Duty in the Call-Sermon
Table of Contents
Opening with Scripture. 2
Why Study the Bible?. 3
Studying - Focusing on the Word and Scripture. 4
Show Yourself Approved unto GOD.. 5
No Need to be Ashamed. 5
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth. 6
Responsibility to Study. 6
To Close. 7
Opening with Scripture
Please turn with me in your bibles – your living Word, the truth we believe in, to II Timothy 2:15. When you are there, simply say “Thank you Jesus”!.
Why, as those called by God, study the Bible? II Timothy 2:15 boldly states, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
As God was speaking to me, or shall I say, as God and I were having a wonderful, intimate conversation about His Word, His message that He wanted me to deliver to all of you, and me, was appropriate for today and everyday – Simply “Duty to the Call.”
God said that not unlike the soldier, a person is given instruction to become skilled, a person studies to understand the skills necessary to go to battle, a person trains to apply the skills studied and taught by the watchful eye of the trainer, until a person is approved by the trainer to be ready – to be prepared to go to battle to fight for freedom.
God said that we who are called are soldiers for a higher cause, a higher purpose. God has given us the instruction book to become skilled at proclaiming the Word of God to those souls He wishes to minister to.
In II Timothy 2:15, those called are to study. Those called are to train in what they have studied, under the watchful eye of God Almighty, being more and more assured - bold in our ability to rightly divide the Word of God, those called showing themselves approved unto God – As soldiers going to battle for lost souls.
Brothers and Sisters, the Bible is a living Book. Sadly, some have no interest in studying it. Can you understand - Do you understand the value, the majesty, the joy of Bible study??? Our beliefs as sons and daughters of God are based on the whole of Scripture – the Word of God. The Bible declares in 2 Timothy 3:16 ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness’
My time in short today, but I going to be real with you as God is real with me. This message was much longer than I am sharing with you, but the bread broken here is power and empowerment.
Why Study the Bible?
Our lead scripture verse directly applies to Timothy under the instruction of Paul in Timothy’s office of Pastor/Teacher. The apostle Paul tells us that proper Bible study leads to approval from God. The same verse also speaks of other benefits related to study. First, as workmen, we need not be ashamed, if we study God’s Word. What happens is that studying becomes fulfilling and satisfying! You and I have done what God expects us to do-an acceptable type of self-approval.
Rightly dividing the Word of Truth-knowing the Bible, inside and out-takes a lifetime.
God’s Holy Spirit opens one’s mind to this spiritual understanding (Psa. 119:18; John 16:13). True biblical knowledge and understanding come from diligent effort and God’s Spirit working in you.
God expects us to familiarize ourselves with His Word. Only by fully appreciating it will we then act on it. Christ said, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).
And as Paul admonished Timothy is II Timothy 3:15, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus”. Paul continued in verses 16-17 saying, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Taking in the Word of God for spiritual nourishment surpasses the need of taking in physical food. The Bible provides the light to avoid the pitfalls in the life. The Bible – the Word of God, gives us wisdom to understand the heavy aspects of salvation.
Studying - Focusing on the Word and Scripture
In the The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, the word “STUDY” is a verb, and action, that is defined as:
1. The act or process of studying.
2. The pursuit of knowledge, as by reading, observation, or research.
3. To examine closely; scrutinize
4. To apply one’s mind purposefully to the acquisition of knowledge or understanding of (a subject).
5. To read carefully.
2 Tim 3:16-17]:
(v. 3:16) “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
(v. 3:17) so that the man of God many be throroughly equipped for every good work.”
By dutifully studying the Bible every day, we can familiarize ourselves with Who God is, so that we too can discern godly behavior from the ungodly - what to obey and what not to. This takes discernment, which comes only out of an committed study of what God has to say on matters in the Bible.
Let’s listen to the thrust of some of Paul’s instructions here having to do with the ministry of the Word.
II Tim 1:13-14: “Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; (14) guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.”
II Tim 2:1-2: “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, (2) and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others also.”
II Tim 3:16-17 “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
II Tim 4:2: “preach the word—be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.”
“Study to show [yourself] approved.” This involves the whole me—the whole you - heart, soul, and mind. The good news of Christ Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection to all power has been passed on to us in written form. If you neglect the study of the Word, it is not only to our own stumbling, but also to that of our hearers.
Show Yourself Approved unto GOD
WordNet, which is an on-line dictionary on the internet, defines the action word “show” as (1), To cause or allow to be seen; display, (2), To reveal (oneself) as in one’s behavior or condition, (3) to demonstrate to by reasoning or procedure; inform or prove to.
The word “approved” is defined as (1), established by authority; given authoritative approval; “a list of approved candidates” , (2). to make proof of; to demonstrate; to prove or show practically, (3), to sanction officially; to ratify; to confirm, (4), to regard as good; to commend; to be pleased with; to think well of; as, (5), to make or show to be worthy of approbation or acceptance.
Apostle Paul goes on with the focus of this diligence: “present yourself approved to God.” The adjective “approved” has the connotation both of being tested and of passing the test. In other words, this process takes time. We know God through his Word. If we discount the Word, we discount God. Paul tells us that we are to present ourselves, our whole selves, to God. We must long for His approval and no one else’s.
