"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 (KJV)
One can not help but notice the division
in churches today. Many of these divisions are caused by creeds or traditions created
by men. However, that's not what God wants for us. (Matthew 15:2-9; Acts 5:29) Instead
we are to go by what the Lord has said. (John 12:48-49; Matthew 7:21-23) Therefore,
what causes a person to obey a man made creed or tradition rather than God's word?
One answer is a lack of knowledge, that is, not studying the bible.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians he
tells them "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge
of God: I speak this to your shame." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:34
He spoke this to their shame because Paul knows how important the knowledge
of God is, Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou
hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to
me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."
This is so important that the a similar message is preached in the New Testament; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey
not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: (9) Who shall be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;"
Some may say "I go to church and listen
to the preacher" However, do you know if that man is preaching only from the bible? Paul tells us in Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy
and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and
not after Christ." Paul even warns Timothy "For the time will come when they will
not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves
teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away
their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
~ 2 Timothy 4:3-4 Peter speaks against false preachers in 2 Peter 2:19, saying: "While
they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of
whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." Therefore, let us
do as God commands when he tells us through his apostle in 1 Thessalonians 5:21
to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." Thus, the only way one can
prove if someone is going by the bible is to "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
Sadly those who choose not to study the
bible end up establishing their own righteousness that is contrary to God's righteousness.
We read this is Romans 10:1-3 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for
Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a
zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God's
righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted
themselves unto the righteousness of God." Therefore, we must study God's word because
it is the power of God unto salvation according to Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians
Paul tells us in Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Some may ask, "what is faith and where does it come from?" Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."; and Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Therefore, let us do like those in Berea did, in which the scriptures (Acts 17:11) say: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."