11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach. 12 It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ 13 It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ 14 No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it. — Deut. 30:11-14 NLT
At this time, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to us to remain on the earth until Jesus retruns, so God gave the Israelis their instructions and commands through Moses. In the following chapters of Deuteronomy, we read that God instructed Moses to write all of these instructions in a Book. That Book is now included as the first five books of the Bible. Moses instructed the priests to keep the Book of Instructions beside the Ark of the Covenant at all times as a sign of remembrance to the Israelis of their covenant with God. It would also serve as a witness against them in times of disobedience. It was to be read to the people, in its entirety, every seventh year during the Festival of Shelters. God is a just God and never holds anyone accountable for things they can not know. He can and does hold us responsible for those we could know but refuse to learn.
Now, since Jesus has returned to Heaven, He has sent the Holy Spirt to abide in us and lead us into all truth. We have no reason for our disobedience. We may try to excuse ourselves because of a lack of knowledge, but that excuse won’t hold water since God has made the Holy Spirit available to be our Teacher. His love for us and our love for Him is more than sufficient reason to study, learn and obey as much as we possibly can. The Lord, our God, is a jealous God and he is unhappy with anything less than a total commitment to our relationship with Him.
2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. — 2 Cor. 11:2 NLT
God is waiting to show you the way.
23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
—2 Timothy 2:23-26 (NLT)
God has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. When we are first saved and read the Bible, we get a perception of what God wanted us to glean from His Word. As we mature, those perceptions will change, hopefully for the better. Be careful to remember that God has not yet revealed to us all the truth in His Word.
He has given us His complete, inerrant, immutable, eternal Word. That will not change, but our perception of His Word may very well change as we study. Be careful to remember that God has not given any of us a lock on the deeper meanings of each verse. The verses are clear enough to lead us, but not so transparent that one reading will give you the depth that God has put into His Word. He may open up certain passages to one and other passages to others. The one thing we can be sure is this: If we are allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us in our studies, none of the interpretations will cause conflicts in the body of Christ. Everything we receive from the Holy Spirit is designed to give God glory and eventually bring us all to heaven. Don’t waste your time arguing over Scripture, just ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and God will give it to you liberally.
1.Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.5 And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. 6 And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. 7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.–2 Timothy 2:1-7 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Paul’s instructions to Timothy are an expansion of the instructions that Jesus gave us in the great Commission. Jesus said to “go and make disciples of every nation”. Making disciples is more than salvation. It includes mentoring new converts. This takes time and patience. Paul’s instructions are applicable to us today. It isn’t just the pastor’s job to mentor new converts, it takes the whole body of Christ, the Church. It is the pastors’ job to equip each of us to do that. Our doing the one-on-one mentoring is one way to become a good steward of our time.