Most Christians acknowledge in some way that God has spoken to us through His word and that all scripture is God breathed, or Divinely inspired. Often times however, many professing believers do not allow the Holy Spirit to speak to them through the written word of God.
Most people want to know that God loves them, that He has a good plan and a future for them, that they are wanted and that they have a purpose for their existence without having to struggle with terms that are not used in their everyday vocabulary.
A simple answer to such a question as, “God, do you love me?” is what they want. It is “Yes” and a clear yes at their level at a given point in time.
If someone is in a desperate predicament facing a life or death situation, a theological approach could be totally useless. A quick, “Lord, help. Save me” prayer is all that is required. This person could be staring down the barrel of a gun pointed at them, or in an airplane that is going down, so it probably would not matter about the parsing of a passage, or if a particular word is in the masculine or not. A quick, “Help me” is what is required.
Reading the word of God can be a simple matter, whereby the reader can come to God in a simple and workable manner, or become bogged down in terminology without having God actually “touch them” or “speak to them”. This is what matters most and this is the approach in my studies. I would like you, a real person, with real needs, issues and problems, real experiences in life, to know not just about God, but actually know Him and understand how you can relate in real terms with each other. I must be careful in what I say and how I say it, but I have found that the pure academic or theological approach does not always achieve this. It often discounts the role of the Holy Spirit in imparting truth to us.
Paul advised Timothy-
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.
Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.
This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus.
They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith. But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The LORD knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the LORD must turn away from evil.” 2 Timothy 2:13-19
A portion of this in the KJV reads-
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
The word approved is dokimos. It relates to the assaying of precious metals. Gold or silver is purchased by weight and if you paid a certain sum for the precious metal, you would not like to be cheated and not receive the correct weight in return for your money. It can also refer to counterfeits whereby base metal is coated with a thin layer of gold or silver.
Unscrupulous money changers often shaved rough edges of coins and saved the filings. When they collected enough, it was a considerable amount.
The term used to ensure that after appropriate testing, the gold is genuine and is correct weight is dokimos. God wants us to have the full, pure and accurate measure.
Another word to look at is orthotomeo that is derived from two other words. One is orthos and it refers to being right, correct, honest,level or straight. The other is tomos and it means to cut. It speaks about making a clean, sharp, clearly defined single cut as opposed to repetitive hacking. Medical terms are derived form these words and it can relate to the work of a surgeon whose operations are performed with sharp instruments and the making of precise incisions.
Summing them up it simply means that God does not want us to guess, and chop and change, but accurately know for sure what He has said.
The word workman refers to fellow-labourers, co-workers, labourers and teachers. Part of the original word is ergon that talks about energy or to toil. Whilst some reference is made to this as one’s occupation, it applies to all believers, who are to spend some time and effort, hence, energy, in studying God’s word.
There are 10,080 minutes per week. We could watch TV for, say, 800 minutes a week, go to our job for 2,400 minutes, sleep for a similar time and still have at least 4000 minutes remaining. With proper time management as good seawards of what God has given us, surely we could spend some of that time with the Lord
It is up to the individual to do what is possible and we can all do that.
The role of the Holy Spirit is to teach us and to reveal truth.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.John 14:15-31
...when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. John 15:26-27
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:7-15
It is my belief that, based on such scriptures and personal experience in my walk with the Lord for more than 50 years, that if anyone really wants to know the truth, the Holy Spirit is the way to receive it. When we read scripture, He and He alone is our best source. Trust Him!