The following is Part 5 of a series prepared for an ordination service in the life of the church based on selected texts from 2 Timothy. You can access the other parts here:
VI. Flee and PursueVII. Conclusion
2Tim 4 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
Paul charges Timothy to not only fan, guard, and entrust but now to preach. And what is he to preach? The word – Jesus Christ himself who became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We are to preach Christ and him crucified (1 Cor 1:23). We are to preach the foolishness of the cross in the face of the wisdom of the world (1 Cor 1:18). This gospel does not make sense to those whom God does not grant the repentance that leads to eternal life (2 Tim 2:25) but our duty is to preach the word. But how are we to preach the word if we do not know the word?
We must know the word in both written and physical form. We know the written word by studying, as Paul tells Timothy in 2:15, in order to present ourselves before God as one who has been approved, without having the need of being ashamed. This means that we are to study our guts out until we can get the tiniest grasp of understanding capable to our frail human minds. This means that we are to use our training times wisely as we seek to further our awareness of the entire corpus of Scripture. And this also means that we must spend time in prayer and communion with the Divine Word who has created all things and ordained us for such a calling. How can we preach the word if we don’t know him?