Ok let’s get right to the point; if we are established in God’s grace, we will see Him clearly. If we are established in the law, we will not. The same holds true in regards to the way we interpret God’s word; or the way we respond to the living word, which of course is Jesus Christ Himself. If we are not established in the grace of God, we will have poor revelation on all fronts and will ultimately misinterpret both the author and His word.
Revelation given through the empowering and ever moving grace of God, verses revelation received under law is as contrary as night and day. Because while the law remains stringent, unmovable, and condemning; the grace of God moves to wrestle the leaves of humanity, and irresistibly bring life to the soul.
To illustrate this point, I am going to use a passage we should all know well. I am going to quote this verse from the old King James because I feel it is a better translation than the new regarding this particular verse.
II Timothy 2:15 – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Unfortunately for years, I had misinterpreted this scripture to mean that I was to study the word of God in order to gain His approval; in that I would not be ashamed in His presence for my lack of knowledge regarding His word; in other words, that my theology would be straight, and as a result, I would be well pleasing in His sight.
Of course I know now that this is not what this scripture means. That it’s correct interpretation is exactly the opposite; that what it in fact means is this: That we study the word of God in order that it may accomplish what it was designed to do; which of course is to lead us into a personal relationship through divine encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. That we may come to know and understand what great love He bestowed upon us through the sufficient finality of what God provided man via the precious gift of salvation. That we would understand with clarity the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and in that, come to know God Himself. To know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. That we are established in His loving grace and realize beyond a shadow of doubt that we are the righteousness of God in Him. That we have been perfected forever; that we are without spot or blemish and beyond accusation in His sight; that it is finished. That we have been saved completely to the utmost; and as a result, there is nothing to be ashamed of, either in our lives or in the proclamation of His word.
In short, this verse is not a call to be bible answer man; it’s a call to know the living God, and what He accomplished on our behalf. To understand that we have already been approved; that we may walk in that approval, and live victoriously in Him.
Authors note: II Timothy 2:15 – The New King James instructs the believer to be diligent at presenting him or herself approved to God, while the old King James simply states – study to show thyself approved unto God. Obviously upon close examination, there is a big difference between these two interpretations. The translation in the New King James points towards our diligent work as the mechanism by which we are approved of God; while the translation in the old points to the fact that we have already been approved. One of these translations is obviously works based theology, and the other is correct. While one points to the author and finisher of our faith, and what He accomplished on our behalf; the other points directly to our works in gaining God’s approval. Now which one of these interpretations do you suppose is correct? The one that points to Jesus or the one that points to us? Pretty simple I should think..Amen!
P.S. There is no end to the study of God’s word! With this in mind, wouldn’t this be an unfinished and never ending way to gain approval?
G. L. Miller