A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

March 6, 2016

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.

     While this verse is usually determined to be talking about pastors or ministers, it is also a verse that speaks directly to the heart of every impassioned Believer.  We all want to be diligent in our study of the Word; endeavoring to be conscientious and caring about preserving the veracity of Scripture.  Are we not all "workers" in the Kingdom?  Are we not all called to present the Gospel to a lost world?  I know that I take this particular verse very personally and very seriously.
     I believe that all Believers desire to be presented to God as "approved".  To me, this intimates a process or examination, if you will, of being deemed right by God.  In other words, God is fully aware of the effort we put into understanding His Word, and the state of our heart and spirit in discerning a true interpretation.  That is not to say that two equally passionate workers cannot come up with different understandings.  If both have been eager in their pursuit of knowledge and study, I cannot imagine that God will not honor both of their efforts.  And if each continues in his diligent pursuit of wisdom from God, then I fully expect the Holy Spirit to grow and move their knowledge into alignment with the Father.  Like I said, it is a process ... we do not attain instant knowledge; it is by the will of the Father and in His timing.
     However, we must all be careful not to invent a new gospel.  And we must discern that we are not all at the same level of understanding.  So patience and love should be part of our Christian brotherhood.  At the same time, if we are not familiar with an understanding that someone shares with us, it is wise to engage in a serious conversation, using Scripture as our guide, and doing further research and study to enlighten ourselves.  And I am not one to dismiss the possibility that because our God is so big and is Sovereign, that He could be teaching different aspects of the same Scripture to different people in order to carry out His particular purpose in their lives.  Isaiah 40:13-14 says it better than I can:  Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding?…  
     So, on the one hand "rightly dividing the word of truth", could be explained, as it is in the Amplified version of the Bible, as "accurately handling and skillfully teaching" the word of truth.  And that applies to all of us Christians... We are all called to Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16).  This is to be the position of the Believer.
     But I've also had another thought concerning this passage.  What if being "approved by God" and "not being ashamed" of the Word of Truth involves "rightly dividing" the Word to reveal and separate (divide) the God of Grace and Mercy from the God of Righteousness and Judgment?  Or, as one of my favorite theologians, Matthew Henry, says, "To speak terror to those to whom terror belongs, comfort to whom comfort [belongs]; to give every one his portion in due season."  Can you now see that this one simple verse may have two distinct and different meanings to different people?
     Here's the bottom line:  the Word of God is to be taken seriously and studied with careful and persistent work, and it is to be done by each of us as we grow in our salvation process.  We must not rely on spirits of religion that exist in the Church, or man-made doctrines that have become comfortably accepted.  That is not to say that these should be thrown out or disregarded.  But each of us have a responsibility to seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit as we search the Scripture for God's Truth.  This very Truth is vast and deep and complex and profound... to think that anyone of us has reached our apex of understanding is to suggest that God cannot teach us anything further; that we know it all and have reached our maturity as a Christian.  Speaking for myself, I am amazed at the new insights He is showing me day by day.  I know I am being refined and purged, and I hope this process continues to the moment I take my last breath.  It is my humble desire to remain willing to receive instruction and growth in my knowledge of the Lord.  May He teach me to do His will, and may the Holy Spirit lead me forward on level ground.

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