(by Glenn Rice)
For more than 126 years Berkshire has been equipping individuals for gospel ministry. Paul reminds Timothy that authentic gospel proclamation includes the right focus and encourages Timothy to present himself to God as a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (see 2 Timothy 2:15). As Paul instructs Timothy in how to deal with the problems in the church at Ephesus, he reminds his mentee that the sound teaching of apostolic faith is the foundation on which faith is built and the means by which difficulties in the body are best addressed.
When Timothy receives his second letter from Paul, the false teaching Paul discusses in his first letter to Timothy (see 1 Tim. 1:3–7; 2 Tim. 2:14) is still a problem. Paul’s charge and instructions to Timothy focus on Timothy’s priority – teaching and modeling biblical truth. This is why well-trained leaders can refute speculations and heresies that are found in many local congregations. It is the systematic explanation of orthodox, biblical truth that keeps falsehood from becoming entrenched in the first place.
In this age of relativism and weak faith, the only antidote is the Word of God correctly understood. To that end the diligent study and proper use of Scripture by all who teach and seek to live by the Word of God is absolutely essential. That is why teachers, primarily, and all believers, secondarily, must labor hard so as not to be ashamed. All teachers especially must all be able to “rightly handle the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), which means that they are to understand and use Scripture according to its intended use, making certain that it is also taught properly so others can follow Jesus well.
Surveys routinely report that while a large percentage of Christians affirm the trustworthiness and authority of the Bible, only a small percentage of such persons are actually familiar with its contents. To that end, the regular study of Bible text and doctrine should be part of a Christ-follower’s life. There are many ways this can happen, whether it’s through the regular reading of the Bible, scriptural meditation, the use of resources like Lectio Divina, or others. Aside from personal study, we should place ourselves under the weekly preaching of God’s Word as well as participate in Bible studies and classes taught through local churches. Unless God’s people are properly equipped, they will be ineffective witnesses for Jesus Christ and the ministry of the gospel will suffer.
Berkshire Christian continues to equip men and women for the work of the gospel. Please visit the Berkshire website (berkshire.edu) or call the office for more information about existing and new opportunities to study and grow in God’s Word.