The Bible is a Job Description
II Tim 2:14-18
14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
We get our information about God from the Bible primarily. God works in our lives, but the Bible judges our experience and is the standard for how God works. We use the word canon. Old Testament canon, New Testament canon. The word canon means measuring rod.
If we have a measuring rod, then the question is “What is being measured?” This is the beginning of a quest for life, a quest for truth, a quest for love, a quest to live best in our world. And that is what the Bible is given to us for. We have God’s Word so that we might know God and in knowing God we might have life.
John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And the Word became flesh.
- Correctly Handle the Bible
- The Bible is called the Word of Truth
We are called to correctly handle the “Word of Truth.” And in this passage we see errors that work in more than one direction.
- We must handle the truth
Examples from this passage of not doing it well.
- Quarreling about words. Avoid Hyper particularity.
- Godless chatter. Philosophy apart from God. Not gonna help with what we really need, which is wisdom into how to follow Jesus. There is no need to develop a worldview that eliminates God from the picture. In what way is that helpful?
- Departing from the truth: saying the resurrection has already taken place. (Prophetic speculation). The fact that we don’t see God or speak to Him face to face requires us to be humble. It also leaves open some room for speculation where people can go around and garner interest and just speculate. Hal Lindsey. The Jupiter effect. Statements about the nation of Israel and the return of Christ within one generation. The way Israel is viewed in general. (Like they are the people of God.)
- The Holy Spirit helps
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you.
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.
I John 2:
19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
- Let scripture interpret scripture
- The Goal is to be A Good Worker
- Big picture of your life
Family member in all of its parts. (Every family is different, and some do not have family.)
Member of the community
God has laws that govern all of these different aspects of our lives. We need to handle His truth well so we can be a good worker.
Eph 2: 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Phil 2: 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
- Use all of your skills
Make everything spiritual. Make a choice, don’t worry about “feeling” something first. The more of our lives we see as directed by God, the more meaning we add to our lives. And the more responsible we are to obey!
And what does a worker do that is approved? They do a good job. How do we determine whether or not we have done a good job? We compare what we have done to our job description. What is our job description? Jesus is our job description, but He is a conceptual description. What would Jesus be like as a truck driver? As a mechanic? As a sales person? As a nurse? As a teacher? As a pastor? As a retired person? As an artist? As a fisherman? As a hunter? As a photographer? As a mother?
- The Bible contains your job description
Where do we find our job description? Let me tell you, this is what the Bible is all about. It contains our job description and that is what this passage tells us!
What is necessary in order to do the job that you do?
- Show up: You must be available
- Follow instructions: You must submit to the job
- Respond to the needs of those you are hired to serve
- Develop skills: You will require training.
In looking at the Bible, it can be challenging to understand and therefore apply to our lives properly.
III. Understand How to Interpret Scripture
When we look at a Scripture passage, there are some strict principles to follow that we must follow in order understand what God has communicated.
- Every passage of Scripture has one main interpretation. And the key issue is this: What did the author intend for the readers/ listeners to understand. And that is the point of the passage.
(you may read a passage and God may speak to you through the words of the passage, but that does not make that meaning the appropriate interpretation of that passage. Phil 4:13.
- Language is somewhat flexible in terms of what words and phrases mean. So, we must be careful to not be overly literal. An author can use figures of speech, hyperbole, parables, etc. But, we also must avoid over allegorizing. Literature styles have an impact on meaning. (parables,
proverbs, poetry, organizational styles.)
- Allow Scripture to help interpret Scripture
Give the author the benefit of the doubt. They are trying to convey something that is meaningful and can be understood! Stay after it!
So, whenever you encounter Scripture, you should be listening for the Holy Spirit to “speak to you.”
Mark 4: 21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
So, whenever you encounter Scripture, you should be listening responsibly. “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”