|2 Timothy 2:15 |
15 Be diligent to stand near God, a pleasing worker having no cause to be ashamed, to make straight and smooth the sayings of God truly.2 [Paul is counseling Timothy to stay close to God so he can speak the sayings of God truly. All true preachers only speak the words that they hear God tell them to speak, and they speak in a straight (accurate) and smooth ( even, reverent) manner without emotion or theatrics.]
2 Be diligent to stand near God, a pleasing worker having no cause to be ashamed, to make straight and smooth the sayings of God truly. This has typically been translated as Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth; and is commonly then thought that the word of truth is the Bible, as Christendom believes in error. Yet the original Greek for this verse is logon <3056>, of which the primary definition is the speech of a living voice, and can also be the sayings of God. This verse is another example of how true preachers speak words from the Spirit as they hear them. So Paul is counseling Timothy to be diligent to stand next to God. Why?—so that he can clearly hear God speaking. To stand next to God is similar to abiding in His word or light. Then Timothy was to relay the words heard from God in a straight and smooth manner and truly. Words heard from God should be spoken without human-added theatrics or emotion, as in straight and smooth (accurate, even, reverent). Words from God have power in themselves without any need of emotion from the speaker.
It is the devil that has taught man to speak with theatrics and emotion, and the world values such public speakers. But if the words were really true, there would be no need to wave hands, pound the podium, make faces, raise and lower the voice, vary the tempo, move the body: all of which are classically illustrated by Adolph Hitler, who was unfortunately a captivating orator. In contrast, close your eyes and imagine how Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount: with evenness, with humility, with self-control, with gentleness, with reverence, with respect for speaking words supplied by God; the words themselves are the power.
Paul said, "my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God;" 1 Cor 2:4-5, and he warns us of preachers and teachers who "by fair speaking and captivating language deceive the hearts of the simple." Rom 6:18.
In the book, Pagan Christianity?,* the authors describe how Christianity was taken over by Greek orators, who started the practice of preaching sermons between 100 AD and 150 AD, (making speeches), in every service; and these orators were so polished in their emotional speeches, that they often received standing ovations. Describing why people pick a particular sect to attend, the Word of the Lord within said, "The reason people go to deficit sects' services is because of a charming preacher." Woe to you, when all men speak well of you! For so did their forefathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:26.
* Pagan Christianity?'s authors, Frank Viola and George Barna, did a wonderful, scholarly work of tracing the devolution of Christianity, clearly identifying and extensively documenting the pagan source of almost every detail in today's Christianity. However, they failed to: 1) identify Christianity of having become Babylon, 2) identify the most evil, most damaging lie in Christianity — calling the Bible the Word, 3) identify the true gospel of Christ, and 4) identify the way to attain the promises of the gospel. Instead they promoted home churches as the cure-all for the disaster, called Christianity; which disaster they had expertly painted. Their home church services were described as people taking turns talking from their carnal minds about their experiences with the Lord, some singing when they desired. Their described service is an imitation of the worship described in 1 Cor 14:29-33; however, a true service is controlled by the Holy Spirit with no one speaking or singing unless the Holy Spirit is clearly in control of their words. From the Word of the Lord within: "A word spoken from the Spirit requires you to hear what the Spirit says to you; speak only what you are told to speak."