The apostle Paul gave us this instruction on handling the Word of truth: “Give diligence to present yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). To present one’s self approved unto God requires a knowledge of His will, which comes only through diligent study. To rightly divide the word of truth is to handle it aright. To handle aright the word of truth requires that it be rightly divided.
To speak of rightly dividing the word of truth, suggests that it is susceptible of a wrong division. To speak of handling aright the word of truth implies that it can be handled improperly. The fact is that much of the confusion and division in the religious world of today stems from just such an improper handling or division of the Bible. With many, the Bible is just a convenient book by which to prove men’s preconceived ideas. Most think the bible was written in context and that it mattered to whom and for whom it was written. If that were completely true, then the bible has no meaning to us today, for it was not written to us. However, the bible was written for us that we might not perish as many of them did because they obeyed not God’s Word. 1 Cor 10:6-11
In it’s context, Noah built an ark and followed God’s instructions exactly in building it. In its context, the story of the ark has no meaning to us whatsoever. However, Peter revealed that as Noah was saved by water, even as we are saved by baptism. 1 Pet 3:21 The story of Abraham and his two sons Ishmael and Isaac is a useless story, unless we understand that they are really the example of the the two covenants, and how the Gentiles are God’s chosen today. Gal 4:22-31 Inasmuch, as Paul said, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Rom 11:22
In the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus used scripture to combat his adversary the devil. According to the contextual rules most apply to scripture today, Jesus took every verse out of context. Mt 4:1-11 No wonder why there is so much confusion. Most want to read the bible from Genesis to Revelation and each section in their context. Believe me when I say this, even the devil can do as much, as so many do today in the denominational world. Is it any wonder why they don’t understand the gospel of Christ to this very day?
Yes, God scattered the Word of truth, here a little and there a little, in order that those who have no love for the truth and for those who attempt to profit from it might stumble and fall. Isa 28:13 If it had not been written that way, when Jesus would have come into the world, the Jews would have known that he was their one true God, the Messiah, and not crucified him. As Jesus said on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Lk 23:34 Jesus also bore record of Isaiah’s words when he said, “And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, By hearing you shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing you shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them.” Matt 13:14-16 The apostle Paul reverberated the exact same words after which he said, “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” Acts 28:27,28
When we are attempting to find the knowledge of God, we have learn how to handle such a precious Word and seek it diligently and with love. If we don’t love God’s Word, God will send us strong delusions that we might believe a lie. 2 Thess 2:10-12 This explains why so many preachers and teachers who condone homosexuality and adultery in order to make earthly gain, have little understanding of God’s Word. They have explained all of God’s Word away by saying, “That was for them and not for us” or “We don’t have to obey this or that because we don’t do the things they did”. They have yet to learn that it matters none as to ‘why’ God commanded anything, but rather ‘that’ God commanded it.
To all those who have ears to hear and eyes to see take heed. The old testament was written for our learning and not our obedience, that we might learn not to do what Israel did which displeased God. The new testament is the new covenant which Jeremiah the prophet foretold so long ago. “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jer 31:31-33 f; Heb 8:8-13 If we keep in mind the basic principle of not going beyond that which was written, speaking the very Words of God, and that all scripture was inspired of God, we do well. 1 Cor 4:6 f; 1 Pet 4:11 If we obey the exact same gospel that Jesus died for, and the apostles taught to all the world and in every church, and continue in the apostle’s doctrine, which be the doctrine of Christ, we shall be saved. Acts 20:28 ff; 1 Cor 4:16,17; Acts 2:42; 2 Jn 9
Fret not my little ones, God will open the eyes of the simple and hide his Word from the wise and prudent. Unless the wise cast off their worldly wisdom, even as Paul did and said such was but rubbish, we cannot understand the Word of truth. “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” Phil 3:8
As Jesus said and I conclude, “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in your sight.” Matt 11:25-26 Yes, we must love God’s Word enough to study it diligently, and yes we must love God enough to obey his every commandment, not adding to it or taking from it, but beyond these things my beloved brethren, all that awaits us is our heavenly reward. This is the strait and narrow path which leads to life everlasting and few there be that will find it. Mt 7:14