Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, many centuries ago:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3: 16).
The Apostle referred, of course, to the sacred Scriptures, also called The Bible and The Word of God. All of it, he says, is “God-breathed and profitable,” to “teach,” to “reprove,” to “correct” and to “instruct” the believers of “the church, which is His body.”
But why, then, have so many heresies and false teachings sprung up through the years – all based upon “the Bible”? And why have so many thousands of sincere believers been led astray by these false teachings perpetuated by religious leaders, Pastors and teachers?
The reason is that the teachers and followers alike have failed to heed another, just as important, statement made by Paul in this same letter prior to his declaration that all Scripture is inspired of God and profitable. This statement is found in Chapter 2, Verse 15:
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
Thus Paul also makes clear to us that the Bible can prove “profitable” to us only as we “rightly divide” it. Otherwise we come to confusion and seeming contradiction when there really is no contradiction. We must “rightly divide the Word of truth” for the simple reason that if we do not “rightly divide” we can pervert the truth and change it into error. The key is that you see that through the centuries and ages God has periodically altered His relational dealings with mankind, while He never changes in His character and eternal purpose.
Therefore, many religious rites which were commanded in Old Testament times under “the Law” are… positively forbidden in this present “dispensation of the grace of God.” In Old Testament times, for example, animal sacrifices were required for acceptance with God, and from John the Baptist through Pentecost water baptism WAS then required (Lev. 17:11; Mk. 1:4; Acts 2:38), We must note that some years after the death of Christ He from heaven saved Paul to be “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom 11:13), who He sent forth with “the preaching of the cross,” declaring that redemption and forgiveness of sins, as seen here below, apart from any “works of the law” or water baptism.
“We have redemption through [Christ’s] blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7)
“Being justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
Thus Paul wrote we are saved by grace through faith alone… in Christ alone.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and (this offer is to) thy house. (Acts 16:31)