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)
Do we study to prove to God that we are upright, honorable, and righteous? Absolutely not. We study to prove to ourselves what Christ has earned for us and who we are as a result. We study the Word to know God chose us to be His before the foundation of the world (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). 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 Christ 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 has made you worthy. You study to prove to yourself that you are His righteous workmanship. When you learn what it means to be His workmanship and believe it in your heart, sin does not have the power to master you. You know you are under His grace (Romans 6:14). You defeat sin with the power of the righteousness Christ has given you. You are no longer under the law’s requirement to prove to God that you are righteous. You have received the redeeming Grace of Jesus Christ that frees you to live a righteous life. But you cannot live a righteous life if you don’t believe that you have received the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)
There is a battle to believe your sinful nature is crucified and that you now have the righteous nature of Christ. That battle takes place in your mind.
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 a new creation and old things have passed away, you know in your mind and believe in your heart that Christ has crucified and defeated your sinful nature (Romans 12:2). You become a slave to His righteousness because you are no longer a slave to sin (Romans 6:18). You have the desire and the power to do what pleases God (Philippians 2:13). Believing the new person you are in Christ convinces you that nothing will ever separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:39). Believing that His righteousness is completely yours frees you from the need to prove to God that you are His. You know He is in you and you are in Him (John 17:23, 1 Corinthians 6:17). Your old man is dead. It is no longer you who lives, but Christ who lives within you. And you live your life by faith in His redeeming love and the truth of what His grace has wrought in your life (Ephesians 2:20).
Study the Word to prove to yourself—to erase any doubt in your mind—that God loves you, accepts you, and approves of you. The Holy Spirit is waiting to reveal the new nature you have received because of Christ’s love for you. He is waiting to convince you of the new person you are. The Holy Spirit will reveal to you the liberating truth of God’s Grace and Truth. But you must seek God’s Truth in His Word. And you must be open to receiving it. When you study the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you, you can “rightly divide the word of truth.” And His Truth has the power to convince you your old man is dead, and you are the righteousness of God in Christ.
The enemy doesn’t want you to believe the righteousness of Christ is alive in you. Let the truth of God’s Word convince you. Let it win the battle in your mind. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
© 2022 Lynn Lacher