalms 119:16: “I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.”
Psalms 119:25: “…Quicken thou me according to thy word.”
Psalms 119:28: “…Strengthen thou me according unto thy word.”
Psalms 119:38: “Stablish thy word unto thy servant…”
Psalms 119:42: “…I trust in thy word.”
Psalms 119:50: “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.”
Psalms 119:67: “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.”
Psalm 119:74:“…I have hoped in thy word.”
Psalms 119:101: “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.”
Psalms 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Psalms 119:133: “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”
Psalms 119:140: “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.”
Psalms 119:148: “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”
Psalms 119:162: “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.”
Psalms 119:169: “Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word.”
Psalms 119:172: “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.”
Let’s go back to our text found in 2 Tim 2:15, which says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Notice the word “study.” That word is translated to other places in God’s Word as “do diligence, be diligent, endeavor, and labour.” It can imply using speed, making an effort, or being prompt and earnest.” It suggests we are to exert ourselves for something beneficial or valuable.
Word studies are very beneficial. There are several truths we can learn from examining the verb “study” in our text. It is a singular verb, which may tell us there is a benefit to doing personal, private Bible studies. Although we give that emphasis, it in no way takes away from or discredits the value of studying the Scriptures with other people.
It also is aorist tense, which gives reference to doing something at a certain time. We need to allot specific times to study the Word of God. If we do so, we mustn’t let circumstances around us steal the time we have set aside for laboring in Bible study.
It is an active voice. No one else can do this for us, it is our responsibility to be motivated to actively spend time seeking an understanding of what the Word of God has to say. No one can do this study for you, because you must dig in and do it for yourself, knowing how beneficial it will be to your Christian life.
It is in the imperative mode. In simple form, that means it is a command, not just a suggestion. God specifically and purposely inspired the use of the imperative mode in expressing the action involved in studying.
Consider a verse in Ecclesiastes 12:12: “…Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” A diligent scriptural investigation is tiring, but the benefit is well worth the effort exerted.
The Bible says in our text verse the objective of our Bible study is to: “Show thyself approved unto God.” It is too often that we do what we do to obtain the approval of others.
What God thinks about what we are doing is far more important than what other people think about what we are doing.
2 Timothy 2:4 says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
In Galatians 1:10 the Apostle Paul asks a couple of questions and then gives his own response to those two questions: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
God is very pleased when we set aside time, and give diligent effort, to spend valuable time in searching the Scriptures.
Pleasing God should be of supreme importance in our lives. Here is what we must not forget; one day we will have to stand before Him. If a person is lost, he or she will stand at the Great White Throne judgment, where degrees of punishment in Hell will be decided. The Great White Throne judgment will occur after the tribulation and the thousand-year millennial reign of Christ is completed. Saved people will stand at a separate judgment, the Judgement Seat of Christ, right after Jesus comes to rapture His bride, the church. Jesus said in Rev.4, “My reward is with me.”
Pleasing God will never be regretted. Those who possess regrets will be the ones who have little or no concerns about pleasing or gratifying God. Saved people want to delight the heart of God; we want Him to take pleasure in the way we daily conduct our lives.
Pleasing God will reap eternal benefits and rewards. Jesus said if a person gives a cup of cold water in His name, that person would in no wise lose their reward (Matt.10:42). We are wise if we live not just for the present, instead we should live with eternity in view.
Our text verse says, “A workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” The more thoroughly we know the Bible. The word “ashamed” speaks either of the frame of mind of the Bible student or the way it is presented.
Many people should be ashamed of the way they interpret the Bible. Any doctrine can be taught when you take the Bible out of its context. There is a whole Bible context, a book context, a passage context, and a verse context. For instance, if one tried to prove one can lose his or her salvation from Matthew 7:19, which says, “ Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” is a false interpretation. To try to say that is a believer, who is cast into the fire, would violate the context, or the surroundings of that verse; plus, it would contradict many other passages that prove a genuine, born-again child of God can never be lost (Rom. 8:38-39; John 3:16; Heb.7:25 and many others).
In attitude, we should never be ashamed of the Word of God. We must realize it is settled in Heaven (Ps. 119:89). We need to handle the Scriptures carefully because it is God’s settled, eternal truths.
In presentation, we must compare Scripture with Scripture as found in its context. To fail to do so is to err in Biblical presentation and proclamation.
Consider the words- “Rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” We should interpret the Bible with the view to discover what God is seeking to say to us. We are to handle the Word of Truth rightly and correctly. Since the Bible is God’s truth, it is a serious matter to misrepresent what the Scriptures are telling us; that is what the people who are not born again do.
Interpreting the Bible correctly is so important, we have a warning in Revelation 22:19—”And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” To use this verse as proof that once a person is saved and born into the family of God, he or she can lose the free gift of salvation, is to take this verse out of context. This passage assumes a child of God will not tamper with the Scriptures. He may not understand all that is written in the Book of Revelation, but he will recognize it as a declaration of hope that has been assured to him in grace through salvation in Christ.
You can make a huge difference in life if you have the right attitude and relationship to the Scripture.