What does 2 Timothy 2:15 mean?
2 Timothy 2:15
NKJV - 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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I think that the idea that Paul is expressing to Timothy here is that, although Christians are all sinners saved by God's grace, Timothy (and, by extension, all Christians) should then (alluding back to 2 Timothy 2:2) through conscious effort, conduct themselves in living, and in sharing Christ with others, in such a way that they will need to feel no shame or fear because of their actions when they present themselves before God, but will be approved by Him for the manner in which they have correctly presented the gospel message to others through their lives and words. Christians should seek this approval for their actions not because those actions save them, but as visible evidence of their gratitude to God for the salvation that they have received by His grace through faith.
In my opinion as a minister of the gospel and elder in the body of christ in both word and deed, I believe the only way to approve yourself to God (besides through amazing grace) is to submit to the authority of Christ, who is the word made flesh, furthermore the word of God. To be approved is an act of study of the scriptures to the point where you understand the wisdom and knowledge of God the Father thoroughly, which the Lord has ordained for us to have through his word. This choice must be individually made by all true believers, who love Christ and wish to know him intimately through His testimony. This testimony starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation, so this pursuit is no different than your pursuit of any occupation of studies that requires an education. A doctor, a lawyer, a contractor or a minister must always be in pursuit of knowledge to hone or perfect their craft or vocation. This pursuit involves love because without love of Jesus, you can not or will not pursue this knowledge because this pursuit requires sacrifice of time and the sacrifice of fleshly pleasure that could be pursued instead. When you can answer any question put to you about the scriptures and can teach, this is a sigh of approval. Another sign of this is that the Lord will put people in your path that need answers to questions that only God's word can answer. Every Christian needs to know the scriptures thoroughly because Satan himself perverts these very scriptures to deceive the novice believer in Christ into believing false teaching, and through them newer Christians are led astray by lying, deceiving spirits. This is not a form of works righteousness. It is the pursuit of spiritual knowledge and maturity in the faith for yourself and those in your sphere of influence to share Christ's love with.
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