2 Timothy 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
This verse might sound complicated. You see words like, “Approved, diligent, workman, and accurately handling the word of truth”, but it simply means we need to be growing in our understanding of Scripture. Sometimes this can seem a bit broad so let me give you 3 Stages of growing in your understanding of Scripture:
The first stage is what I call, “Becoming familiar.” In this stage, you need to determine if you believe in the authority, clarity, and necessity of Scripture. Don’t be too quick to move pass this stage because there are going to come verses and moments in life where it is going to be challenged, and you need to determine if you are going to place yourself under the authority of Scripture.
If you find yourself in this stage then you need to do some research, and learn how Scripture has come together throughout history. You need to learn the criteria for which they identified authors and writings, so you can feel confident in the authority of Scripture. Either way, you don’t want to land on thoughts like, “I guess we can never know. It doesn’t really matter. Or, everyone has their own understanding.”
The second stage is what I call, “Getting the basics.” In this stage you are just learning structure. You are learning that Old Testament and New Testament is broken into three themes: History, Poetry and Prophecy, and all of it is pointing toward Jesus. You are learning a time line in your head. You are learning about people. You are learning books of the Bible, and you are getting to a point so that when you study on your own, or hear a sermon that you have an idea where that passage shows up in the whole of Scripture.
Some of you are in this stage. You know some names, you know some people, you’ve worked some flannel graphs in your day good to enough to make you dangerous with the Bible. You don’t want to know about the Bible. You want to know the Bible. You want to read a book called, “30 Days to Understanding the Bible” by Max Anders. It is fantastic, and you can move through the second stage in 30 days!
The third stage is called, “Personal study.” In this stage you are learning how to study Scripture. You are learning to ask, “Who, what, when, where, why” and you are learning about others followers of Jesus throughout history. You are learning about David Brainerd who was a missionary to the Native Americans in the 1700’s. You are learning about C.T. Studd in the 1800’s and Amy Carmichael in the early 1900’s.
You are learning that you and I are just people in a long line of men and women throughout history learning about Jesus and living for Jesus. It is going to change the way you read Scripture, so much so that you will be able to study Scripture so that you can palm books of the Bible like you palm a basketball.
Every one of us can do this. It is going to take some time, but if you put yourself in a place to learn and grow then I guarantee you in 3 months you would be in a different place spiritually.