Scripture: “…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Remind them of these things and charge them before God not to quarrel about words—which does no good but only ruins the hearers. Do you best to present yourself to God as one approved: a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness…and their talk will spread like gangrene.
…the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. (Note) God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth and they may come to their senses…” excerpts from 2 Tim 2:1-26
Observation: “What we have heard, remind and entrust to faithful men.” This is a weighty and sobering statement, but while it is that, there is so much more to rejoice in.
Application: Everyone has an opinion. If I am not sure about this all I have to do is ask and I know I will receive one just about immediately from anybody I ask.
It is certainly what I experience today, especially about Christianity: everyone has an opinion. Sometimes it is based on thin air, sound waves echoing between the ears…sometimes it is based on the Bible complete with references only cherry picked and disjoined from other, perhaps competing biblical references.
There is my favorite hobby horse: Interpretation vs. Analysis—where “what does it mean?” is embraced ahead of “what does it say?”
I tend to lean this way: What it says is what it means. And if I am not sure about a particular verse, I read two to ten paragraphs before so I can get a running start into the trend of thought.
No charge: The most honorable statement a Disciple or amateur Theologian (like me) can make is:
“I don’t know.” I usually follow that with “it is a mystery” because for the moment it is—if I stifle the urge to plop out an opinion. I have found that taking my time and not being in a hurry to make up an answer will get me to good doctrine eventually. Getting all lathered up to “get an answer fast” has been a good way to a slippery slope.
There are two extremely significant statements in the references above:
- Entrusting faithful men, and;
- Rightly handling the Word of Truth.
Both of these statements are wound up in being faithful in Sound Doctrine and practice. Not enough to “know” something about the Bible if I am not walking faithfully and worthy of the Gospel.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, this stuff was written for me. You see my quarrelsome heart buried deep in my chest. I am working on that “patiently enduring evil” thing—difficult. I am also working on “handling the Word of Truth”—especially in the scene of “correcting others with gentleness.” How I appreciate Your Sovereignty and care in my life. I surrender. Change me O God. AMEN.