2 Timothy 2:14-19 – “Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” NKJV
Some see no value in study of the Word or any seeking to understand the original language and I understand that everyone does not have the opportunity, diligence or tools to do so but it is important that we heed the warning of verse 14 in our pursuit of verse 15. If we engage in profane and idle babblings as described in verse 16 arguing over things not of redeeming value we diminish the power of the Gospel which is the power of God to salvation. If we are so superficial in our discussion of God’s word that we are unable to give answer for the reason of hope that is within our hearts we give the devil place to discredit the Gospel message.
I am not suggesting that every believer become a Greek and Hebrew scholar or even go out and purchase the expensive tools to examine the original language in your studies but be diligent in applying line up line and precept upon precept in our studies. I am suggesting that we allow the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus said would guide us into all truth, to take the word and help us connect the dots in such a manner as to cut straight through the false arguments with the Word of God.
In verse 23 Paul warns to avoid foolish and ignorant disputes over Scripture. Too frequently I have encountered those who profess Christ who want to major on their pet doctrines and split hairs on things that do not determine salvation and redemption. While those are important for walking out and working out their salvation and may be genuine objects of observation for them those minor points only confuse and dissuade non-believers. Early in my Christian experience I was given the following guideline. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” That was spoken to me as I was attempting to debate minor points to persuade people to adopt my views, and I was quite the Pharisee.
When we are presenting the Gospel it is wise to remember we are handling the Living Word of God which leads to Eternal Salvation. It is more precious than fine gold and to handle it carelessly can do more harm than good. Quoting isolated passages without being able to connect the dots may cause great confusion in a novice’s or non-believer’s heart. If we take the counsel of Peter and understand that prophecies and the Word of God should not be isolated and attempts to interpret isolated passages is not only dangerous it leads to error. It will be a lifetime study that carries us through the interpretation of Scripture for every passage must be considered in light of every other passage in the Word of God. In that we find that what we now understand may be modified as we gain additional light through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and diligent study. Never become closed minded but keep yourself pliable so the potter can mold us into that vessel He desires.
God bless you as you go through this day!