Study To Show Thyself Approved

Part 1

2 Tim 2:15-19

At the beginning of the Halley’s Bible Handbook you will find this note:

 Everybody ought to love the Bible, Everybody ought to read the Bible,  It is God’s word, it holds the solutions of  life. It tells about the best Friend mankind every had, the Noblest, Kindest, and Truest man that ever trod this earth.”


Paul to his young companion of the gospel Timothy penned this statement “

15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth


I submit to you that this is equally applicable to all who would have God’s favor and approval today.  Man is a thinking being, and thus is distinguished from all the other creatures of earth. The Bible is addressed to man’s intelligence  not  his  emotions  passions  or desires, but which  is high and noble,  and this marks the difference  between us and all other things created. For that reason, God has given instruction, that you and I study with the intent  that we  be approved unto Him.


There was a time was when man did not need such an admonition, for: there was a time when God Spoke directly to men. In Hebrews 1:1-2  we read concerning this —

1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;


I believe these verses to be a full and complete statement of the Divine policy of revelation ¾

God Has Spoken

In times past                                     In these last days: 

unto the fathers                                 Unto Us

 in various ways  and                         always the same

 through  the Prophets                       By His Son


In Genesis 18:19 there is this verse that I believe sheds light on God speaking unto the fathers. 

19For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment.

Thus God spoke to the fathers in time past, not always the same,  but varied, and fragmented or parts, but be it remembered, when God wanted man to know He spoke to him.


Well the Hebrew writer states that God speaks also to man today,  but how does He do so?  It is no longer  a direct and varied approach, but always the same. God speaks to us today  Thru His Son.    I want you to follow closely with me now as we discuss this point.   

When Jesus walked the earth, He taught His disciples directly. Matt. 5:1

1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2And he opened his mouth, and taught them  KJV    How did He teach them? He opened his mouth speaking:         “Lord teach us to pray”!   After this manner therefore pray ye.   Luke 11:1


But with time drawing near that His work should be completed, His death resurrection and ascension imminent  He said to His disciples  John 16:12-14

12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.  ASV


Instructing the apostles further with reference to the Holy Spirit Jesus said in John 14:26

26But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.    ASV


 And the on still anther occasion  He said. Matt 10:18,19.

   18And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye   shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you        KJV


That is why the apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians stated In 2 Corinthians 5:20

 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.


 An ambassador by definition is one clothed with authority to speak for another.  Hence There Was A Time  when God spoke directly to men,  and a time when the Holy Spirit guided men.  But how Does God Speak To Men Today In Christ? I want you to turn with me to Ephesians 3:1-5

1For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit    KJV


What was the means of this revelation Paul? Ephesians 3:5

5 it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit    KJV      God revealed it to Paul through or by means of the Holy Spirit.  Revelation    


What did you do with it Paul?    Verse 3 

 “ I wrote afore in few words”    To what intend did you write it down Paul?  Watch it continuing.  Ephesians 3:4

4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ


God revealed it to Paul — Revelation—  Paul wrote it down by the guidance of the Holy Spirit     — Inspiration—

But inspiration having reached it’s end, you and I having been handed a text book,  It comes with  the admonition of  2 Timothy 2:15  namely   

15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth


Well another thought:  This admonition is as practical today as when Paul penned it to Timothy.  Turn with me and let us read together 2 Peter 1:16ff

16For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to him by the Majestic Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: 18and this voice we ourselves heard borne out of heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount.  19And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: 20knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. 21For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.


Inspiration — men speaking as they were being moved  by the Holy Spirit—  [fevrw]  to carry,  says Strong's Dictionary of Greek Words, to bring forth, produce; to bring forward in a speech


God speaks today through and only through His revealed word.. Hence Paul’s admonishment 

15Study (be diligent ) to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


Well Why Ought Men To Study?  1st -  Because  the Bible is “Great Treasure” given to us by our Heavenly Father

 But if left unstudied and unsearched is like unto a mine that is left  unworked and undeveloped.   The great oil fields, and mines of today that pour forth their riches and treasures are the same that have been there throughout centuries gone by. But for years remained undeveloped and without benefit to mankind. But when search was made by digging into things previously hidden, treasures of wealth flowed that has enriched the world.  I believe humanity for the most part are honest. Yet we differ on many things political, social, and religiously, many times because “we fail to investigate”. Study and investigation always bring out many facts. 


Time was when man believed  the earth was flat..   Then Italian geographer  Toscanelli,  suggested the earth’s was not flat but round.  Columbus determined to prove it while the world laughed and ridiculed him.  But investigation  demonstrated that the earth is indeed a globe that it revolves upon its axis and therefore brings about night and day.


Just so with the word of God. 1000’s have passed into eternity   without ever stopping to question or consider as did the Psalmist:    Psalm 8      


 1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  3When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. 6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;  8The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!


So I suggest Man ought to study God’s word, because it contains all the light and revelations the world has ever had concerning where we came from what we are here for and  our destiny at the end of life’s pathway.  Beloved you have yet to find a man who knows anything about man’s destiny and his eternity

that you and I could not know if we would but heed this admonition  Given by Paul unto Timothy.

15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


This book is the source of all light to guide us to that eternal shore.  In this book there is the whole scheme of redemption, and man’s salvation.  In this book  therefore lies  the hope of the world, therefore study it, not only with a view of this life, but with special reference to the life beyond.


May I further suggest this is the book which will be opened on the day of the great judgment, and out of the things written herein you and I will be judged and our destinies determined. John 10:48     


But turn with me to Revelation 20:11-12

11Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books


Hence in view of the fact my life will be weighed in the balances of the Book, of God  I think it timely for us to study God’s will,


But this text assigns a reason for one to study Hear it!

15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth


 Not for the sake of receiving recognition and commendations of men,  15Study to show thyself approved unto God   Therefore I approach God’s word in prayerful investigation, the one object in view is that God will be pleased, that I may stand approved in His sight.  I want to stand and hear Him say  well done good and faithful servant enter into the joys of the Lord .


Not only so, but “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.

A workman that has no need to be ashamed,  I won’t have to run and ask someone else if I am asked a reason of the hope that lies with me.   I study, I therefore know how to answer other and I know what God expects of me and I am striving to please Him.   Far,  far, to many do not obey this injunction, some  read but do not study God’s word as they should, that is why TV and other forms of entertainments are so popular. Reading can be relaxing, enjoyable, but study is work.


Beloved, I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but I want you to understand this passage:

15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth

“Study”   spoudavzw aorist imp.  Speed up  Make haste  give diligence 

 rightly dividing”  ojrqotomevw Cut straight, on right course, teach correctly


This is not some suggestion from the Holy Spirit to us,  but is imperative, a command.  How many commands can we refuse to comply with and still be accepted in judgment? Study, is absolutely essential to the spiritual transformation that is necessary to salvation.  Romans 12:2

2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed …. (HOW PAUL?)   by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


Now turn with me to   2 Peter 1:3


3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ.


 Attending all the Worship Services  and Bible Study of the Church is a great way to obey the injunction 2 Tim.  2:15

   15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth

The word study is a KJV word [spoudavzw]  what does it mean? To give diligence, to be eager, strive…..

Be diligent, do your best


 Next Lord’s Day  the second part of Paul’s Injunction

    15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth


G-  Tonight you have a wonderful opportunity to get your life right with God. You can step out in faith, Obey the Lord and then comply with this passage, being  assured of eternal life.


— The Lord’s invitation  Is Tendered—