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Fully Equipped

It is the duty of every Christian to diligently search the scriptures rightly-dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15).  For therein we see the mind of God concerning Himself, for mankind and the world that has been created by Him and for Him concerning the past, present and future.  We as believers in Him can apply what we understand for our direction, rebuke, security and comfort.  To wrongly divide by opposition to rightly-divide would be to our own misdirection, not rebuked, insecure with not much comfort.

This brings me to the purpose of this writing to encourage every believer of the Word of Truth not to be satisfied with reading alone but to diligently study with purpose.

For us to be fully equipped for every good work we need to be strong in the scriptures and therefore we are to be thoroughly acquainted with the true intent and meaning of them. So that we may not misinterpret or wrongly apply them in our own walk in this present dispensation of grace.

Divine Revelation
Divine revelation is necessary for faith and this faith comes by hearing the Word of God, for without faith it is impossible to please Him.  
Divine revelation is not now to be found or expected anywhere but in the scriptures. There was a time when God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers (the fathers of the Hebrew nation) by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. Hebrews 1:1-2.  God directed Holy men by the Holy Spirit to speak and write history, laws, prophecies, proverbs and epistles etc for the instruction of the people.

Now we have the complete written Word of God. What a blessing and joy it is to have access to it.

Paul the last to see Jesus thus qualifying him to be called an apostle of Jesus Christ according to scripture (1 Corinthians 15:8 Galatians 1:1) is responsible for writing down the words of the Son in 13/14 epistles of the New Testament.

At the time of Paul writing 1 Corinthians the scriptures were still a working progress and incomplete. Chapter 12 is about spiritual gifts and he ends the chapter with showing us what to pursue in a surpassingly excellent way then giving us the love chapter 13. He comments in this chapter about the spiritual gifts of prophecies, tongues and knowledge being done away with, ceasing when that which is in part is done away with, for when that which is complete is come, doing away with that which is in part. Perfect can be a translation from the Greek telios meaning complete the primary word being tellio, to set outout or a definite point or goal; the conclusion of an act i.e. complete.
 
Therefore if anyone says to you “thus says the Lord” beware for anything He wants you to know will be in the perfect complete scriptures.

Paul writing to the Corinthians near the start of his ministry and towards the end he written 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture (including Gen-Rev) is God-breathed, and
is profitable for doctrine, for reproof (conviction), for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect (complete) thoroughly furnished unto all good works. If we are to be unashamed workmen, we need to put 2 Timothy 2:15-16 into practice.

Do you know that rewards are additional to salvation? Often people think they can lose their salvation when in fact it is their rewards which can be, Col 2:18. If you are saved and sealed then it is in Gods protection to guard until that day we are resurrected and He is ready to give out the rewards for your service.  
I hope that you realise that God isn’t an Indian giver and the free gift of His son is for everyone who believes John 3:16. He has forgiven (past tense) you ALL trespasses (all being past, present and future). For everyone that has been placed into the hands of Christ only one was to be lost and that was to fulfil the scriptures John 17:12.

As the scripture says of itself it is for our correction and instruction of that which has been made known in ALL scripture and these sufficiently inform me of all truths and my holy faith in a Holy God, creator and saviour that I am to believe in and be governed by.

The Holy scriptures which are not only for my learning, they are the unmoveable standing rule of my faith and walking practice in my heavenly calling. If I don’t speak according to the Word there is no light in me (Isa 8:20) and if I make what is in me light  which by nature is darkness and follow that direction, leading to my own loss making my own thoughts and imaginations rival with the scriptures will only alienate me from the life of God. (see eph 4:17-18, Prov 12:15, 14:12, 21:2, 3:5, 4:2, 6:23-24)

My prayer for every believer reading this is that we are guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit with our spiritual understanding enlightened so we can grow in full knowledge of our God and saviour to the acknowledgement of the truth. 

How we can apply study to our reading of the Word?
Every word the Holy Spirit has breathed is important. Don’t be tempted to read over any words you don’t understand, have a small note pad & pen with you when you read. This can be used to write down any words or concepts you don’t understand for later study using a dictionary.

What language did the Holy Spirit use when He inspired the holy men of God to pen for our learning and instruction? Clue: it wasn’t English.

You don’t have to be a Hebrew or Greek scholar to access the Holy Spirit's words, but if you want to then it helps to have some tools to aid you.

You maybe are asking yourself why, what for? I have Gods Word in my own Language. In fact you don’t, what you have is a translation from copies of copies. You must have heard the saying “lost in translation” misunderstandings and misinterpretation can be born out of not understanding the true intent. Who was involved in the translation you study? Holy men of God, who honour the deity of the Son? Or unbelieving, unholy men who disrespect His truth in favour of The lie?

Assuming you have a good authoritative translation you can clarify your translation in the original language and there are many lexicons/dictionaries available to aid you. A basic knowledge on how to use a dictionary is needed; knowledge of the alphabet in that language and some grammar and syntax structure will benefit you greatly.  Interlinear bibles which show the English underneath can help at first point to identify some words to look up.

Scripture with Scripture

To get the true intent and meaning of the God-breathed scriptures we are to compare spiritual with spiritual or in other words scripture with scripture (1cor 2:13).  “What saith the scriptures” or “it is written” are familiar terms that Jesus used.  You can get a true intent of meaning by seeing how these words are used throughout scripture.

To take a stand alone verse, sentence or paragraph out of the whole to build a teaching or doctrine on and say the bible says we have to do this is foolish at best and evil at worst.  Yet many Christians are deceived by teachers of these doctrines and their own laziness to seek out the truth.  It is our responsibility as it is us that will stand ashamed or unashamed (2 Tim 2:15)

It is one thing to receive the Word with readiness of mind and another to search and see if those things were so (Act 17:11). God has given us the truth of the Word so we can get to know Him.  He has given us instructions how to do it, but he expects us to roll up our sleeves and dig in, for those who diligently seek Him, He will reward (Heb 11:6).

So it is always a good idea to use the who, what, why, when method in our studies, for example: who wrote it and to whom was it written, what is the subject and why they need to know it, when it was written is useful as it puts the context into which dispensation is in operation at the time.