Posts Tagged ‘Word of God’

“To The Ruin of the Hearers.” – 2 Timothy 2:14c

December 28, 2017

It is a tremendous privilege to share the Gospel of Christ; to share and explain Bible verses to those who may not have studied the Word of God diligently.  It is also an extreme responsibility for the Christian teacher to “get it right.”  How does a Christian achieve this?  I think that 2 Timothy 2 gives us much insight, and I will also share some applicable commentary from David Guzik at Blue Letter Bible.

2Ti 2:10
Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

2Ti 2:11
This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.

2Ti 2:12
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.

2Ti 2:13
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

2Ti 2:14
Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

David Guzik:

c. To the ruin of the hearers: This shows that it is a serious matter and there is much to lose. If we take the focus off the message of God, and put the focus on human opinions and endless debates, it will result in the ruin of the hearers.

i. The Bible says, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Yet if people do not hear the word of God, then ruin comes by hearing the opinions and speculations and entertainment of man.

Guzik stresses that we NOT focus on human opinions and endless debates.  Why?  Because it will result in the ruin of the hearers!  Why?  Because if all that people are subjected to is “the opinions and speculations and entertainment of man,” then they won’t hear the Word of God.

The crux of the matter is this:  we must be diligent, approved unto God so we are not ashamed; and in order to do this we must be “rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2Ti 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

In the very next verse, we are told to:

2Ti 2:16
But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

This, my dear readers, is why there are those who claim to be Christian, but they are far removed from Christ because they reject the teachings of the Bible and lead others to “more ungodliness” because they do not “shun profane and idle babblings.”

David Guzik:

2. (2Ti 2:15) Keep focused; pay attention to your own life and ministry.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

a. Be diligent: Paul often had to exhort Timothy to courage and action. Earlier in the chapter (2 Timothy 2:3-5), Paul encouraged him to hard work and endurance for the service of the Lord.

b. To present yourself approved to God: Timothy’s goal was not to present himself approved to people, but to God. He wasn’t to regard the job of being a pastor as a popularity contest but instead as a call to faithfulness to God.

c. To present yourself approved to God: Timothy wasn’t to worry so much about presenting other people approved to God (though there was a place for this in his pastoral ministry). His first concern had to be to present himself approved to God.

d. A worker who does not need to be ashamed: It is embarrassing to do a job poorly and then to have your work examined. The Bible warns us that the work of each Christian will be examined at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore we have another motivation to work diligently for the Lord, so we will not be ashamed when our work is examined.

i. “It is better explained as a workman who has no cause for shame when his work is being inspected.” (White)

e. Rightly dividing the word of truth: This was to be a focus of Timothy’s hard work. He was to work hard so he could rightly divide the word of God.

i. Timothy, as a faithful pastor, was to be rightly dividing God’s Word. That is, he had to know what it said and didn’t say, and how it was to be understood and how it was not to be understood. It wasn’t enough for Timothy to know some Bible stories and verses and sprinkle them through his sermons as illustrations. His teaching was to be a “right dividing” of the Word of God, correctly teaching his congregation.

ii. “Swords are meant to cut and hack, and wound, and kill with, and the word of truth is for pricking men in the heart and killing their sins. The word of God is not committed to God’s ministers to amuse men with its glitter, nor to charm them with the jewels in its hilt, but to conquer their souls for Jesus.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Rightly dividing has several ideas associated with the ancient term.

· Rightly handle the Word of God, as one would rightly handle a sword.
· Plow straight with the Word of God, properly presenting the essential doctrines.
· Properly dissect and arrange the Word of God, as a priest would dissect and arrange and animal for sacrifice.
· Allot to each their portion, as someone distributing food at a table.

f. Rightly dividing: This also means there is such a thing as wrongly dividing; not everyone cuts it straight. We must understand that Biblical truth is not just an issue left up to everyone’s interpretation. There is a right way and a wrong way to understand the Bible, and a pastor especially must work hard to master the right interpretation.

i. For example, many people love to say when the Bible is quoted, “Well, that’s just your interpretation.” Their idea is, “You interpret the Bible your way, I interpret it my way, and another person interprets it their way. We can never really know what it means, so don’t judge me with your Bible verse.”

