Rightly Dividing (2 Timothy 2:15)
Divisions Lesson #2
In our previous lesson we studied the first two divisions known as Innocence in the Garden and Before the Law. In the first division Adam and Eve were created righteous and had only had to do one thing regarding keeping their righteousness. But as we saw they sinned and lost the righteousness that they had. In the division that followed we saw that a man was righteous when he did by faith what God said.
In this lesson we will continue to study the divisions and will look at the next two divisions which are The Law and The Church Age. Let us look to the word of truth and rightly divide as we have been commanded to do in 2 Timothy 2:15.
Division Three (The Law):
After the children of Israel left Egypt under the leadership of Moses God lead them to the desert of Sinai and gave the Law to Moses in the mount (Exodus 19:1-8). The Law consisted of the ten commandments as well as all the other commandments given in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It is said that there were over 600 commandment that make up the Law.
During this period a man could be righteous when did by faith what God said according to the Law (Deuteronomy 6:24-25). A good example of this would be Zachariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-6).
Something interesting that we must take note of under the Law is that a righteous man could lose this righteousness and a wicked man could gain this righteousness. It all depended on what they did with the Law (Ezekiel 3:19-21, 33:13-20).
Division Four (The Church Age):
The division called the Law which started at Sinai would have lasted up till the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead things change. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead makes it possible to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and have the Holy Ghost baptize you into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). Even though Jesus’ resurrection is what made all this possible we do not see this taking place until the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. This would be the start of the Church Age.
With these changes we can expect that how a man can be righteous will also change from the previous division. It is interesting that in Romans 3:9-10 Paul says that there is none righteous no not one. But we have clearly seen in our previous lesson as well as this lesson that many people are said to be righteous. Examples of this would be Abel, Noah, Abraham, Zacharias, and Elizabeth. So, what does Paul mean when he says that no one is righteous.
The answer shows us the difference between being righteous in the Church Age (Acts 2 – present day) versus the divisions which took place before. Before the resurrection of Jesus, they were righteous, but it was a personal righteousness (Note the pronouns in Deuteronomy 6:25, Psalm 7:8, and Ezekiel 33:13).
After Jesus came, who is the righteous of God manifested (Romans 3:21-28), it is his righteousness that we need and not our own. Paul explains this difference to us clearly in Philippians 3:4-9.
Therefore, during the Church Age, we are righteous by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with our works because it is not personal righteousness but the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we get by faith. This also helps us to understand why we cannot lose this righteousness; it is the righteousness of God found only in Jesus Christ.
Rightly Dividing (2 Timothy 2:15)
Divisions Lesson #2 : Handout
1) What are the two divisions that we are going to study in this lesson?
2) How is man righteous under the division called the Law? Give a reference and an example of this.
3) What event would mark the beginning of the Church Age?
4) Why did Paul say that there are none righteous?
5) What is the major difference between righteousness in the Church Age verses the previous divisions?