Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Text: 2 Timothy 2:14-19
The Greek word used in verse 15 for the phrase, “rightly handling” (found only here in NT), is a metaphor that means “holding a straight course."
If you've followed the news the last few days, you know that a gigantic cargo ship is stuck in the Suez Canal. Clearly, the ship's captain didn't hold a straight course, as the ship is turned sideways, blocking one of the world's busiest shipping routes.
I'm sure the captain and other senior personal feel ashamed for their inability to keep a straight course through the narrow canal. Much effort is being made to straighten the massive ship, but so far all attempts have been unsuccessful.The picture above reminds me of futile attempts to correct someone's theology when they begin rejecting the straightforward and historically accepted interpretation of Scripture, often substituting it for a more culturally comfortable interpretation based upon human reason, experience, or conformity.
"Rightly handling the word of truth” means to guide the word of truth along a straight path without being sidetracked by wordy debates, cultural pressures, and ungodly talk. Paul’s context suggests that he is warning against deceiving interpretations in the teaching of Scripture and the proclamation of the Gospel.
Pastor Steven Cole writes, "So many Christians are haphazard and lazy rather than diligent in their approach to God’s Word. If they read it at all, they jump from passage to passage, pulling verses out of context." This is shameful. Paul tells Timothy to study Scripture like a worker. It takes effort and time to rightly handle the word of truth.
I see so many Christians stuck--their lives and relationships falling apart. But they are unwilling to search the Word daily and pursue fresh encounters with Jesus. Jesus told us, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me" (Luke 9:23). Will you?
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