2 Timothy 2:15
The Greek word, spoudazo, used here in the beginning of this verse is translated “study.” This word is also translated “be zealous.” The apostle Paul admonished young pastor Timothy to have a zealous attitude in his study of the Scriptures. Timothy was being encouraged to exert himself and give diligence to the Word of God.
False teaching ran rampant in the first century, and Paul knew that there had to be an all-out effort given by those who teach the Word of God to combat the errors of the day. Those who were hearers of the Word of God needed preachers and teachers who could not only show the errors of the false teachers, but could also present the Scriptures accurately. This is where Paul chose to use a great phrase that accurately describes how the Bible teacher should approach their study “rightly dividing.” This phrase could also be accurately translated cutting straight. This was a call for precision and exactness in the breaking down and presentation of Scripture.
We live in a culture today that is much like the culture that young pastor Timothy found himself in nearly two thousand years ago. There is a lot of confusion and misinformation when it comes to what the Bible teaches. Now, as much as any time, we must be precise in our presentation of Scripture. That exactness will only come through taking a zealous or diligent effort in our study of the Word.
JUST A THOUGHT
Are you rightly dividing the word of truth with a zealous approach?
Tag Archives: Word of God
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” Hebrews 4:12.
Now and again a thorough cleaning of the heart does us good.
Psychologists and those in the mental health field say that denial can be the stumbling block to overcoming harmful habits. Denial often keeps us from becoming our personal best. Christians are no different. We should know better, but because we are human, we suffer the same faults and failures as unbelievers. Each of us needs God’s Word to clean out our dark thoughts and reveal to us the true intent of our hearts.
For this reason, Bible preachers and teachers are relevant to a healthy society and to a healthy church. When pastors and teachers obey the Holy Spirit and preach thus saith the Word of God, He can sweep the corners of our minds and hearts and alert us to the sins we may deny and conceal from others. For this reason, they should preach unapologetically God’s message to sinners and saints alike for the hearer’s good and His glory.
In the past, the people of Israel did not always appreciate the prophet’s message from God, but they needed to hear and heed it, if not for themselves, for the next generation’s benefit.
Lord, thank You, for sweeping through my thoughts and the intents of my heart, and revealing every thing I was denying. Heavenly Father, as You revealed my sins, You also promised not to leave me in my sins and to be my strong help in my time of need.
The Word of God prevailed
1771 – The Potomack Baptist Church was founded on this date having been planted by the Chappwamsic Baptist Church and their pastor David Thomas. Thomas was a Regular Baptist from Pennsylvania and was probably the most learned of the early Baptist preachers of Virginia. He settled in the Northern part of the colony and was continually threatened by ruffians with clubs and guns as were many of our early preachers. The Chappwamsic church produced some of the greatest of our early church planters like Jeremiah Moore, Daniel Fristoe, and his brother William. William wrote an early history of the Ketocton Baptist Association and planted the Potomack Baptist Church. William Fristoe experienced the same treatment, and became the object of those same despisers of the gospel. The planting of these churches was resisted by large gangs of men with clubs and rocks as they attempted to break up the meetings and beat the preacher. One example involved a gang of around forty men led by Robert Ashby, who entered the meetinghouse with the purpose of disrupting the meeting. Some stout fellows at the door threw Ashby out. This involved the whole multitude in a huge fight. Soon after, Ashby cut his knee, and it became infected and literally hung by the hamstrings. On his sickbed he desired preaching, but when the preacher would begin preaching he would stop his ears. He died a horrible death of great suffering. So strongly did it impress the people that God had intervened that it put a damper on those that were trying to hamper the meetings. We can say with certainty what they said of the early church in the book of Acts, So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
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Lewis Craig grave site
The Bold Preacher Who Fled Fast
Toliver Craig and his wife, of Orange County, Virginia, were the parents of three sons who became Baptist preachers. They had very effective ministries in the area surrounding their home. David Thomas, the Regular Baptist, and Samuel Harriss and James Read, the Separate Baptists, had introduced the gospel of the grace of God into their community. It was not long until the Craig family became flaming evangels, preaching the Word of God everywhere and anytime they had opportunity. As a result of this zeal, the sons Elijah and Lewis Craig found themselves in the county jail. Elijah was incarcerated four times, twice each in Culpeper and Orange County jails. Lewis was imprisoned only twice, once in Caroline County and once in Spotsylvania County, although he was arrested four times. These imprisonments were for preaching the gospel of the Son of God without state-church ordination or state licensure, although they were charged with being vagrants, strollers, or disturbers of the peace.
These brothers probably appeared eccentric in their day, but their younger brother, Joseph, was a very unusual man. He was a man of small stature, stooping shoulders, and hardy complexion. He was very active in business and persevered as a traveling preacher. There is a court record in Orange County Court House dated May 26, 1768, charging him and several others with absenting themselves from the parish church. This may have been due to his conversion experience prior to that date and his presence at Baptist meetings. In spite of several charges against him, to our knowledge he never saw the inside of a jail, doubtless due to the fact that he was a fast runner.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/ Cummins pp. 215 -216.
On Jan. 10, 1887, the Baptists of Burma sent a reply to the Anglican Bishop of Rangoon, Burma, and the British and American Bible Societies request made in 1886 to reprint Judson’s Burmese translation but with one change – replacing “immerse” with the transliteration “baptize.” Judson’s reply to an earlier request had been, “I would rather lose my right hand than tamper with the Word of God.” The Baptists said that they understand that they want to use the transliteration “baptize” or a neutral word that all denominations might use, rather than the word “immerse”, “not on the ground that [it] is an incorrect or inadequate translation of the Greek word, but because it is not acceptable to other denominations of Christians. You seem to regard it as more important to please these other denominations than to make the Burman version mean the same thing to the Burman that the Greek Testament means to the Greek…We are compelled to decline.” After giving several supporting reasons to back up this opening statement the letter closes with this poignant thought: “What you really mean is, that you will not circulate such a version if it be made by Baptists…you will circulate it if made or used by a people who say, ‘I immerse thee,’ when they simply apply their wet fingers to the forehead of the candidate…” J.N. Murdock, Cor.[esponding] Secretary. As David L. Cummins says, “May we be as faithful as these Baptists in upholding the truth of God’s Word”!
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 20-22.
SOMETHING I HAVE NOTICED
Once upon a time – maybe that is not the proper way to begin this article, but it is the way I choose. What appears to me to be popular is to read books written by men and thereby gain our Biblical knowledge. The problem that I see is, this is not Biblical knowledge but what some one else states is Biblical.
Our fore-fathers displayed such a profound depth of knowledge in their day that it should shame us today in the shallowness of our “Jesus living.” These men, many with an education that left a lot to be desired learned how to study the Word of God. The availability of the men written books were limited and they had to pursue the Word of God and became knowledgable in the truths of the Word by direct study of God’s Word. Now our command is – “Study to whew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Tim. 2:15.
I see a great problem that is occurring at this time. People have forgotten the rudiments of studying. A simple reminder might be appropriate.
Isaiah 28:9 lays out the method of study clearly when it says – “Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 – For precept must be upon precept, precept uon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 – For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 – “To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 – But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. 14 – Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
Every time I read weaned, I remember what my father called those saved that were shallow – “BOTTLE BABIES. There are to many that are exactly what Romans 10:2 describes – “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” This is about the same as a car going down the street at top speed with no driver at the wheel and it careens at every bump it hits. That is a dangerous situation.
Will we learn to study the Word of God and not man’s opinion of the Word. May we use wise principles of precept on precept and line on line.