“Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15).”
All believers are called to properly handle the Word of Truth, especially those who are called by God to lead and teach others. James 3:1 warns pastors that they will be judged more strictly if they pursue the role of an educator or leader in the Church. Therefore, it is imperative that followers of Christ be cognizant of this warning and remain diligent in accurately parsing eternal truths.
This idea of diligence comes from the Greek word Σπούδασον, which means to hasten or be earnest in presenting yourself to God as a person devoted to Scripture. Moreover, the apostle Paul uses the Greek word ὀρθοτομοῦντα, which literally means to make a straight cut or dissect the Word of God with extreme care. Finally, this passage uses the Greek word δόκιμον, for workman, which means one who has proven themselves to rightly divide the Bible.
As a seminary graduate, I can attest that this passage is convicting because I often feel inadequate to accurately handle the word of God. I learned Greek, Hebrew, hermeneutics, and read several theological papers; however, I believe no one can truly say they are a “Master of Divinity.” Even though I hold that title in the educated world, all my trust and confidence is in the Holy Spirit.
The only “Master of Divinity” is the Holy Spirit. When we rely on the third person of the Trinity to be our advocate and teacher, as the Lord says, then we can remain confident and bold in teaching others to obey God’s commands. Without the Spirit of God, we are powerless, carnally-minded, and without hope. But when the Mighty Counselor dwells within our hearts, minds, and souls, we are able to dissect the truth because God is our Great Physician. Let’s pray.
Dear heavenly Father,
Thank you for creating this marvelous world. We praise you for sending your Son Jesus to die on our behalf so that we could be made righteous, holy, and clean. We honor you for sending the Holy Spirit to teach, counsel, and guide us in the mysteries of the gospel. Holy Spirit, we cling to you as believers in Christ. Without your unction and conviction, we are not able to accurately divide your eternal truths. Dwell in us and inspire us to understand the beauty of the greatest story ever told. Amen.Written by Chad A. Damitz
Brilliant post. As someone who unwittingly ends up teaching others the Scripture, and as a father, I feel the burden of James 3:1, but like you aptly pointed out, the solution is 2 Timothy 2:15. These days, my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will add understanding & wisdom when I open the Scriptures because if He doesn’t, not only will I interpret & apply what I read incorrectly, I’ll also lead others into the same errors. I am absolutely confident that He will.
Thank you for those encouraging words. May the Holy Spirit continue to equip you to teach the marvelous truths of the gospel to the world. Blessings!