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Handle God's Word Aright'

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Nubialy, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Nubialy

    Nubialy New Member

    Jan 22, 2005

    "Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright."—2 TIMOTHY 2:15.

    WORKERS need tools to help them get their jobs done. Just having any tool, though, is not enough. A worker needs the right tool, and he must use it in the proper way. If while building a shed, for instance, you wanted to fasten two boards together, you would need more than a hammer and nails. You would have to know how to drive a nail into wood without bending the nail. Attempting to drive a nail into wood without knowing how to use a hammer would be very difficult, even frustrating. But tools handled properly help us to accomplish tasks with satisfying results.

    As Christians, we have a work to do. It is a work of paramount importance. Jesus Christ urged his followers to ‘seek first the kingdom.’ (Matthew 6:33) How can we do that? One way is by being zealous in the Kingdom preaching and disciple-making work. Having our ministry firmly rooted in God’s Word is another. Good conduct is a third way. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20; Acts 8:25; 1 Peter 2:12) To be effective and happy in this Christian work assignment, we need suitable tools and knowledge of how to handle them properly. In this respect, the apostle Paul set an outstanding example as a Christian laborer, and he encouraged fellow believers to imitate him. (1 Corinthians 11:1; 15:10) So, then, what can we learn from Paul, our fellow worker?Paul—A Zealous Kingdom Proclaimer

    What kind of worker was Paul? He certainly was zealous. Paul exerted himself strenuously, spreading the good news over a wide area around the Mediterranean area. Giving a reason for his enthusiastic proclamation of the Kingdom, this untiring apostle said: "If, now, I am declaring the good news, it is no reason for me to boast, for necessity is laid upon me. Really, woe is me if I did not declare the good news!" (1 Corinthians 9:16) Was Paul interested in saving only his own life? No. He was not a selfish person. Rather, he desired that others too benefit from the good news. He wrote: "I do all things for the sake of the good news, that I may become a sharer of it with others."—1 Corinthians 9:23.

    The apostle Paul was a modest worker who realized that he could not rely solely on his personal skills. Just as a carpenter needs a hammer, Paul needed the proper tool to inculcate God’s truth into the hearts of his listeners. What tool did he primarily use? It was God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures. Similarly, the entire Bible is the primary tool we use to help us make disciples.

    Paul knew that handling God’s Word properly involved more than quoting from it. He used "persuasion." (Acts 28:23) How? Paul successfully employed God’s written Word to convince many to accept Kingdom truth. He reasoned with them. For three months in a synagogue in Ephesus, Paul was "giving talks and using persuasion concerning the kingdom of God." While "some went on hardening themselves and not believing," others listened. As a result of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus, "the word of Jehovah kept growing and prevailing."—Acts 19:8, 9, 20.

    As a zealous Kingdom proclaimer, Paul ‘glorified his ministry.’ (Romans 11:13) How? He was not interested in self-promotion; nor was he ashamed to be known publicly as one of God’s fellow workers. Instead, he viewed his ministry as an honor of the highest order. Paul handled God’s Word skillfully and effectively. His fruitful activity provided incentive for others, helping to motivate them to accomplish their ministry more fully. In this way too, his ministry was glorified.

    Like Paul, we can glorify our work as ministers by making frequent and effective use of the Word of God. In all features of our field ministry, our goal should be to share something from the Scriptures with as many people as possible. How can we do this with persuasion? Consider three important ways: (1) Direct attention to God’s Word in a way that creates respect for it. (2) Tactfully explain and apply what the Bible says. (3) Reason from the Scriptures in a way that is convincing.

    Present-day Kingdom proclaimers have tools that were not available to Paul during his ministry. These include books, magazines, brochures, handbills, tracts, and audio and video recordings. In the past century, testimony cards, phonographs, sound cars, and radio broadcasts were also used. Of course, our best tool is the Bible, and we need to make good and proper use of this indispensable tool.

    Ministry Must Be Rooted in God’s Word

    How can we use God’s Word as an effective tool? By heeding these words of Paul directed to his coworker Timothy: "Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright." (2 Timothy 2:15) What is entailed in "handling the word of the truth aright"?

    The Greek word rendered "handling aright" literally means "straightly cutting" or "to cut a path in a straight direction." Only in Paul’s admonition to Timothy is that term used in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The same word could be used to describe plowing a straight furrow across a field. A crooked row would certainly prove to be an embarrassment to a seasoned farmer. To be "a workman with nothing to be ashamed of," Timothy was reminded that no deviation from the true teachings of God’s Word would be allowed. Timothy was not to permit his personal views to shape his teaching. He was to center his preaching and teaching strictly on the Scriptures. (2 Timothy 4:2-4) In this way, honesthearted individuals would be directed to have Jehovah’s mind on matters, not to adopt worldly philosophy. (Colossians 2:4, 8) The same is true today.

    Conduct Must Be Good

    We must do more than handle God’s Word correctly by proclaiming its truths. Our conduct must conform to it. "We are God’s fellow workers," so we must not be hypocritical workmen. (1 Corinthians 3:9) God’s Word says: "Do you, however, the one teaching someone else, not teach yourself? You, the one preaching ‘Do not steal,’ do you steal? You, the one saying ‘Do not commit adultery,’ do you commit adultery? You, the one expressing abhorrence of the idols, do you rob temples?" (Romans 2:21, 22) As modern-day workmen of God, therefore, one way that we handle God’s Word aright is by heeding this admonition: "Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight."—Proverbs 3:5, 6.

    What results can we expect from handling God’s Word aright? Consider the power that the written Word of God can have on the lives of honesthearted individuals.

    Word Has Transforming Power

    When accepted as authoritative, the message of God’s Word exerts a dynamic influence that helps people to make remarkable changes in their lives. Paul had seen God’s word in action and had witnessed its good effect upon those who had become Christians in ancient Thessalonica. He therefore told them: "We also thank God incessantly, because when you received God’s word, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers." (1 Thessalonians 2:13) For those Christians—indeed, for all true followers of Christ—the puny logic of man is no match for the supreme wisdom of God. (Isaiah 55:9) The Thessalonians "accepted the word under much tribulation with joy of holy spirit" and became examples to other believers.—1 Thessalonians 1:5-7.

    The Word of God is dynamic, as is its Source, Jehovah. It comes from "the living God," the one by whose word "the heavens themselves were made," and that word always ‘has success in that for which it is sent.’ (Hebrews 3:12; Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 55:11) One Bible scholar commented: "God does not separate himself from his Word. He does not disown it as if it were a foreign thing to him. . . . Therefore it is never dead matter, insensible to what is done with it; for it is a bond of union with the living God."

  2. retrorich

    retrorich SUPER NOT-A-MOD

    Sep 6, 2004
    Wouldn't this thread be better placed in a religious forum?
  3. jewscout

    jewscout Religious Zionist

    Sep 29, 2004
    **MOD POST**

    moved to debate forum