WRONG APPLICATION OF GOD'S WORD
"The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading." (Lamentations 2:14) NIV
Words misapplied are unsavory and may be dangerous, not only words untrue. Prudence in applying words, is the salt and seasoning of what is spoken. As a word spoken in the right season is precious and upon the wheel , so is a word rightly placed.
1. There are some people that apply the word of God wrongly - untempered mortar; while some prophets see a different thing and claimed that it's from the Lord, "their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken?(Ezekiel 13:6-7). The Almighty God detest and go against those that say false words and lying visions, they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.(Ezekiel 13:8-9)
They make the heart of those that God would have refreshed to be sad, and they cheered the spirit of those, whom God would have saddened; they slay the souls that should not die and save the souls alive, that should not live - This is untempered mortar.
2. "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt" (Colossians 4:6 ). Speech must be seasoned, not only with the salt of truth, but with the salt of wisdom and discretion. We must know how to answer everyone, giving every man an answer fitting his case and the present constitution of his spirit.
3. You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13 - 14) ; We should speak pleasant things to every person, to every palate, as well, as to enlighten them with knowledge, and prevent or cure the corruption of their manners, and keep their lives sweet. There is distortion in speeches when they are misapplied.
"Beware of corrupt communication" , as such cannot minister grace to the hearers, and often grieves the Holy Spirit of God. (Ephesians 4:29-30)
4. When we give counsel to someone , our words must be fitted to the person and to the season. There are many good counsels, but they may not be good at that time; Hushai replied to Absalom that , “The advice Ahithophel has given is not good this time. (2 Samuel 17:7).
Elipaz's counsel were good and pleasant , but as to Job's case, he was quite mistaken in their use; and so instead of easing him, job was deeply troubled. " The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has (Job 42:7)
A physician may give his sick patient a good medicine for his ailment and yet it may kill him instead of curing him, if it is not proper for his body and the disease.
5. A good counsel to a man at one time may be or might have been ill to the same man at another time , Jesus said that , "“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear" (John 16:12). What one man can bear, another one cannot bear it the same time. This can be related to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:2, that " Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord."
RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH
Apostle Paul accounted himself debtor both to the wise and foolish, learned and unlearned, weak and strong. He took it as a duty to speak the truth suiting the state of every degree and sort of men. His rule to all dispensers of holy mysteries mean that they divide the word aright (2 Timothy 2:15). Every Christian minister must divide the word of truth aright if he would make full proof of his ministry, and if he would be clear of the blood of his hearers at the last great day.
It is crucial for every believer, when reading the Bible, to rightly divide the Word, and to clearly separate what belongs to the old covenant of law and what belongs to the new covenant of grace. When people quote Old Testament passages without appropriating the cross of Jesus in their interpretations, they make it seem as though the cross of Jesus Christ made no difference at all, leading to much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Bible.
What Jesus did on the cross created the new covenant, and made the first covenant—the covenant of the law—obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). In this new covenant, Jesus has already fulfilled for us the righteous requirements of the law (Romans 8:3–4), so that we are no longer under law but under grace (Romans 6:14).
Hence, we need to learn to rightly divide the covenants—by studying and reading all scripture in the light of the cross. This was the apostle Paul's advice to his young apprentice, Timothy: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
Whether interpreting the Old Testament, or the words which Jesus spoke in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), let Jesus and His finished work at the cross be the key to unlocking all the precious gems hidden in God’s Word. This means that we have to read everything in the context of what He came to do and what He accomplished at the cross for us. For example, some things that Jesus said in the four gospels were spoken before the cross—before He had died for our sins—and some were said after the cross—when He had already won our complete forgiveness and rightfully given us His righteousness. It is the latter that applies to us (believers under the new covenant) today.
To rightly divide the Word, we must read it, study it, and put diligent effort into understanding it. As we do, we can show ourselves approved unto God as workmen who need not be ashamed.
The Word of God is the greatest thing in all of life, and when it is rightly divided, it gives us the true will of God. The Word of Truth provides genuine answers to life’s questions and leads men, women, and young people to a life of abundance and power. Let’s put forth the diligent effort necessary to read, study, and rightly divide this wonderful Word. As we do, we can show ourselves approved unto God as workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
He that rightly handles the word of God will never use it to defend men in their sins, but to slay their sins.
May God the Holy Spirit, without whose power nothing can be done aright, help us rightly to divide the word of truth.
" Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
1. "An Exposition with Practical Observations on the Book of Job" by Joseph Caryl.
24th March 2021