“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”
(2 Timothy 2:15)
Timothy was a great Christian and Paul’s faithful friend. Although Timothy’s mother and grandmother had taught him about Jesus, Paul had led Timothy to Jesus (taught him how to be saved) and watched him grow in his Christian faith.
Paul wrote a letter of encouragement to Timothy. After reminding him of his salvation, he encouraged him to step up to the task God had placed before him. Timothy was to not be ashamed of the Gospel message, but to be willing to stand up faithfully and teach the truths of that Gospel. And to even be proud if he suffered “afflictions of the gospel” (see 2 Timothy 1:8-10).
Paul had taught him the importance of sound doctrine. “13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us” (2 Timothy 1:13-14). See the following definitions to help you understand what Paul was telling Timothy:
- Form: “a sketch, or concise, representation or form”
- Sound: “sound doctrine, i.e.: true; pure; uncorrupted”
Paul wanted Timothy to understand the importance of holding on to the sound doctrine – true, pure, uncorrupted – that he had been taught (that is now recorded in God’s Word for us to read). Paul followed this with a warning that there would be some who would turn away from him when he stood for the truths in God’s Word – for Paul had already seen a departure from the faith, leaving him to stand alone in Asia (see 2 Timothy 1:15). Paul had already warned him this would happen (see 1 Timothy 4:1). But Paul also encouraged Timothy that he could endure this because the Holy Spirit dwells in us – He won’t leave!
But how do you prepare for a life pleasing to God? “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Christians must study and know God’s Word. They must be able to discern between the truth of God’s Word and false teaching. This is just the first step in knowing how to live a Christian life. But it is a very important one.
There is a child’s song that I am reminded of…
“Read your Bible, pray every day, and you will grow, grow, grow!
Don’t read your Bible, or pray every day, and you will shrink, shrink, shrink!”
Do you want to grow?
Or do you want to shrink?
The choice is up to you!