The word APPROVED is used only in the Greek New Testament. It is unrelated to the word prove in the Old Testament which means to test, try, tempt.
New Testament G584
Strong’s Concordance apodeiknymi ä-po-dā’k-nü-mē
1. to point away from one’s self, to point out, show forth, to expose to view, exhibit
2. to declare, to show, to prove what kind of person anyone is, to prove by arguments, demonstrate
The same Greek word is used for the words prove, set forth, shewing
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
The first mention of the word approved relates to Jesus as being approved of God. The miracles, wonders, and signs were those God did by Him among the people.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Romans 14:17-18
We must be acceptable to God before we are approved of men. Those who are approved of men are those who serve Christ in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
1 Corinthians 11:19
Paul spoke in his letter to the church in Corinth of the difference in those who are approved and those who were not because of heresy.
For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth. 2 Corinthians 10:18
We do not speak of ourselves as approved. The Lord commends those who are approved.
Approved unto God is the result of our relationship with Him as God our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As we spend time in His Word, we are enabled by His Holy Spirit, to know Him and to serve Him in His kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. To study means to be diligent in our work for His kingdom, knowing the word of truth, living and witnessing of His truth in all that we are and do. Those who are approved, are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which He beforehand ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). Just as He approved His own work through Christ, we are approved by His own work in us.
Dear Father in heaven, how can we even know the meaning of this word approved except you bring us to Christ and work in and through us His nature and disposition, conforming us to His image. Stamp on us this word as you seal us with your Holy Spirit. As your children, a people who love you, let us serve you in righteousness, peace, joy and truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Photo: Gerd Altmann/pixabay