The Names of Christians: “Workman”

In 2 Timothy 2:14-15, Paul challenged Timothy to be an approved workman. He was to keep reminding Christians of the dangers about which Paul had been writing. He was also to warn them before God to “strive not about words.” Fighting over mere words is a waste of time; it is “to no profit” and only leads to the ruin of the hearers.

“Study” refers to a person being zealous or eager (it is translated “be diligent” elsewhere in the KJV, cp. 2 Timothy 4:9, 21; Titus 3:12). Timothy must put forth every effort to be a Christian who is approved by God. When his work is inspected by God, he will then have no reason to feel ashamed. “Handling accurately” suggests a plowman making a straight furrow in the soil or someone who cuts material in a straight line. As Timothy teaches the scriptures to people, he is to guide the word of truth along a straight path and not turn aside into the devious paths of deceiving interpretations.

There is so much in this description to which we need to take heed. We do not want to approve ourselves, but we want to be approved by God. Paul wrote, “For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth” (2 Corinthians 10:18). Apelles was one who was “approved in Christ” (Romans 16:10). We become approved by holding fast to the truth and turning away from false doctrines. We become approved by producing the fruit of the Spirit and turning away from the works of the flesh. “Workman” implies work! The life of a faithful Christian is work, but if you are successful, you will go to heaven. If you would like to study further, please contact us.

Kyle Campbell

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