November 17, 2018 at 1:50 pm #48589
Mari – AdministratorKeymaster
Often when someone disagrees with what another believes, they attack the person not the theology. Most often they do not even ask about the belief, but simply assume they know exactly what another believes or does not believe. They simply may have read or heard something different than what they have been led to believe in their own religion or faith. It leads them to attack the person with names or descriptions they do not usually even understand.
Frequently it is a lot of assuming and no real investigation at all. Not doing their own study to show themselves approved unto God, but getting second hand information; often from those who understand as little as they do!
Sometimes a protective barrier goes up against what is unknown, sometimes followed by slander of the others faith or position. Particularly if what they heard makes sense, but scares them because it is unlike what they have “always” known. I know, because it happened to me the first time I began to see rightly dividing.
2Ti_2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I was unsure about what I was hearing. What was rightly dividing? How does one rightly divide the truth in the Scriptures? If one can rightly divide the truth, what is wrongly dividing the word of truth? So many questions that no one I knew could answer!
Frankly it distressed me to see the truth of rightly dividing because it meant that what I had been taught and relied upon may be false! And it made so much sense that I was shaken! For the first time I could understand what I was reading in the word of God for myself in the Spirit!
My own background was simply relying on a priest or pastor to show me the truth of what THEY were reading and “knew”. They interpreted for me!
How was it that suddenly, without these folks explaining what I should believe, I could understand God’s word for myself, and see the error I was being taught!? Sure, a teacher would have been appreciated who understood this great principle, but it would be sometime until I found anyone who did know and understand rightly dividing!
Too many have learned wrong doctrine and simply passed it on to others generationally. I have seen that my own parents can be wrong, that my friends, that the teachers, preachers and so called priests can be in error in what they believe. While this shook me, I thought salvation was WAY too important to rely on other’s instructions and wanted to hear from the Source Himself in the Scriptures. I had begun to understand and have faith that the ONLY place where there are NO mistakes is in the word of God.
I heard a term one day from one of my Protestant friends…”no one piggybacks to heaven”! Then I read the verse that changed everything…and later putting it into context… saw that I was given a command that made me a separate individual who needed to respond to God for myself. It became very important to know what “I” believe and why!
For example, I was taught in the religion and faith of my entire family, neighborhood and schools, that one must obey certain laws to be saved. There were sacraments, holy days of obligation that MUST be kept, else one could die in their sin, losing salvation forever. Forgiveness of sin was only through confessing sins to a priest, as the priest was the supposed mediator to God.
Had I not begun to read and study the Bible for myself, I would still be in that false religion and never known that the ONLY mediator between God and men, is the man Christ Jesus! I could no longer rely on the information given to me by men without doing my OWN study to prove it true or false by the word of God.
1Ti_2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
It is of eternal consequence to know what YOU believe and why.
I read in God’s word that “I” was to “study to shew myself approved unto God”! I was no longer relying on someone else’s understanding of God, by studying to prove all things, and to hold fast to that which is good, being approved unto God!
I found that salvation is a FREE gift from God, by grace through faith. That I was saved forever by grace the moment I believed in His sacrificial death on the cross for my sins, His burial and resurrection, WITHOUT the works of the law! (The gospel today is found in 1 Cor 15:1-4.) Then, after believing, I began to study as commanded to know the plan of God for us today. How to live in Him with purpose. HIS PURPOSE AND GRACE!
2Co_13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Gal_6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
1Th_5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Eph_2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Gal_2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
2Ti_1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
However, in the beginning…I was reluctant to change, to be set apart if you will from other believers who were my family and friends! I did not want to go it alone, which I realized could surely end up being the course. So I ignored it for a while, UNTIL I could not ignore it anymore.
If you want the truth one should be prepared to receive it, because there can be a cost to stand in and for the truth. The gain spiritually, mentally and emotionally are beyond anything I have ever known; and while the cost of being set apart by the truth can seem difficult at times, there is really no comparison to the gain! Freedom! The freedom from wrong doctrine! Freedom to KNOW who we are in Christ! Freedom in living in the will and purpose of God securely, joyously forever, without fear and confusion!
Satan hates rightly dividing because as he is the author of confusion, he tries to twist God’s word, making it confusing and obfuscating the truth. He is joyful when Christians believe they cannot understand the word of God for themselves. His first victim being Eve in the Garden of Eden, questioning the word of God, and casting doubt on the meaning of God’s command.
Our Creator God gave us the Scriptures so that we CAN know the history of His dealings with man, so that we CAN know what His instructions are for us today. God WANTS us to read and study His word for ourselves!
He did not write Scripture so that we must struggle to know, but CAN KNOW plainly with certainty His will for us! If His word were too difficult to understand, how could it be profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness?
Yes, we are to study the word of God, and we are to rightly divide the truth of His word so that we are not in confusion about who we are and how we are to live in Him and through Him today!
1Co_14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
2Ti_3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
There is a lot to share about rightly dividing the word of truth, but for this study I will give the simple meaning.
If you read 2Timothy chapter 2 you will begin to understand rightly dividing the truth. Paul is addressing the fact that others were subverting believers, striving about words to no profit, and obviously teaching error in doctrine. They were teaching profane and vain babblings, as well as the resurrection was past. Which was overthrowing the faith of some! By wrong doctrine!
2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
2Ti 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
Their error was in saying that perhaps Christ had not been raised from the dead and so there would be no future hope of their own resurrection either, or that Christ had been raised from the dead and all the dead rose with Him already and there was no further hope. However they believed and were teaching, it went against the gospel and was serious error!
Paul told Timothy to put them in remembrance of what? Read back a bit to get proper context!
2Ti 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
2Ti 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
That by his gospel (Good News) Jesus Christ WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD! And this is the doctrine and gospel given to the Apostle Paul by Christ for us that we believe today.
Rightly dividing the word of truth gives us clarity. That we are not under the law, under old doctrines that only belonged to Israel like the covenants, BUT NOW, we are under the full grace of God! Salvation by grace through faith, believing in what He did at the cross FOR us is complete and a gift from God.
Rom_6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Eph_2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Do not let the “ministers of light” (2 Cor 11:15) who do not rightly divide the word of truth, detour you and your faith by allowing yourself to be put back under the law, no, not even one law and it’s requirements. Things such as baptism for the remission of sins, or tithing, or the many requirements of the law that were for Israel; NOT YOU TODAY. Or the confused water baptism as an “outward sign” of your faith, performed by those who do not know how to rightly divide. Today we believe by faith not by sight, and we are baptized today by the operation of God. Not human hands dunking us in water as was Israel, but buried with Christ. (Col 2:12) (This is a later study!)
The Apostle Paul goes on in this chapter to warn us not be turned away by vain jangling or teachers of the law or things that are contrary to sound doctrine! This is according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God! This was Paul’s trust given by the risen Christ from heaven for our message, our good news, today in this dispensation of grace!
1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
1Ti 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
1Ti 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
1Ti 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Eph_3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Do not let your faith be detoured by an angel of light or his ministers who can also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, into not studying to show YOURSELF approved unto God! And there is joy to be gained in obeying this command…you will not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth!