Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth :
Divisions Lesson #1 (2 Timothy 2:15)
One of the most important verses in the word of God is 2 Timothy 2:15. From this verse we see a several important facts concerning the word of God. The first thing that you should note is that you are told to study in this verse. This is significant because this is the only time you see the word study in a King James Bible. So you are told to study the word of God not just to read the word of God. The reason this is so important is because in most all of the modern versions of the Bible the word study has been replaced. Someone doesn’t want you to study the word of God!
The reason for studying the word of truth is to be approved unto God. Therefore it is very plain to see that God wants you to know what his word says and what it doesn’t say. But one of the most important things said in the verse is the method by which you will study the word of God. The method is referred to as rightly dividing the word of truth. To properly study the word of God you will have to divide the word of God into different divisions or it will contradict and not make sense. That will be the main purpose of this series on divisions.
What is a division?
In this series we will use the term divisions to represent different time periods for which God dealt differently with man in regards to what he required of them to be right with him. We must be careful when we use the word salvation though. In the series we may refer to someone in a particular division being saved, but we must remember that salvation is not the same it is different at different times in the word of God.
For instance in under the law Jews were required to keep the law and make sacrifices to atone for their sins, but today we do not have to keep the law nor make sacrifices in order to be saved. We are saved by grace through faith today (Ephesians 2:8-9). Today the new birth is possible as a result of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Jews were right with God through the sacrifices but they were not born again.
It is obvious that God deals differently at different times throughout the word of God and that salvation is not the same at every point in the bible. This is why you must rightly divide the word of truth. If one does not rightly divide the word of truth you will have contradictions and false teaching.
Comparison of verses to prove that there must be divisions in the word of God :
Many will say that there is no need for divisions in the word of God. But if you do not make these divisions you will create contradictions and problems. Below are some examples of scriptures that seem to contradict one another. But by looking at the context associated with each verse and recognizing that theses scriptures are speaking about different time periods in the bible you can see that they do not contradict. These simple comparisons prove to us that there must be divisions in the word of God.
1) Galatians 2:16 vs. James 2:24
- Galatians tells us that no man is justified by the works of the law. But in James we read that man is justified by faith and works. It looks like one contradicts the other.
- The solution is simply. In Galatians it is addressing people in the church age where salvation is by grace through faith without works (Ephesians 2:8-9). The context in James is dealing with the Abraham in the Old Testament (note the word “then” in verse 24 it is a reference to Abraham’s day) where a man was saved by faith and works.
- Without the division you cannot make since of the verses.
2) Matthew 24:13 vs. 1 Corinthians 1:6-8
- In Matthew we see that a person must endure to the end to be saved. But in 1 Corinthians we see that Jesus Christ is the one who confirms us unto the end. Once again it looks like a contradiction.
- Once again the solution is simply. In Matthew the context of the passage is doctrinally aimed at people in the tribulation. Note how Matthew 24:14 defines the end as the end of a period of time not the end of your life. The time is plainly by the context the tribulation. Therefore in the tribulation a man can lose his salvation because it goes back to faith and works (Revelation 12:17 and 14:12).
- In 1 Corinthians it is addressing people who are doctrinally in the church age where we are in the body of Christ and have eternal life as a gift of God. It is Jesus Christ that keeps us not we ourselves.
3) Galatians 1:6-8 vs. Revelation 14:6-7
- In Galatians Paul says if an angel or any man preaches any other gospel than the one he was preaching and teaching he would be accursed. But in Revelation we see an angel from heaven preach the everlasting gospel and he is not accursed. Note that the everlasting gospel is defined in Revelation 14:7 and it is not the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ that Paul preached.
- Once again in Galatians it is the church age and in Revelation it is the tribulation.
If you do not make the proper divisions you cannot properly teach the word of God and this is what leads to all the confusion today. Do you realize that most false teaching today are in fact a biblical truth but someone is teaching them in the wrong time and place.
There is another division that the word of God makes in regards to people in the Bible. This is found in 1 Corinthians 10:32. Note here God distinguishes between 3 different kinds of people.
1) Jews 2) Gentiles 3) Church of God
Jews are literal descendants of Jacob not just Abraham or Isaac. Both Abraham and Isaac had two sons, but the promises given to Abraham went to Isaac and not Ishmael and the promises given to Isaac went to Jacob not Esau. Gentiles were anyone who was not a Jew. The church of God is not a denomination it is those people who were saved after Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 whether they were Jews or Gentiles. If a Jew or a Gentile gets saved in the church age he is not really a Jew or a Gentile anymore in the eyes of God, he is in the body of Christ which is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23).
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth :
Divisions Lesson #1 (Handout)
1) Why is 2 Timothy 2:15 such an important verse in the word of God?
2) When we use the phrase divisions in the Word of God what are we actually talking about?
3) List a few sets of scripture that plainly show the fact of divisions in the word of God.
4) What is a division that the word of God makes in regards to people in 1 Corinthians 10:32?