Summary: Jesus’ command to love God with “all our mind,” the Christian life is supposed to include regular times of study and learning.
Pursuing God Theologically
In following Jesus’ command to love God with “all our mind,” the Christian life is
supposed to include regular times of study and learning. The goal of such study is to have
what Paul called “the mind of Christ” so that we can live the life of Christ by the power
of the Spirit of Christ. Therefore, we will examine the contemplative spiritual discipline
of study and the correlating active spiritual discipline of obedience.
•Mind – Nous: thoughts, feelings, will, thinking power, dianoia: serious thought,
the minds disposition, imagination & understanding, Proneo: to entertain, have sentiment
towards, to set affections upon
The most important part of any structure is the foundation. It is the underlying
support upon which the rest of the building is built. If the foundation is not laid correctly,
the building will not stand.
The same principle of construction applies in preparing to minister the Word of
God. The foundation of successful ministry is the preparation of our lives.
The local church is the place that God has ordained for the provision, protection,
and development of His people. All ministry is birthed in the setting of the local church.
1. Paul is writing this second letter of encouragement from prison. He begins by
assuring him of his love and prayers & reminds him of his spiritual heritage &
responsibilities. Only the one who perseveres, whether a soldier, athlete, farmer, or
minister of Jesus Christ, will reap the reward. Paul warns him that his teaching will come
under attack as men desert the truth for “ear itching words”. But Timothy has Paul’s
example to guide him & God’s word to fortify him as he faces growing opposition &
glowing opportunities in the last days.
2. Survey of this letter:
a. Paul knows that his final days are drawing to a close. He now seeks to
challenge & strengthen his somewhat timid by faithful Timothy. Paul encourages
Timothy & calls him a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2:3) .
b. Key words: Stir up, be not ashamed, be thou partakers of the
afflictions, hold fast, sound words, be strong, endure hardness, study, approved, Flee,
c. Persevere in present testing (1 and 2) - don’t become entangled in false
speculations, foolish quarrels, or youthful lusts, why? It will damper his
d. Endure in future testings (3 and 4) - The scripture is God breathed &
with it Timothy is equipped to carry out the ministry to which he was called. Do right in
spite of opposing circumstances
•In John 17:17, Jesus prayed that we would study our Bible. He said, “Sanctify them by
the truth; your word is truth.” Therefore, to become more and more like Jesus we must
have regular time in God’s Word. The Scriptures have much to say about the benefits of
•“If you know these things, happy are ye if you do them” (John 13:17). When we delight
in His Word we will experience true happiness, which is the result of knowing and doing
the will of God
•Having a Working Knowledge of the Word – John 8:31-32
“If we are not interested in the Word of God, can we really be interested in God?”
“Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor
to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it
as it stands related to the Creator...”
“Dusty Bibles always lead to dirty lives. In fact, you are either in the Word and the Word
is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ, or you are in the world and the world is
squeezing you into its mold.”
~Howard G. Hendricks
Scripture regarding study
•“For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD,
and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)
•“Give me understanding to learn your commands.” (Psalm 119:73)
•“Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to
his learning.” (Proverbs 9:9)
•“Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” (Proverbs 10:14)
•“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” (Prov23:12)
•“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.” (1 Timothy 2:11)
•“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not
need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
•“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls
[books], especially the parchments [Scriptures].” (2 Timothy 4:13)
Why Study Theology?
1. To be Prepared to Preach/Teach/Proclaim/Live
•II Timothy 2:15 •“Study to show yourself approved, a workman that needs not to