In our world, there are bodies, institutions or councils of professions that approve our knowledge, experiences, competencies, and products. The same is true of the church of Christ on earth. Churches have their own ways of accrediting the competencies of people before they are qualified for ordination. According to Paul, approval of men is not enough for the work of the Ministry. It is assumed that if the church board approves of one´s training, then by implication, God approves of the person. This is not always the truth. The church board may approve a person when God has actually disqualified him/her. The reverse is also true. Paul encourages Timothy to study to be approved by God but not by men.
Showing thyself Approved
In our world of information technology where all manner of Biblical teachings and preaching abound on social media, it behooves believers to be circumspect and discerning to avoid deceiving people or being deceived by every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14). Timothy was advised to study to show himself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, but rightly dividing the word of truth (2Ti 2:15). If a believer is approved by God in the word, s/he must abhor profanity and vain babblings since they increase unto more ungodliness (2Ti 2:16).
Studying to show oneself approved unto God requires commitment and dedication to the study of His word. A conscious effort is needed to painstakingly and systematically study the Word of God. Tools for interpreting texts are important in the study of the Holy Bible. People should not be deceived to believe in what we call spiritual interpretations of the text when the meaning is clearly written and explained to be understood by the readers or listeners.
Approved by God
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22).
Jesus Christ was publicly approved by God when He came out of Jordan river, after having been baptized by John the Baptist. The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, you are my beloved Son, in you, I am well pleased (Luk 3:22). A similar approval was given at His transfiguration. It is written that while Peter was speaking to Jesus about the appearance of Moses and Elijah and the need to make their abode on the mountain of transfiguration, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice out of the cloud said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear him (Mat 17:15).
In fact, Jesus’ approval was accompanied by signs and wonders. Anywhere he went miracles and signs were done by Him (Acts 10:38). The Apostles also, having been approved by God, were able to do many signs and wonders among the people (Act 5:12). The afore-mentioned statements do not mean that all people who perform miracles are approved by God. And again, it does not mean that preachers who do not perform miracles are not approved by God. Each person has his/her own gift(s) (Rom 12:6). It is God who approves but not those who commend themselves to be approved. Those that the Lord Jesus Christ commends for approval are approved by God (2Co 10:18).
Approving Worthy Things
It is worth saying, that, those who have studied to show themselves approved, do well to approve things that are excellent (Php 1:10). They are careful of the program (s), activities, and lifestyles that they endorse. We must reflect by thinking carefully about the actions and inactions that are approved by us as believers. What we approve must conform to the standards set out in the Holy Scriptures. Sometimes, believers may differ in opinions about what is wholesome, because of their backgrounds but the original meanings of the biblical texts are always the same. We must, therefore, seek the original meaning of the scriptures.
Studying to show oneself approved unto God requires time and dedication to the study of Scriptures. Believers are, therefore, required to work against all odds, to study and interpret the Scriptures aright to receive the blessings of God.
Prayer: Dear Lord God, one thing we ask of you now, is to enlighten us to understand your holy scriptures, as you would like us to teach it. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN!