Start the next part of your journey. Go far close to home at McDowell Tech, the 6th best community college in the USA

Studying Scripture With Purpose

By Terry Cheek

McDowell CountyTerry Cheek McDowell County


If you have accomplished anything in life you have had to study. For example, in elementary school, we had to memorize the alphabet, and that required study. In high school, we had to study for exams and SATs. In college, studying is a daily routine. Our workday may also involve study. So, what do we mean when we say we’re going to study? I want to answer that question in this article. Not just from an academic perspective but especially from a biblical perspective. First, let’s look at scripture. 2 Timothy 2:14-16  “Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.  (15)  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  (16)  But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.”

Paul begins by reminding Timothy of a few very important things. First, do not argue about the non-essentials of faith. Sadly, there are many arguments between Christians today that simply should not be taking place. There certainly are essentials of our faith. These are found in our Bibles, clearly spelled out without opportunity for dispute or discussion. For example, there is Sin and Salvation, Sanctification and sovereignty. These and many more simply cannot be disputed. What is left are what many sound theologians refer to as non-essentials of faith. This isn’t a popular phrase today, yet it is very relevant. Paul tells us and Timothy that arguing over the non-essential, are words to no profit, these words ruin the hearers. Whether we want to admit it or not many people today will not darken the door of a church because of words like these. We should be preaching and teaching only Scripture, not an opinion, a perspective, a political agenda, not even a denominational position.

Paul moves on to verse 15 and tells us to be diligent in presenting ourselves approved to God. Diligent is a powerful word. It conveys the meaning of making haste while at the same time being zealous or even eager to present ourselves approved to God. Now this is not approved in our eyes, but it is approved in God’s eyes. For us, it is according to his word. Are we zealous about meeting God’s approval? Are we in a hurry to be everything God wants us to become? These are serious questions that deserve serious attention from each of us. When we study to show ourselves approved we are being diligent and making haste to examine our lives in the context of God’s Word. To do these things will develop a Christian that is not ashamed of what God has done in and through their life. For this type of person to mature only humility from Saving Grace can be credited. It is truly a work of God.

We must rightly divide the Word of God. Every pastor, preacher, teacher, and writer I know sincerely believes we do that. However, the arguments over non-essential matters of faith continue. What is rightly dividing the Word of God? The author Hebrews says it best,  Hebrews 4:12  “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Not one of us can escape the conviction that comes from this verse when taken in the context of Second Timothy 2:15.

Finally, we read a warning. To shun this vain and babbling behavior. Because it increases ungodliness. We cannot argue about the result of pointless self-centered strife, vanity, and relentless babbling. Do we want to fall into this category of people the Apostle Paul is warning Timothy and us about? Our time has gone for this issue, Until we meet again, in person or print, may God bless you is my prayer.


Terry is the Executive Director and broadcaster of The Inspiring Word media ministry

You can contact Terry by email at

Or by visiting

Read more from Terry Cheek here.