Paul urged Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). We learn several things from this simple statement:
Each one of us has a personal responsibility to know what one believes and why on the basis of an individual knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
This responsibility has been placed upon each of us by God himself and cannot be pushed off on anyone else.
The knowledge God requires does not come miraculously or by osmosis but only through diligent study
One cannot merely accept what others have learned from their study, but each must think the issues through and come to a careful and clear understanding for oneself.
It is also implied that one must have carefully thought through the common questions of life that confront all generations.
The Bible is not to be studied in a vacuum as though it were abstract theory but must be practically applied to all aspects of daily life.
One of the besetting sins of mankind is to elevate unduly those whom one admires, to fear them, to seek their approval, to grant them a special status, to let them do our thinking for us and eventually to follow, honour and worship them instead of God.
We all need correction. We need to lovingly correct one another, to think for ourselves, to follow the Lord and not men and not to allow any leader to get in a position where, like a Hindu guru, he cannot be accountable. And those who show an unwillingness to be corrected should be disqualified from leadership. Some pastors insist that ordinary Berean Christians have no right even to question the prophets. That is heresy. We not only have the right, but we have the obligation before God to hold Christian leaders accountable.
We want to help when that help is needed; and we want to assist you in your understanding and growth as we hope you will assist us. But there is a depth of understanding, a solid purpose of heart and assurance that can only come through individual hard work as you “study to shew thyself approved unto God” (2 Tim 2:15)….I want to encourage you to do that, because I am convinced that we live in very dangerous days. The apostasy and seduction are going to get much worse, and only those who walk closely with the Lord and are daily in His Word and are aware of the growing delusion around them and are thinking issues through for themselves under the leading of the Holy Spirit will stand the severe tests ahead. May our Lord protect and give you grace to stand firm in your commitment. And may He enable you to rescue many before it is forever too late.
– Dave Hunt