Saturday, March 8, 2014
“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).
The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to understand the Bible!
Many professing Christians spend their whole earthly lives struggling to discern God’s will. They observe their circumstances and attempt to “read between the lines and discern road signs,” they listen for instruction from “still, small voices” in their heads, they ask preachers and teachers (who rarely understand God’s will themselves), they purchase “Christian” literature and “easy-to-read” modern “bible” versions, they attend retreats and Bible conferences, they pray, and it is truly unfortunate that, despite all the effort, they often leave this life without ever getting a solid grasp of God’s Word to them. Most tragically, many not only die without understanding the Bible, but they even die in their trespasses and sins, having never realized they could have had those sins forgiven in and through Jesus Christ!
God’s will for each and every person is clearly delineated in 1 Timothy 2:4: “[God our Saviour; verse 3] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” There are two specific phrases to note: “Who will have all men to be saved” and “Who will have all men… to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (Remember, “men” is a generic term that includes all people—man, woman, boy, and girl.)
Firstly, God wants all people to be saved from their sins and eternal hellfire. The Apostle Peter elaborated on the Apostle Paul’s words: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Secondly, God wants all Christians to be saved from false teaching. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16).
Let us now briefly examine the first aspect of God’s two-fold plan for man….