Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
—2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Why do we study the Word? Do we study to prove to God that we are upright and honorable and righteous? Absolutely not. We study to prove to ourselves that God chose us before the foundation of the world to be His (Ephesians 1:4)—that He accepts us because we are part of the Beloved in Christ (Ephesians 1:6) and approves of us because Jesus Christ has made us righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we chose Christ as our Savior, we became chosen because Christ was chosen. We come to God on the righteous merit of His Son. Jesus Christ alone makes us worthy. Trying to prove to God that we are righteous insults His love. And it frustrates us when we try to win God’s love when He has already won it for us.
You don’t study the Word to prove to God that you are worthy to be loved. You study to prove to yourself—to convince yourself—that the finished work of Christ is what makes you worthy. You study to prove to yourself that you are His workmanship. Sin will not master you because you are not under the law’s requirement to prove to God that you are righteous. You are under the redeeming Grace of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:14) that frees you to receive His righteousness. His work in your life is perfect when your work never is.
You are a new creation in your born-again spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17). When you allow the Holy Spirit to transform your mind—to convince you that you are new and old things have passed away, you believe you are changed and that you have His power to live the new life He has given you. Knowing who you are in Christ convinces you that nothing will ever separate you from God’s love. Believing that His redeeming Grace is completely yours frees you from the need to prove to God that you are His. You know you belong to Him. Nothing stands in the way. The old has passed away, and you are new.
Study the Word to prove to yourself—to erase any doubt in your mind—that God loves you, accepts you, and approves of you. God wants to reveal to you who you are in His love—that He has given you the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). And when you study His Word, the Holy Spirit continually reveals to you the incredible depths of God’s Grace and Truth.
Pray “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19, NKJV).
© 2021 Lynn Lacher