No Need to be Ashamed
The apostle Paul continues on in the II Timothy 3:15 with a description of the person approved by God. The person is a workman who has no need to be ashamed. He is unashamed because he knows that God approves of his work, regardless of what anyone else thinks of it. If you think about what a workman is or does, it is not glamorous work!
Paul is not speaking here of a craftsman, or an eloquent speaker, or a high-paid professional. The picture we should have is not that of great skilled person, but of a person with deep integrity. The workman does not need to be ashamed because they have put in an honest day’s work. This is what God requires of us: our greatest ability is our availability to do for Him.
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
What the diligent and faithful workman is to divide, is the word of truth. This is the gospel message. Apostle Paul speaks of the message as truth, because this verse is set against the backdrop of false teachers. These false teachers are those who peddle the word for profit. The false teachers lack courage because they are living for the wrong audience. They impress listeners with entertaining and flattering speech. They are more interested in making people laugh or say “AMEN!!!” than in showing people their sins. Courage and truth go hand in hand! If you lack courage, you will not pursue the truth.
Being real, the Church today is filled with so-called workmen who have every reason to be ashamed! These workmen go to the Bible with their own prejudices and never adjust their life because they never see the truth.
Now, you might think that I’m not speaking to you. You may say, “I’m don’t do that or have that issue because I know Greek and Hebrew – or you have degrees. ” The reality is, those who know biblical languages or have went to school are in the greatest danger of abusing Scripture. If you don’t put some serious time in God’s word, in a focused pursuit of truth, submitting your life to what you learn before you speak to others, those you speak to will pay the price (you cause others to stumble or die!), and it a very costly price that you will be accountable for!
Responsibility to Study
It must be understood that God the Holy Spirit is our Teacher and in 1 John 2:27, it states, ‘And as for you, the anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any one teach you; but as his anointing teacheth you; concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, ye abide in him.
Moreso, each of us has the responsibility to study the words of God’s Word! In Joshua 1:8, it states, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Since all of us has the responsibility to meditate on the words of God’s Word all the time, so that we might obey them, that a study of them on our own is required - which the scope goes far beyond what our Earthy teachers would be capable of providing for us. A personal detailed study of those words by each of us would be required in order to understand them so that obedience to them would be possible.
It is God the Holy Spirit - the Teacher – which dwells in every one of us who are called by the Holy Spirit and has the responsibility of being the teacher of the scriptures. In John 14:26, it reads, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
So, those called are ministered to directly by God the Holy Spirit relative to the instruction in the Word of God. This ministry is then enhanced by each of our efforts to study the bible on our own as well as being under the instruction of others in the body of Christ who have the spiritual gift of pastor, teacher, evangelist, and other gifts, in order to instruct us, so that God the Holy Spirit has something to work with and verify as true or untrue within each of us called.
Brothers and Sisters, we need to put aside human opinion, human scholarship, and human experience as a means of finding truth, and permit the totality of Scripture to become their exclusive authority. We must read and study the Bible to know Jesus; not for our self glorification.
Jesus said in verse John 5:39, “Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me.” You don’t get saved by reading the Bible, you get saved by what Jesus did on Calvary – His blood and His death and His Resurrection to all power and glory. People say, I believe in the Bible, I believe in God, I go to church “ That doesn’t mean anything.
The Bible is to reveal Jesus! He said, “The Bible testifies about me.” Amen! What do we read the Bible for? To see Jesus. To know Jesus. To follow Jesus. To spread the good news about Jesus.
Don’t read the Bible just to store knowledge up. Read it to know God. We said today that we need to study the Bible, we need to rightly divide the Bible, we need to be approved of God, and we need to look into this Word to see the face of Jesus. If one thing happens today, I hope you have been inspired to see the absolute necessity of studying scriptures. You need to know the life of the one you’re serving and that’s Jesus, Lord and Saviour.
I would like to conclude this message by stating this:
(1) Ministering takes hard work.
(2) We must study with a sense of delight, of awe, of passion. Make each day count, for tomorrow is not promised. All of our study must be offered up as an act of worship to God.
(3) We must offer to God the whole of us – the whole you – mind, body and soul. For the minister of the Word, holiness is not an option. But neither is knowledge. Further, the Bible is not just about behavior modification; it is also about belief modification. And what I believe—if I truly believe it—will affect my behavior.
(4) The minister of the Word must be engaged in the breathless pursuit of truth. “rightly dividing the word of God” involves a solid commitment to the gospel message. Christ must be central in our teaching and our thinking. Jesus died on the cross for us-for you-for me.
(5) We must study to show ourselves approved. Study to show yourself approved, so you can rightly divide the Word. God ‘s Word must be correctly divided by people who are consistent and faithful, people of integrity, people who love God, and express that by the way they treat each other. It should be expressed by the way they care and help each other, and the way that they live together.
Study, read, educate your spiritual self with biblical truths, because the Bible says in Hosea 4:6 “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” So we must be knowledgeable about the things of God and obey them.
I leave you with this - the very last thing Peter said (2 Peter 3:18) was that we were to, “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. Fully commit yourself to a plan of study so that you know all of the basic truths of the Scripture. Then go and continue to study to get the juicy details. Study is lifelong and life strong!