ii. When someone tells me, “That’s just your interpretation,” I think in response: “It’s true that it is my interpretation, but it isn’t just my interpretation, it is the correct interpretation, and we need to pay attention to what the Bible says correctly interpreted.”

iii. This is an important point: The Bible does not mean just what anyone wants it to mean. There may be many people trying to twist the Scriptures to their own ends, but they are wrongly dividing the word of truth. We can’t just pick the interpretation that seems most comfortable to us, and claim it as true – it must be rightly dividing the word of truth, and it must be consistent with what the Bible says in the specific passage and with the entire message of the Scriptures.

iv. For example, a correct interpretation of Matthew 7:1 (Judge not, that you be not judged) is not the idea of “You have no right to judge my behavior or any one else’s behavior.” If this were the case, then Jesus repeatedly broke His own commandment, because He often told people their behavior was wrong in the sight of God. The correct understanding of Matthew 7:1 is easily seen by reading Matthew 7:2: For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Jesus was saying “Don’t judge anyone by a standard you are not willing to be judged by. God will hold you to the same standard you hold others to.” This clearly does not forbid judging someone else’s life, but it does prohibit doing it unfairly or hypocritically, or living with a judgmental attitude.

v. The point is clear: There is a right way and a wrong way to divide the Matthew 7:1, which is one verse in the word of truth. Every Christian, but pastors especially, must work hard to be rightly dividing the word of truth. Though perfection in understanding God’s word is impossible, and should never be assumed, we should still work hard at it.

3. (2Ti 2:16-18) The price of not keeping focus: The faith of some is overthrown.

But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

a. But shun profane and vain babblings: This refers to anything that takes the focus off of the gospel and God’s Word. These babblings are profane because they are unholy in contrast to the holiness of God’s Word. They are vain, because even though people like to hear them, they don’t have lasting value.

i. Man’s opinions, man’s teachings, man’s opinion polls, man’s stories, man’s programs, are all profane and vain babblings compared to the simple Word of God. When these things become the focus of the message from the pulpit, it will increase to more ungodliness.

b. Their message will spread like cancer: The message of profane and vain babblings may spread quickly and be popular. They are like a cancer that spreads fast and captures an audience.

i. Who in 2 Timothy 2:18 “Implies that Hymenaeus and Philetus were only the more conspicuous members of a class of false teachers.” (White)

c. Hymenaeus and Philetus: Hymenaeus is mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20 as a man whom Paul delivered to Satan that [he] may learn not to blaspheme. This is the only place where we hear of Philetus, and here Paul tells us of their error.

i. They were of this sort – that is, they had a message full of profane and vain babblings, and apparently the message was somewhat popular, because it spread quickly.

ii. They had strayed concerning the truth: Apparently, they started out correctly, and then strayed from that correct position.

iii. They were saying that the resurrection is already past: It seems they were teaching that we were already in God’s millennial kingdom, or that there was no resurrection to come – it had already occurred.

iv. They did overthrow the faith of some: Though the only false doctrine Paul mentioned regarding these two is that they taught that the resurrection is already past, the effect was to overthrow the faith of some. Undoubtedly, this was not their only error; and a fundamental error in such an area often leads to many more strange beliefs, until one has abandoned Jesus and His truth all together.

v. Many today accept and honor teachers who are way off in one area or another; and they justify it by saying, “I eat the meat and spit out the bones.” This kind of thinking will certainly overthrow the faith of some, because some will certainly choke to spiritual death on the bones you say you spit out.

vi. Notice Paul said, they overthrow the faith of some. We shouldn’t require that everyone be led astray by a teacher before we avoid them; even if some are having their faith overthrown, it is bad enough.

So, we can see clearly in this portion of Scripture how VERY IMPORTANT it is to “rightly divide God’s Word!”  Why?  Because:

[a]nd a fundamental error in such an area often leads to many more strange beliefs, until one has abandoned Jesus and His truth all together.

Hat tip:  David Guzik commentary at Blue Letter Bible.

