Note what the apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth,
- “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God . . .” (II Corinthians 4:1-2 – NASB)
Brethren, there have been, in times past, and there are, in this day in which you and I live, many who are “walking in craftiness and adulterating the word of God.” The apostle wanted the believers in Corinth to know that he and his co-laborers were not of that group. In following Paul’s example (I Corinthians 11:1) we need to be laborers who, in our walk, make every effort to see that we do not find ourselves acting in a crafty manner toward others or found to be corrupting the Word of God in any way, shape, or form.
This word “craftiness” in its original meaning, speaks of “shrewdness, cunning, crafty; being unscrupulous.” Many are the “shrewd” ones who seek in a “cunning and crafty” manner to upset those who are in the faith and those who not. Such people are “unscrupulous” workers and the,y in their “cunning,” will, and do, “adulterate the word of God.” This “adulterate” speaks of mixing corrupt teachings/traditions with the Word of God with the intent being for personal gain, to receive a profit. In other words, men shrewdly seek to undermine the true Gospel message and they will mix in false teaching with the Word of God to accomplish their purpose.
It was important for Paul to assure the believers at Corinth, who were having such a difficult time walking out their new faith, that he and his co-workers were not of this make-up.
Taking note of this text we can see why, in Paul’s last letter to his precious Timothy, he urgently instructed the young pastor and all who would read his inspired words,
- “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15 – NASB)
The term “handling accurately” stands out here as we consider the text from II Corinthians 4. It means, “to cut the pieces correctly; to cut in a straight line.” Paul is saying that we are to “be diligent to present (ourselves) to God as a workman who” is “handling . . . the word of truth . . . accurately.” We are reading and studying the Word of God, keeping it straight, cutting the pieces right, careful not to interject into it that which would serve purposes we may have and which are not in keeping with a proper interpretation of God’s Word, “the truth.” We are to be “diligent” in not allowing ourselves to fall into the devil’s snare of “shrewdly” and “cunningly” corrupting the “word of truth.”
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk diligently endeavor be in God’s Word, reading and studying it, cutting the pieces straight, that your testimony might be that you are a workman who is not found to be walking in craftiness or adulterating the Word of God.
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