Friday, July 31, 2009

Asking the "Tough Questions" Series - Part II

Am I A Student of the Word? II Timothy 2:15 tells us; “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (ESV) Do I rightly handle the word of truth? What does it mean to rightly handle the word of truth? Paul begins to deal with false teacher beginning in chapter two and verse fourteen. He completes his thoughts about false teachers in chapter three verse nine. Paul demonstrates that false teachers are devastating and destructive in the body. He shows that they are argumentative and wrangle over words. As a matter of fact Paul states that false teachers quarrel or fight about “words.” Of course we know that the outcome of such behavior is division, confusion, and destruction to a church. On the other hand, God expects his workman to be different. We who handle the word of God must labor diligently with great effort to properly interpret or divide the word. This means that we must be able “to cut straight or to cut straight ways.” We have the idea that we are able to proceed on straight paths or to hold a straight course. This word is the equivalent to doing right. So we must be able to make straight and smooth “cuts” or interpretations of the word and to handle the word of God correctly, being able to teach the truth directly and accurately. The workman who interprets the word does not change, mutilate, distort, or pervert the word of God. The end result will be that we are approved by God. Our word approved is a great word with a rich meaning. The word means “accepted, pleasing, and acceptable”, particularly of coins and money. Donald Barnhouse makes this comment about “approved” In the ancient world there was no banking system as we know it today, and no paper money. All money was made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into moulds and allowed to cool. When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to smooth off the uneven edges. The coins were comparatively soft and of course many people shaved them closely. In one century, more than eighty laws were passed in Athens, to stop the practice of shaving down the coins then in circulation. But some money changers were men of integrity, who would accept no counterfeit money. They were men of honour who put only genuine full weighted money into circulation. Such men were called "dokimos" or "approved"
So, the question is still before us to answer. Am I A Student of the Word? Do I rightly handle the word of truth?

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