Learning to Sword Fight
If you would like to listen to this message, please click this link.
Date: 6 September, 2019
Text: 2 Timothy 2:15
ill. I remember doing Sword drills when I was in school - If you think I'm old because we should have drilled with guns - this "sword drill" was with the Bible.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
exp. We'd be given a Bible Reference
- we'd hold the Bible over our head with the pages closed
- when the teacher said, "Go" we'd race to see who could find the passage first and stand
- when the teacher called on us we'd read the verse
- if it was the correct verse we'd earn a point for our team.
note: Since the Bible has such power - to cut and defend - we need to be very careful how we use the Word of God.
text: Our text this morning is one verse 2 Timothy 2:15
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
note: The epistles to Timothy and Titus - are pastoral epistles. They are written to men in ministry who have a special responsability in their use of the sword of God's Word.
exp. The Holy Spirit speaking through Paul's letter put that verse about using God's Sword correctly in the middle of verses warning about the incorrect use of the sword of God's Word.
1.) He warned about wasted words. (arguing about things that are unprofitable)
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
question: Can God make a rock so big that even He can't move it?
exp. Coffee Shop Theology - chosing to banter about something that is not going to help us one bit in our walk with God.
ill. I've met some young believers - praise God they were saved - but they were into youtube preaching. I wanted to disciple them about basic doctrines of the Word of God - but they were asking questions about things which were "words to no profit" that cause arguments.
- They don't need to be arguing eschatology (end times)
- They don't need to be arguing calvanism or remnant theology
- They don't need to be spending hours researching why we use the King James Version.
- they just need to be taught the simple truths of God's Word.
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
app. Paul warns Timothy that these arguments about God's Word have no practical benefit and turn away those who really had a desire to hear from God. Careful believer - wield the Word of God wisely.
2.) He warned about wicked words. (doctrine without practice)
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
exp. These unholy ideas using God's Word lead to an ungodly lifestyle.
def. profane - heathenish - vain babblings (empty sounding)
ill. Theistic Evolution - 1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
ill. Contemporary Preachers - who say a lot and you can't tell anyone what they just said but it sounds really acceptable to the world (heathenish)
ill. Contemporary churches - heathenish music, dress, associations - empty words that neglect to say - sin, the blood, hell, judgment,....
app. Wield the Word of God wisely - avoid heathenish empty babbling.
3.) He warned about wounding words. (liberalism)
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
exp. The downward path towards liberalism is the path of heathenism and emptying the Word of God of it's truth.
note: The resurrection is true but it was still future. They were teaching a false doctrine when they said the resurrection was past.
1.) False teaching attacking the deity of Jesus.
2.) Attacking the truth of the miraculous.
3.) Attacking the cross and the resurrection.
app. They use the Bible but they use it incorrectly. Paul is warning Timothy against the misuse of the powerful SWORD the Word of God.
now: In the middle of that passage - we find our text. Here then is the correct use of Sword, the Word of God.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We are going to have a spiritual sword drill this morning as we consider
"We need to rightly use the Sword of the Word of God."
How good are you in your use of the sword of God's Word?
I. Learn your Sword.
question: How do you learn something?
ill. If you have been here recently on a Sunday night - you've seen me play my trombone.
Brother Tommy had seen it in my office but said, "I thought it was decorative."
I started on saxaphone when I was in P4, but my pinky would lock up.
Then my parents put me on trombone - my arms weren't long enough.
They chose trombone because God provided a teacher at our school.
I took trombone lessons from then up until the end of highschool.
exp. We learn through teaching.
ill. Kay Lee turned 17 this past week. She has a provisional driver's license. The "L" plates are now in the boot of the car and I'm enjoying teaching her to drive. Even if I could, I wouldn't give her the keys and say go learn on your own. WE NEED INSTRUCTION FROM THOSE WHO KNOW.
note: If you are to learn God's Word, you need to learn from those whom God has put into the church as preacher and teachers of God's Word.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
note: Paul was a teacher preacher and he was training teacher preachers like Timothy.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
exp. A teacher preacher does exactly what our text teaches - they themselves study and learn the Word of God so that they can impart it to others - so their students can teach others.
2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
THE GREAT TEACHER BEHIND ALL THIS IS THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
exp. He inspired God's Word and gifted His servants to teach and preach God's Word - He helps you understand what is taught and convicts you of what needs to change.
