Summary: Paul is urging Timothy and all of his readers in the importance of presenting ourselves to our Father God as competent workers who are skilled in doing the work of God’s kingdom.
Date Written: January 3, 2001
Date Preached: January 3, 2001
Church: BBC (Wed PM)
Series: Great Imperatives for Christian Living
Title: An Imperative Regarding a Sound Spiritual Walk
Text: 2 Tim 2:15
“Do you best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [RSV]
This week we enter into our 2nd week in looking at the Great Imperatives for Christian Living. Last week we looked at the 1st great imperative and that was the imperative of looking at both the positive and the negative of this world around us.
Although this world is evil we cannot allow it to begin to mold us into the person IT wants us to be. But b/c of Jesus we are transformed and that is the positive…so we as Christians should present ourselves as a living sacrifice to prove the perfect will of God!
This week we are going to be looking at the great imperative of a Sound Spiritual Walk in the Christian life.
The passage I read from was from the Revised STD Version of the Bible. If we look at the NIV translation of this passage we find it reads like this:
“…Do you 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.”
We can also see another reading in the Phillips translation:
“…For yourself, concentrate on winning God’s approval, on being a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, and who knows how to use the word of truth to the best advantage.”
Finally if we look at the Today’s English Version we find this passage reading like this:
“…Do you best to will full approval in God’s sight, as a worker who is not ashamed of his work, one who correctly teaches the message of God’s truth.”
Now while it is not necessary for someone to have a graduate degree from a school of theology to effectively serve God…God does place a premium on those who follow Him…
Ignorance of his word and ways are UNACCEPTABLE!
In the words of our passage tonight, the apostle Paul is urging Timothy and all of his readers in the importance of presenting ourselves to our Father God as competent workers who are skilled in doing the work of God’s kingdom.
Paul encouraged the Roman believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, b/c it is by offering their bodies that they honor and glorify God. It is in their bodies that they were to demonstrate both the wisdom and the power of God.
Paul affirms this same concept in his 1st letter to the church in Corinth, in which he declared that the body is the dwelling place for the H.S., and is should not participate in the immoral acts of this world. (1 Cor 15:15-20)
The words of our passage this evening emphasize to the reader maturity, skill, and competency in the service of God. Paul appeals to Timothy’s sense of pride and personal accomplishment when he wrote, “…a workman who has no need to be ashamed…”
Have you ever seen a carpenter who was ashamed of his work? Have you ever known a bricklayer who laid a crooked wall of brick? Have you ever known a seamstress who was ashamed of one of her creations? Now you may have run into one or two of these examples, but they are rare exceptions…those who work with their hands take pride and self worth in their work and do it well.
Here we find Paul encouraging Timothy to present himself to God and to do what is necessary to become a skilled worker in the Kingdom of God. This is what he meant when he told Timothy, “…rightly dividing the word of truth…”
So you may be asking yourself the question, “What can I do to become more skillful? What can I do to gain the approval of God? What can I do to accomplish what the preacher is speaking about tonight?”
I have the answers here for you tonight, I believe that we can do a number of very practical things to improve our spiritual walk in our ministry for God.
The KJV translates this verse, “…study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
To have a sound spiritual walk, to be a competent Christian it requires STUDY and PRACTICE! Only as we study can we be skilled. I want us to focus our attention on how we should study the Bible so that we can ‘rightly divide the word of truth.’
Rightly dividing the word of truth simply means this…we use the word of truth (God’s Word) so as to accomplish the purpose for which God intended it! How can I do that pastor?