In writing to Timothy, Paul made this vital admonition, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). This is a statement with which most brethren are quite familiar, and have read, quoted and heard so many times. Yet, are we impressed as we ought to be with all that is contained therein?
Study is Enjoined
Perhaps this is the thing (duty) we remember most from this reference – that we should study! For sure, and I would not discount or discourage to any degree the importance and essential need of study, and the value of it to all of us.
Approval of Self
No one can so live, act or teach so that he may secure or gain God’s approval for someone other than themselves. Individual, personal duty surely is emphasized here. If one is ever approved unto God it must be by his own work and his own efforts.
To Be a Workman
Christianity is indeed an active, demanding religion. One surely must work for a lifetime in order to gain God’s approval. We should remember that we are “workers together with God,” as Paul admonished the Corinthians (1 Cor. 3:9). By our work we may reach the place that we need not be ashamed, either before God or man.
Word To Be Rightly Divided
We must recognize the value and importance of proper division of the word of truth. We should fear making an improper division and, if proper division can be made, so can improper. Thus, we need to seek diligently for correct dividing and proper understanding of God’s Word.
Approved unto God
Some things that are not required here are “approved unto men,” “approved unto brethren,” or “approved unto self.” Seemingly, much effort is made by not a few to have the approval of either brethren or men, sometimes both, even to the oversight and neglect of gaining God’s approval. Do we not realize the vital requirement here is “approved unto God”? Let us recognize this, and then let us strive by study and effort to gain God’s approval. We may not ever gain the approval of men, but God’s approval is all that really matters in the end.