Introduction to Thinking about John
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The King James translates this verse: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Most of us are far more familiar with the wording of the King James than some of the newer translations.
The Greek term Paul used can, at times, mean “study,” but far more often the word means to exert diligence and to do one’s best. Zeal and effort are intended; Paul urged Timothy to work diligently in presenting himself to God as an acceptable servant.
If we’re to put forth our best effort in presenting ourselves to God as his servants, we must study. When Satan tempted the Lord, Jesus answered with Scripture. Paul instructed Timothy, “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). If Timothy were to keep a close watch on “the teaching” and save himself and his hearers, he needed to know the Word of God. In fact, Paul told Timothy to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2), a command only possible if Timothy knew that word.
You and I need to know the Word of God. The word of God will judge us at the last day (John 12:48). That word is able to save our souls (James 1:21). “The word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Peter 1:25). Scripture was not “produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
The lessons in this volume are designed to help you learn and know the Word of God. You won’t find fill-in-the-blank or multiple choice questions; you’ll find thought questions. Sometimes there is a right or a wrong answer; sometimes there isn’t.
You will find lessons in this book designed to make you think. These studies are perfect for personal study or use in a Bible class. However you use this book, may these lessons draw you closer to God!
April 22, 2016