Summary: Every Christian should have these three characteristics, namely: Approved, Appointed and Anointed.
Approved, Appointed and Anointed
“APPROVED OF GOD” - Part 1
15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. II Tim 2:15-16
Let’s look at three characteristics that every pastor, minister, church leader, and every saint should possess. They should be approved, appointed and definitely anointed.
Let’s first look at approved.
The word approved means properly acceptable, and tried. Something that has been tried and test, and proven. So is this saying that every approved saint will be tried and tested? Absolutely Yes!
There are two areas to examine when speaking about being approved. They are showing thyself approved, and knowing that you are approved. When the USDA examines meat, they look for certain signs and criteria. That’s called knowing, and once the criteria is met, then they stamp it USDA approved, which is called showing. The same process works with us, we must show and know that we are approved. First let’s examine showing.
1. The first area to show approval is study. It was in our scripture text.
15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We must study God’s Word. Not just read it like a book, but study, and dig deep into the word. I find that there are multiple layers of meaning in the scriptures depending on what you are going through in your life. God’s word will reveal itself to you in so many ways that you never learn it all. Example ”The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” What does that mean to you right now? That depends on what’s going on in your life right now. When you study God will reveal to you so many things that you never saw before.
We are told to STUDY to SHOW ourselves APPROVED unto God. Studying shows approval. Rather, we are encouraged to be a craftsman that does not need to be ashamed, but cutting straight the word of truth. There are carpenters and then there are craftsmen.
Studying is so important, that even the devil does it. He studies us. He keeps distractions coming up to keep us from spending time with the Lord, because if we don’t study then we are just the opposite of what the scripture said. We show our unapproved, a novice, and it is shameful. Example: St. Luke 16:20-21, says, “And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.” After reading this text to his congregation, the minister got up and said, “The Lord has revealed to me the name of the dogs that licked the wounds of Lazarus. Their names were “Moreover.” Because the verse said “Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores! We must study to show ourselves approved.
2. The second area to show approval is our conversation.
II Timothy 2:16 says, “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
The second area to SHOW our approval unto God is our conversation. Anytime you see a Christian using profanity, and arguing or debating about unfruitful matters, then they are not approved. Foolish conversation will lead to ungodliness. Look at the phrase “for they will increase UNTO more ungodliness.” The word “unto” means being taken from one place, and being brought to another place. Foolish conversation will take you from righteousness and lead you to unrighteousness. Have you ever been in an argument that started out as one topic, but ended up on something completely different? Avoid foolish conversations.
Next we are encouraged to KNOW that we are approved.
How do we know we are approved? First, we must examine ourselves. Let’s go to I Corinthians 13:5-7.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 6But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
You know you better than anyone else, except God. Is Jesus really Lord of life, or is that just what you want us to see on Sunday. People are watching you all the time, and sooner or later your true colors are going to come shining through. Examine yourself to see if you are meeting God’s expectations.
7Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
The scriptures is telling us to not just focus on appearing approved, but do that which is honest, and know that you are approved. If Hollywood ever runs short on talent, all they have to do is come to church. There are more actors and actresses in church than any place in the world. Why is that? Because so many of us have been tried and tested, but failed to pass the test, and rather than pass the test, we just moved on to the next area. We have too many open doors in our life. We look like a high school student with a third grade reading level. Approval comes with the passing of tests.