Summary: God has given us His Word and we’re to be careful not to try and make His Word fit what we may have heard down through the years just because we may have heard or been taught certain things about the Bible according to what Grandpa may have said.
RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD: 2ND Tim. 2:15
Today I’ll talk for a little while about rightly dividing the WORD. And let me say here at the very beginning that I’m certainly not a Bible scholar by any means, but I do believe that God has given us His Word and we’re to be careful not to try and make His Word fit what we may have heard down through the years just because we may have heard or been taught certain things about the Bible according to what Grandpa may have said.
Listen as I read today’s text found in 2nd Tim. 2:15 -- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Paul says to “study”, those of you that study the Word, know that many times its very tiring, but if your handling Gods Word its necessary, we want to know what the Word says and what its message is.
Ecclesiastes 12: 12 --much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Paul also says; Study to shew thyself approved unto God, notice, approved unto God, not approved unto man.
Galatians 1: 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
-- rightly dividing the word of truth. Well if there is a way to “rightly divide the Word, there must be a way to “wrongly” divide the Word.
It is of most importance that you and I understand the Bible. Because it’s God’s Word, revealing God’s will, there is nothing more important in our life than to understand what it says.
Since the Bible was given to reveal the truth and not to hide it, then God’s desire is that we understand it. There are some events that are to take place in the future that nobody fully understands all the details at this time. That comes under
Deut. 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,--
Paul was writing this to young Timothy, who was at the time pasturing the church at Ephesus.
There were some problems there in the early church at Ephesus, problems that Paul knew of and told to Timothy, but problems that Timothy was going to have to see to himself.
In 2 Timothy 1:7-8 Paul was encouraging Timothy not to be afraid of his opposition, but to be willing to endure afflictions for the sake of the gospel.
2 Timothy 1:7 –8 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;--
I’m sure young Timothy was filled with apprehension and fear.
So in 2 Timothy 2:14, Paul tells him to remind the people of God’s truths, because they were a lot of disagreement among the people there in the Church at Ephesus.
While the church was being persecuted from the outside, the people of the Church were experiencing discord among one another because of different views on various matters to do with Gods will and Word, and little trivial matters like many see today.
Paul tells him in 1st tim 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
In chapter 2, Paul uses some analogies to get the idea across: to be strong, to endure hardness like a good soldier; to follow the rules just like an athlete has to do in order not to be disqualified, and to work like a farmer does, that is, enjoying the fruits of his labor.
They needed to concentrate on matters of life and death, time and eternity, judgment and reward – the “things” about which Paul had just been writing – instead of striving over words.
These were not the only problems at Ephesus. Paul spoke about members who were blasphemers, others who were teaching false doctrines, and as our text says, some were misapplying the Scriptures either knowingly or unknowingly.
To rightly divide the Word means that we must be consistent, that we must allow the Scriptures to harmonize with other scriptures, and that we not deviate from it to suit anyone’s beliefs, even our own.
To not rightly divide the word is to open us up to all kind of problems.
For instance; Taking Scripture out of context to teach personal beliefs.
If every body believed what the Bible says there’d not be different Denominations of Churches did you know that?