Friday, July 24, 2009

right tool, right way

I remember a fellow once using the phrase "Right tool, wrong way." This was probably his response to me using a hammer to break rocks or a screwdriver to scrape dried paint off a table. For a tool to be useful, it should be used as it was designed.

This week, our Bible Study looked at 2 Timothy 2:15: "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." These words were penned by the Apostle Paul who was warning his young disciple to use the tool of God's Word in a way it was intended. Included in this verse are several coordinate truths.

First, there is an incorrect way to handle God's Word. It is possible for me to read, study and use my Bible the wrong way. While it might sound strange [don't we all get credit for simply opening our Bibles up this morning?!], I must remember that the worst of heresies were forged by people with the best of intentions. They just didn't handle the Word correctly.

Second, to be cavalier in the way I handle God's Word may lead to my shame. The word literally means "accusation." Flippant interpretation and application of spiritual truth makes me guilty. When life doesn't "work," I've got no one to blame but myself.

Third, I am accountable before God in the way I wield His weapon [the Bible is called a "sword in Ephesians 6:17]. Because the Bible is God's Word[s], I want to make sure I represent God accurately. A seminary professor once told our class, "You better not say 'Thus sayeth the Lord unless the Lord thus sayeth'!"

In the coming posts, I will spend a little time writing about how to study the Bible well. A few great resources for those who want to go deeper include Dr. Howard Hendrick's Living By The Book and Fee and Stuart's How To Read The Bible For All It's Worth. I hope you'll follow the next few posts to learn how to use the right tool the right way.


BRANDY said...

This doxology really helps put Christians in check with how we are really using God's word. As you refer to Ephesians 6:17 bible is called a "sword", well you would not hand a sword to a child to swing around or try to fight without teaching the child how to hold the sword, how to stand with the sword and how to fight with the sword. The a person who is not properly trained or does not study on a subject will not be effective. So my thought is one who does not study the word, knows how to stand firm in Christ and knows His word will not know how to fight this world with HIS word.

Blessings - Brandy W

Suzy Finigan said...

David, II Timothy 2:15 is my life-verse that my father gave me when I was born. He was born in 1899 and dropped out of school during sixth grade to go to work because his father died from alcoholism. Anyway, he gave me this verse because studying the Bible was utmost in his life. I can still remember my dad lying in bed with his Bible study materials on the floor...he would lean over the side of the bed and study the Word of God for hours every night by a tiny book light so he wouldn't wake my Mom. He died when I was 18 and now 40 years later his legacy of loving the Bible lives in all three of his children. I am SO looking forward to your blogposts on Bible study....keep on keeping on, Brother!

da momma said...

thanks for always keeping us in check and encouraging us to go deeper :) keep the posts coming!