The Need to Diligently Study Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:15-16

Occasion Sunday Worship 25th May 2014

Ill: You have an uncle preparing to go to the UK for PHD studies.  He asks you to care for his things while away, yet does not reveal how long he will be gone.  He simply asks you to faithfully care for his things, and he will certainly rebuke you if you are not faithful.  Your friends soon suggest you let them stay with you, and eventually you stay up late into the night playing games and entertaining many friends.  Every day, you think about the possibility of your uncle’s return, but you quickly put it out of your mind.  What will happen when he surprises you one day and you are not ready for his return?  What will he say to you, and how will you feel before him?

Text: 2 Timothy 2:15-16

Purpose: Paul wants Timothy to be found faithful and receive a full reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ, therefore, he warns Timothy to make every effort to do His work as pastor diligently for God’s glory.

Proposition: God’s wants me to be a careful and faithful student of His word.

Interrogative: How can I do this?  Four truths that will motivate me to be faithful…

Doctrine 1: I am commanded to be diligent: 2:15

Ill: You desire to be a doctor.  How many years will you study medicine before given a license to practice?  Would you be licensed if you fail your classes?  How much money will you invest to complete your schooling?  Medical practice is important.  Peoples lives will be severely affected by malpractice, and the integrity of the occupation must be tightly held.  How much more diligent should we be when we are dealing with the word of God.  Doctrinal error will not just cause someone to get sick.  It can if it is related to the gospel lead someone to eternity in hell, separated from God.

  • What are we to do? Study: Make every possible effort, be diligent to prepare yourself
  • How are we to do it?
    •  To show thyself approved: We are motivated, because we will be held accountable.  Our labors as Christians will be evaluated by someone, God.
    • A workman that needeth not to be ashamed: If we are not faithful and diligent, we may not be ashamed now, but one day we will be.

Doctrine 2: I will one day stand before God: 2:15

Hebrews 9:27 It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

Two great judgments:

Great White Throne (The degree of our eternal judgment): Revelation 20:12, 15 I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened…the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

  • The question is not if I will go to heaven or the Lake of Fire, but how severe the eternal wrath of God will be upon me.
  • God is looking at our works in a negative way, not a positive way.

Judgment Seat of Christ (An evaluation of our stewardship): Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

  • The question again is not whether or not we will go to heaven or the eternal Lake of Fire, but what reward and position in God’s Kingdom we will receive in our eternal inheritance.

Why should I be diligent?

  • I want by labors to meet God’s approval: To show thyself approved unto God
  • I do not want to be ashamed before my Lord: One who needeth not to be ashamed

Doctrine 3: I am commanded to teach God’s word accurately: 2:15

Is it enough to just read the Bible?  No. 

In a recent interview of around 700 people:

  • 95% have made Christ their personal Lord and Savior
  • Nearly half say they attend church 3 or more times a week
  • 65% read the Bible at least every other day
  • Only 21% say that salvation is a free gift that is not earned in any part by our good works and obedience to the law.

2 Peter 3:16 The unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (Wrest means that they twist these words, and the result is that it is to their own destruction.)

What am I to do? Rightly dividing the word of truth: This means to cut it straight.  Meaning, I am responsible to study, interpret, and apply God’s words accurately to my own life first, and than to the lives of those I am instructing.

Doctrine 4: I am called to reject error: 2:16

How can I know what is true and what is counterfeit?  I must know the truth. 

Hebrews 5:12-14Ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God…every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

  • The immature are unskillful in the word of righteousness
  • The mature by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.

IllHow do people determine when money is counterfeit?  Is it by studying every error?  Now, it is by knowing what the genuine things looks like and feels like.  Everything is compared to the genuine standard, and what does not measure up is identified as counterfeit and rejected.  This is what we must do with doctrine.

  • Shun profane and vain babblings
  • How will we know what is true and what is not true

Conclusion: The question is not if God wants you to be a good steward of His word, but rather what steps will you take to do that?  Purpose, by God’s grace, to be a faithful steward of the truth that has been entrusted to you, and to take careful steps to grow in your love and knowledge of God’s word.

Welcome

In 2 Timothy 3, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”  Whether an elder/shepherd, deacon, or layman, Biblical discernment and godly character are non-negotiables in Christian ministry.  It is our aim through thorough in class instruction, practical ministry opportunities, and one on one mentoring to do our part to train the next generation of church leaders and lay members.  For those living locally, we pray that you would consider investing your time and energies in preparing with us.   We are not an accredited institution at this time, and will only consider that option if our team of pastors believes it prudent in the future.  It is also our desire to make our classes available online, for those who are not local but could be enriched through these materials.   We pray that these resources will find fertile ground in your preparation to do the Lord’s work, for He alone is worthy of all praise and glory.