Focal Passage: II Timothy 2:14-19, 22-26
It is a well-known fact that biblical illiteracy is at an all-time high. This is true of those outside of the church. But it is also true of those within the church.
The people of “The Book” often do not know their own “Book.” This is sad and disturbing. In order to know God’s Word a person must study God’s Word. This was the Apostle Paul’s entire point to Timothy (and to us) in the text before us — the believer must diligently study, faithfully apply and obediently follow God’s Word.
Diligent study, II Timothy 2:14-15. The diligent study of God’s Word does not mean quibbling over words and useless arguments. Words matter, but getting “lost in the weeds” on useless issues that have no import on the meaning of God’s Word actually detract from the meaning of God’s Word. As verse 14 notes, such arguments “ruin those who listen.”
Instead of useless issues, we are to diligently study God’s Word as one who presents himself “to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed” (v. 15). We are to rightly or correctly handle and teach God’s Word.
Faithful study, II Timothy 2:16-19. The diligent study of God’s Word produces the faithful study of God’s Word. “Irreverent and empty speech” (v. 16) produces nothing but godlessness and spiritual “gangrene” (v. 17). Hymenaeus and Philetus are mentioned as examples of those who departed from God’s truth, teaching falsely about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Their false teaching had ruined the faith of some, and it still does.
But in spite of false teachers and teaching, God’s truth is a solid foundation that does not fail in the life of His people, people whom the Lord knows and has saved as they called on His name. God’s people turn away from wickedness not toward it.
Obedient study, II Timothy 2:22-26. The diligent, faithful study of God’s Word leads to obedient living. Fleeing “youthful passions” accompanies pursuing “righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (v. 22). Obedient people are not quarrelsome people (vv. 23-24). They don’t have time to quarrel because they’re busy pursuing God’s will.
Instead, obedient people know God’s Word, are patient with others, able to teach the unlearned so that through their obedient actions God will grant sinners repentance, come to their senses and escape the trap of the evil one. But what are the mechanics of studying God’s Word.
Tips for studying God’s Word. First, we must read the Word of God. This is what is called gathering information. Second, thinking about what we have read is key. This is called meditation, where we think about what we have read.
Third, information and meditation leads to transformation. God’s Word begins to make us different as a result of knowing and thinking on God’s Word. Fourth, we must pray as we study God’s Word, asking the Holy Spirit to be our teacher as He illumines God’s written revelation.
Fifth, application is the desire to actually live out and apply what we have read. Finally, sharing the Word with others allows others to be changed by God’s Word and reinforces in us the truth of God’s Word. B&R