Be Diligent and Be Approved By God Pt. 2

Approval By God May Not Mean What You Think It Means…

Last week, I wrote of 2 Timothy 2:15. When we first read this it almost sounds like we have to work hard to earn God’s acceptance, doesn’t it? I don’t believe that is correct thinking…

In my first post, I talked about how to slow down, break apart the verse, and observe it correctly. This time I want us to learn how to interpret it correctly. Context is the key to obtaining correct interpretation. Context, in its original meaning, meant “to join by weaving.” We can’t truly understand the meaning of that word unless we know how it weaves together with the rest of the passage and Bible.

1. LOOK AT THE VERSES SURROUNDING IT

“Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.” -2 Timothy 2:14

“But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Ok, getting a better picture? Paul is basically saying don’t just argue about empty words and avoid irreverent talk which just spreads like gangrene, but be diligent to know how to accurately handle the word of truth!

2. UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINT OF THE BOOK

Remember in my original post, I said that Paul’s main point is “guard the treasure”, referring to the gospel. He wanted us to retain sound doctrine. When I understand his main point, I understand the context of the word, “approval”.

When I am diligent to seek out correct doctrine, God approves! When I am working hard at seeking Him and His truth, He approves!

Why did Paul want to retain and guard the gospel? Here are some key verses:

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” 2 Tim 3:1

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

3. UNDERSTAND THE WHOLE BIBLE

Again, some may have thought that my last post meant that we had to work hard to earn God’s approval or acceptance. According to the rest of Scripture, we know that we can never work hard enough to earn salvation. In fact, this verse had nothing to do with salvation but our cultural mindset of approval can have us jump to conclusions IF we aren’t diligent to seek out its meaning.

• We know that we are saved only by faith.

• We are justified by faith.

• We are sanctified through faith.

Being diligent will not bring salvation or earn credit from God. However, it will profit you and God will approve of it. You would never be ashamed of being diligent and a result is that you accurately handle the Word of truth.

My main point:

Too often verses are taken out of context or viewed within our own cultural mindset. Right now, within Christian culture, grace and relationship are discussed immensely. People who encourage others to study God’s Word can sometimes be judged as legalistic. But as we have seen in this verse, God approves of being diligent to handle the truth accurately. My main point in both of these posts were to help give some tools to think about how to study God’s word.

1. Learn how to Observe God’s Word

2. Learn how to Interpret God’s Word

3. Then Apply God’s Word Accurately.

If you want to learn more about how to study inductively email us at [email protected] , look around at our e-store, or check out our events.

 

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09.10.12

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