For It Is Written…

March 18, 2015

H/T for graphic:  Biblepic.com

Sunday evening I had the chance to watch The Bible:  In The Beginning which was made way back in 1966.   It had been decades since I last saw this film so it was enjoyable to see it again. I really appreciated the fact that the movie held to what is written in Scripture!   Rather than taking the usual “license” that today’s filmmakers (i.e. the movies “Noah” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings”) often do while making false advertising claims that they are “biblically sound” versions of events in the Bible, director John Huston made the good decision to stick to what is written in God’s Word.

One of the 46 reviews of the epic classic states that, “The Film Deserves Better Recognition.”

The movie started with Adam and Eve, and ended after Abraham took Isaac up the mountain to be sacrificed, but the ram caught in the thicket was the substitute; so that the promise of Abraham’s descendants through Isaac would be fulfilled.  Abraham’s obedience, despite the anguish he went through, was rewarded because of his willingness to carry out God’s command.  This was a foreshadowing of the sacrificial death that the coming Messiah would fulfill.

In my previous post, a comment made by GMPilot stated:

“Of course we all fail the so-called The Good Test. The questions are rigged, and we are set up to fail. Jesus himself probably couldn’t have passed it.”

There are excellent comments made in that thread by Steve of Cry and Howl and Ciria which both counter GMPilot’s assertions.

Here, I’d like to share how Jesus did pass the test.  First, we need to briefly review how sin entered into the world.

When we go back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we see that they failed to obey God when they both chose to eat of fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In Tuesday’s Daily Light on the Daily Path Devotional, we read:

When the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food (the lust of the flesh), and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise (the pride of life), she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Despite the fact that Adam and Eve could eat of all the other trees in the garden, they chose to disobey God’s command to not eat of that certain tree.

Why?

Well, Eve blamed it on the serpent who “beguiled” her, Adam blamed it on Eve who brought to fruit to him, and the serpent stated, “you surely shall not die;” which was a twisted lie against God’s original admonition to Adam and Eve.

So, how can we get right with God?  Fast forward to the New Testament.

The devotional goes on, describing Jesus’ encounter with the devil in the desert during his forty days and nights fasting:

When the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (the lust of the flesh). But he answered,…it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.–the devil sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them (the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life). Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan.

Here are the verses in Matthew that describe the three times that Jesus was tempted:


Mat 4:5

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,

Mat 4:6

and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” [fn]

Mat 4:7

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ” [fn]

Mat 4:8

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

Mat 4:9

And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

Mat 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, [fn] Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” [fn]

Notice that Jesus used Scripture from the book of Deuteronomy to counter the devil’s temptations!  Even the devil’s attempt to use the exact terms “it is written” were countered by Jesus when he stated, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ “

NKJV Footnotes

(4:4)

Deuteronomy 8:3

(4:6)

Psalm 91:11, 12

(4:7)

Deuteronomy 6:16

(4:10)

M-Text reads Get behind Me.

(4:10)

Deuteronomy 6:13

What’s more, when Jesus used the Scriptures and stated, “For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve,” the devil left Him!

Mat 4:11

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

The point is that Jesus was tempted like us [we are, yet] without sin.

Devotional:

We were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. –Who his own self bare* our sins in his own body on the tree.

Therefore, we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.

It is interesting to note what the term “bare” means here:

*Word Origin and History for bare [From Dictionary.com]
adj.
Old English bær “naked, uncovered, unclothed,” from Proto-Germanic *bazaz (cf. German bar, Old Norse berr, Dutch baar), from PIE *bhosos (cf. Armenian bok “naked;” Old Church Slavonic bosu, Lithuanian basas “barefoot”). Meaning “sheer, absolute” (c.1200) is from the notion of “complete in itself.”

Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

Jhn 14:15

If you love Me, keepfn My commandments.

Keeping the commandments doesn’t save us – Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins does.   But the effort we make to keep the commandments  shows that we believe and trust in Him and His promises given to us at the moment of our salvation!

The devotional concludes:

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.

[Le 1:4; 1Pe 1:18,19, 2:24; Eph 1:6; 1 Pe 2:5; Ro 12:1; Jude 1:24,25]

We can absolutely trust Jesus!

Jhn 8:42

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

*******

Hat tips to all links.

*******

How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…


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