Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
A friend asks: “Have you heard the good news?” and you reply: “What good news?” Naturally! Not all good news is the same. The word “Gospel” simply means “the good news.”
Yet today, few people ask this question, “What gospel” when they read in the Bible the phrase “the gospel.”
This is because they have been falsely taught that the gospel is just the gospel, as if there is only one gospel, but this is simply not so in the light of the Bible itself.
The Bible reveals that there are two principal gospels, for two people groups of God, with two different eternal destinies!
God has not proclaimed only one gospel, one item of good news, down through the ages, but many. He has qualified the word “gospel” by distinctive titles, just as a woman labels her preserves to distinguish the different goodies she has put up for the winter.
The “gospel of the kingdom” that Jesus preached to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” only (Matt. 15:24) and the “gospel of the grace of God” that received from Christ to bring to Paul all men as Gentiles, are not the same. So certainly, the “gospel of the circumcision (Israel)” and the “gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentiles)” (Gal 2:7, as seen in KJV only) are clearly not the same gospel.
The Apostle Paul wrote this below to the members of “the body of Christ” at Galatia.
“But contrariwise (AS OPPOSITES), when they saw that “the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentiles)” was committed unto me (Paul), as “the gospel of the circumcision (Israel)” was (committed) unto Peter;” (Galatians 2:7 (KJV)
When we come upon the phrase “the gospel” in our Bibles without any qualifying title, we should immediately ask: “Which gospel?”; invariably the context will provide the answer. Note that Luke 9:6, for example, simply states that the twelve disciples went about “preaching the gospel,” but Verse 2 of the same chapter explains how the Lord had sent them “to preach the kingdom of God” — but this refers not the cross, but the kingdom, since He, the King, was in their midst Israelites to whom He came.
These disciples of Jesus’s earthly ministry could not have engaged in “the preaching of the cross” because it was not until at least two years later that the Lord “began” to tell them how He must suffer and die (Matt. 16:21) and Peter “began to rebuke Him” (Ver. 22) and none of the twelve even understood what He was talking about (Luke 18:34).
After we have come to see and understand that the Bible reveals that there are two principal gospels, for two people groups of God we have the basis for proper Study of the Bible. We can then determine how that which is written to one group (Israel) differs from and needs to be divided from that which is written to the other group (the Gentile church, “the body of Christ”).
Then it is clear why Paul wrote:
“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)