Reasons to ‘Rightly Divide’ the Word of Truth
When so many people seem to “get by” without the knowledge of the Bible “rightly divided,” it is tempting for people to think it does not matter greatly. Yet, Paul instructs us as grace believers;
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Is “rightly dividing the word of truth” important? Why is it important to recognize the importance of progressive revelation and the special dispensation of grace in which we now live?
Here are nine reasons.
#1 Your Salvation
The church is facing a gospel crisis. No one can agree on what exactly the gospel is, or how to preach it. Christian catchphrases and slogans abound in personal testimonies causing serious doubt as to whether self-named Christians are actually trusting the gospel of Christ or not. People “receive Jesus”, “renounce sin”, and “believe God” without knowing the preaching of the cross. A failure to “rightly divide” often allows a cross-less gospel, which results in unsaved people thinking they are saved when they are not.
#2 Your Bible
One major reason for people disbelieving the Bible is because of supposed contradictions. The vast majority of these apparent contradictions are resolved by rightly dividing the word of truth. Without right division, the Bible does not mean what it says, has mistakes, or worse, is not really the word of God.
#3 Your Understanding
Biblical illiteracy is a direct result of not rightly dividing the word of truth. I have lost count of how many people have learned right division of the word of truth and say something like, “my eyes have been opened, I love studying the Bible now.” Conversely, people stop studying when they can’t understand. When the scriptures are dark trusting the “professionals” to interpret becomes necessary, which means personal Bible study ceases.
#4 Your Growth and Christian Walk
Spiritual growth can only happen after people are saved (see the first item above). After salvation, not rightly dividing can severely stunt spiritual growth. If a baby Christian thinks their growth is found in keeping the law of the red letters in Matthew 5, the persistent labour of Hebrews, James, or the sinlessness of 1 John, then they are in for trouble. A Christian saved by grace needs to walk in grace, and that instruction is found in Paul’s epistles alone.
#5 Your Finances
Unless you live under a rock, everyone knows there is financial fraud in what is now a multi-billion-dollar church industry. What is lesser known is that it is a direct result of wrong doctrine. You would not be the first or last Christian to place their last hope of financial deliverance on the manipulations and lies of pastors in sheep clothing that teach the law tithe principle of ‘tithing’ instead of the dispensation of God’s grace toward giving.
#6 Your Marriage
Understanding the dispensational change from law to grace will forever change the way you think about your relationship to your spouse and children. The graceless face of legalism too often dwells in Christian homes and marriages, destroying them. When ‘the mystery of Christ and the church’ is taught, legalism is evicted, and love can grow between people that would otherwise be incompatible.
#7 Your Health
From avoiding medical help to placing all your hope in a healing, the faith of many is destroyed when bad things happen and loved ones die. Understanding what God is doing today (the ‘dispensational’ question) gives you sufficient grace and wisdom to know the truth of the “righty divided” word of truth, thus making us stronger instead of weaker.
#8 Your Career
Well-meaning Christians want to serve the Lord, but do not know his will. Waiting for signs that never come, assigning divine purpose to circumstances, or moving in the wrong direction, are all career mistakes that Christians face because of a failure to rightly divide. Learning God’s will is necessary for success in the Christian life. God’s will must be “rightly divided” according to the instruction given us in Paul’s thirteen epistles (Romans to Philemon).
#9 Your Prayers
Perhaps your confusion about prayer is directly related to not understanding what God is doing today and why. They say, ‘After all, didn’t Jesus promise to give what we asked in his name?” Yes, Jesus made that promise to the believing nation of Israel to be fulfilled in the kingdom… but Paul says we will often suffer while He works in our life. Once again, “rightly dividing” puts prayer in its proper place.
This is only a brief list of why right division is important, but can there be any more important reasons? I could go on and on about your joy, your peace, your politics, your future, your hope, etc.
Mid-Acts Pauline dispensational ‘right division’ will save you from scores of doctrinal errors, and will enlighten you to the power of God’s will (Eph 1:18; 1 Tim 2:4).
The Bible ‘rightly divided’ is not only important, it is necessary. It’s time you started “rightly dividing the word of truth” to find what actually applies to us and what does not apply to us.
We study in this way to uncover the unsearchable riches of Christ that were kept secret since the world began, but now are made known through the revelation of the mystery (Eph 3:8-9).
- Adapted from Justin Johnson -