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What does it mean to study to show thyself approved unto God?

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Evangelism 2019  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:32
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The aim that one takes in studying God's word determines if one is approved of God or not.

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2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Introduction:
This verse well-illustrates the need for understanding that word meanings may change, and we must be ever on guard against misapplying or twisting scripture, even when we try to teach the truth.
The rendering, study to show thyself approved unto God is found only in the King James Version, translated in the year 1611.
In 1611 the word study meant strive, or be diligent.
Thus the New American Standard Bible renders the verse, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
The New International Version renders the verse, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
The paramount aim of the Bible student should be to learn the will of God, not merely as a matter of academic interest, but as the sole and supreme guide for his life. He may do that which is highly displeasing to the Lord through sheer ignorance. It behooves every Christian to make a serious effort to master the contents of the sacred Scriptures, and this is how he should approach that effort.

I. God’s Word should be studied with Reverence.

Reverence = awe; fear of God; discretion; caution; circumspection;
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28-29).
Hebrews 12:28–29 ESV
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Proverbs 28:14 ESV
Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

II. God’s Word should be studied with Prayerfullness.

“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Ps. 119:18).
Colossians 1:9 ESV
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Psalm 119:18 ESV
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

III. God’s Word should be studied with Diligence.

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).
Jeremiah 29:13 ESV
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Psalm 119:2 ESV
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
Luke 11:9–10 ESV
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

IV. God’s Word should be studied with Meekness.

Meekness = gentleness; humility; courtesy; mildness
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:21, 22; cf. 1 Peter 2:2).
James 1:21 ESV
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
1 Peter 2:2 ESV
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—

V. God’s Word should be studied with Carefulness.

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18; cf. 2 Tim. 2:15).
2 Peter 3:18 ESV
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

VI. God’s Word should be studied with Trustfulness.

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb. 11:3; cf. Isa. 7:9b).
Hebrews 11:3 ESV
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Isaiah 7:9b ESV
And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.’ ”

VII. God’s Word should be studied with Obedience.

“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17; cf. John 13:17; Matt. 7:24, 25).
John 7:17 ESV
If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
John 13:17 ESV
If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Matthew 7:24–25 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
James 1:22 ESV
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Conclusion:
The goal of being an approved workman should be the goal of all of God’s children. In the verses immediately before 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul stressed the importance of living faithfully before God, even to the point of suffering.
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12).
2 Timothy 2:12 ESV
if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;
He then told Timothy, Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers (2 Timothy 2:14).
2 Timothy 2:14 ESV
Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.
The evangelist Timothy was to remind his hearers of the sacrifice of Christ, the need for serving Him, and the need to work diligently to be approved workmen before God.
The diligent application of all our energy to the service of God will allow us to join Timothy standing before God without shame.
Nothing will help us more to please God than to handle carefully and correctly God’s written word.
We should look to the written word of God with the same reverence as the psalmist who wrote, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).
Psalm 119:105 ESV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
In conclusion, consider Colossians 3:16:
Colossians 3:16 ESV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

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