Are you a student of the Word of God?
question: Have you ever tried teaching someone that has no desire to learn? It won't work.
ill. Kay Lee and I were driving and I laughed - but it wasn't at her - I was reminiscing.... thinking about my dad trying to teach me to drive a manual. It didn't work - I was not motivated - why learn a clutch when you can drive an automatic. I wasn't motivated until I had to drive a manual.
app. If you are disinterested - perhaps you haven't yet realized your need of the Word of God.
How important is Bible study to you?
ill. Our church has 4 services a week. We've studied through many books of the Bible - John, Acts,, 80 Psalms, 1-2 Corinthians, 2 Timothy, James, Philippians, Ephesians, Revelations, Psalm 119, we're currently enjoying a study in 3 books of the Bible - Romans 8, Proverbs 11, Genesis 41.
app. Is studying God's Word important to you? How badly do you want to hear from God? If you would use your sword wisely - you need to learn it - STUDY....
II. Exhibit your Sword.
def. To shew - means to exhibit - to bring before.
ill. How many of you have played an instrument in a recital? My dad and mom are gifted pianists. My dad expecially is very talented on the piano. It is probably not suprising that I was given piano lessons.
exp. In piano - we had recitals. We would practice and practice a piece to play at the recital. The recital was the opportunity to exhibit (to shew) what we had learned from our teacher and had applied to our lives in practice.
note: Even though it is good to be at church and learn from the preaching and teaching, that itself is not the end of our Christian Education. WE STUDY TO SHOW (EXHIBIT....) That means we practice and practice what we hear to be ready to SHEW it.
ill. It's not enough for a sinner to know that he needs to get saved. He must SHEW that he got saved.
Rom 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
exp. Everything we learn in God's Word ought to find application in our lives.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
question: If you watched someone look in a mirror and not fix what was obviously in need of repair - wouldn't you think - "Well that was a waste of their time."
app. Bible study is not just knowing the right answers and going your way. That would be vain. Bible study is study that is then practiced and applied to our life.
Learn your sword - study
Live your sword - to shew
III. Pass the Sword test.
ill. Kay Lee started a new online course this past week with a Christian college in the US. There was a video link that wasn't working - my wife was helping her figure it out - and my wife accidently clicked a button that said "Submit quits". There were suddenly a bunch of red checkmarks that and words that said something like, "You failed." She got a "0" on her first college quiz.... (The teacher kindly fixed it for her. She took it later and only missed one.)
exp. When test time comes, you want to be ready to do well on the test. When it comes to Christianity....
A. You have to take the test.
exp. I come from a Christian family. I marvel at the grace of God in giving me that privilige. (All of us can give the same privilige to the family that are around us.) But, when it comes to this exhibition (recital) of what I've learned - I'm the one performing.
ill. My dad, though very talented, never played a single piano recital for me (I would have loved for him to have done so.) It was time for me to exhibit what I had learned.
exp. As you study - there is one primary person for which you are responsible. "Thyself" yourself
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
app. You may think it is enough for the Pastor to know the Word of God - but that doesn't change your life - you need to study - to exhibit personally what God has taught you through His Word.
B. You need to pass the test.
exp. When I see the term approved I think of visas.
ill. Those of you who have come here from another country know the anxiousness of waiting to get your documents back hoping that they were "approved."
def. approved: has the idea of "tried and accepted."
ill. We've read about the Jones family in Thailand - friends of ours - Matt's latest prayer letter shared that he had submitted his doctrinal thesis to Maranatha Baptist Bible College where he is working on his doctorate. He said, "Now he waits" for what? Approval - tried and accepted.
app. Does your study and exhibition of what you are learning - meet the approval of the One who is examining your work?
C. Your examiner has high expectations.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
exp. I want to point out two things.
1.) God does have high expectations for us.
ill. Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
ill. In our study of Romans - we've looked at the high standard of God - God's law - impossibly high - Romans 7 shewed that it was impossibly high - our flesh CAN NOT meet the standard.
app. God's expectation today is that you deal with the sin that separated you from God and put His Son Jesus on the cross. He will not change his expectation of you even though he loves you greatly. Rather than change the standard - he has made a way through Jesus that we can meet the standard.
2.) We can meet God's expectations and please God.
1Th 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more
ill. Paul had taught them the Gospel (good news) about Jesus.
