2 Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Most of the time when we use this verse, we are trying to bolster the need of studying the word of God to make us more able and capable to serve the Lord. But an exposition of the verse causes us to look and several things. Who is "thyself?" What is thyself needing? How would study help us not to be ashamed? and lastly, what is the end result of study?
The main object of study has to be the Word of God. God hasn't given us anything else to study. Any study materials that are not based upon the Word of God is a waste of time as far as benefit before God is concerned.
Have you identified, "thyself" yet? It is you. Each of us has an internal need, that of being approved of God. This verse shows that we are already approved! God's grace totally satisfied God's approval through Jesus Christ. The word justified connects with the word approved. By now the reader of this article will realize that "thyself" is not seeking to be approved of God, but to understand how and why we are already approved unto God. The Word of God comes at this question from several different directions. We are not saved by works but by grace according to Ephesians 2:8. Approval for heaven is taken care of by Jesus' death on the cross. According to John 10 and Romans 8, we are kept by the love of God, so we don't have to be approved to be kept.
Now it is true that if we behave contrarily to what the Word of God instructs us to behave, then obviously we would not have God's approval on our rebellion or dishonestly. That means that there is sin that requires confession and this problem falls outside the path to approval. A deliberate sinner is not a seeker of the approval of God. A person who seeks the approval of God is a probable workman for God. A workman for God should be thoroughly furnished unto good works. The greatest deterrent to being an effective witness lies in our inabilities to be an effective witness. We are embarrassed and ashamed allowing ourselves to be sidetracked and derailed from winning the lost or teaching the truths of God's Word.
The main advantage of studying the Word of God is strength to rightly divide the Word of truth. Most of Christianity's fleshly opposition comes from those who wrongly divide the Word of truth. All of the doctrines that deny the deity of Jesus Christ, denies the reality of hell, teaches salvation by works or baptism come from wrongly dividing the Word of truth. Those who wrongly divide the Word of truth mislead souls and send them on the way to hell. It is very interesting that preachers and churches who are sincerely trying to help people get to heaven, are totally unaware what the Bible says about going to heaven. You and I know that the devil is doing everything he can to promote false doctrine, even founding cults to turn souls from the truth.
Any Christian who has awakened to his or her approval from God, and has risen above the lusts and restrictions of the flesh has nothing to be ashamed of and will become a productive workman in God's ministry. He or she will have the ability to rightly divide the Word of Truth. God can then use them in carrying the message and meaning of Jesus Christ into the highways and hedges. God's Spirit within will enable and empower them to be His ambassadors into a lost and dying world. Souls will be converted and snatched as it were from burning.