Your sin - past, present and future - was paid for by Jesus on the cross.
1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
song: "Jesus paid it all - all to him I owe - sin had left a crimson stain - he washed it white as snow."
question: Are you passing the sword test? Are you studying to shew yourself approved unto God?
Study your sword.
Exhibit your sword.
Pass the sword test.
IV. Work with your Sword.
def. workman - toiler, labourer
note: God has guarded the church by those careful enough to work hard at knowing and exhibiting God's Word.
1Ti 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
exp. This is a pastoral epistle and Paul's primary instruction is to those who are preachers/ teachers to work/ labour with the sword of God's Word.
ill. Let's put it into a modern local church context then - the man of God is treading out the corn and is worthy to eat of the fruit of his labour (salary). But, as he is treading out the corn, it is to SPIRITUALLY FEED the flock of God. Would it not be very beneficial to the flock if others began to tread out the corn with the man of God.
app. You may not be called to full time ministry. But, God may have you get up and share something from God's Word in church or your family.
Ill. Our church could have several Sunday School classed and several teachers if we had men and woman prepared to serve. BUT IF YOU AREN'T WORKING WITH YOUR SWORD - you won't be ready. 2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
- Learn your sword
- Exhibit your sword
- Pass the sword test
- Work with your sword.
V. Forget not your Sword.
that needeth not to be ashamed,
exp. It is a shameful thing to be unarmed and unable to defend your king. You need your sword at the ready to do battle for the king.
ill. Family devotions - reading about King Saul and Abner - shamed by David for being asleep and disarmed. (1 Samuel 26)
8 Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.
9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?
10 David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.
13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:
14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king?
15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.
16 This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD'S anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.
exp. Abner ought to be ashamed and die - he jeapardized his king who had the spear taken from him while they slept.
question: When the enemies of the Lord Jesus are all around us, do you find yourself ashamed with nothing to say to them about God's Word? Are you defending your king?
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
app. Would you know how to open God's Word and lead a man to Jesus? Would you know how to speak a Word before others for God? FORGET NOT YOUR SWORD - get it on and get ready. YOU WON'T NEED TO BE ASHAMED IF YOU'LL STUDY TO EXHIBIT GOD'S WORD.
- Learn your sword
- Exhibit your sword
- Pass the sword test
- Work with your sword.
- Forget not your sword.
VI. Know your Sword.
A. What does the Bible Say?
exp. So many people want to answer the question - what do I think? How do I feel? what do others say?... but question is WHAT DOES GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?
question: Do you know what God says?
ill. As you do evangelism it is amazing that so many people attend churches - some of them weekly and they can't answer from the Bible a very simple question.
question: If you were to stand before God - do you have a Bible reason why you should enter Heaven?
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
app. Do you know what God's Word says? (Know your sword....)
B. What does it mean?
def. This is to rightly expound - God's Word - not just what does it say - but application - what does it mean.
ill. The Bible records a story of Nehemiah reading God's Word to the people in Jerusalem.
1.) They read from morning to mid day
2.) All that were old enough to understand were gathered together.
3.) They stood the whole time of the reading.
Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
app. Do you know how to correctly expound the truth of God's Word and give the right meaning? KNOW YOUR SWORD.
C. Who is it from?
ill. Wa-arani - daiuma - "God's carvings.....Jesus"
question: How do you receive this book?
1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
app. If you don't believe it is from God - how could you possibly obey the verse?
D. What is it?
the word of truth.
ill. There are plenty of people that think it a good book - but not divine or true!
Psa 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
app. If you don't believe it is true in it's entirety - how can you possibly obey the verse?
We may need to do some sword drills like I did when I was a child. But - more importantly - you need to do well with the spiritual sword drills. THERE ARE MANY WRONG WAYS TO USE THE SWORD OF GOD'S WORD.
WASTED WORDS "striving about words to no profit"
WICKED WORDS "profane and vain babblings"
WOUNDING WORDS "words will eat as doth a canker"
We need to rightly use the Sword of the Word of God.
- Learn your sword (study)
- Exhibit your sword (to shew)
- Pass the sword test (Yourself approved unto God)
- Work with your sword. (a Workman)
- Forget not your sword. (That needeth not to be ashamed)
- Know your sword (Rightly dividing the word of truth.)
it is from God.
it is true.
May God help us to use the Sword of His Word.