Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Hi, I thank God for the opportunity to be back sharing His word. We are still on the topic of Ministry Gifts and Spiritual Gifts. However, Iím focusing on the Teachers Ministry with practical ways that the Holy Spirit will lead us to draw out scripture and present it to Godís people.
The Professor and The Student
Paul wrote 2 letters to Timothy. Timothy was the Apostle Paulís spiritual son and student in the ministry. Paulís letter was a training manual for the young minister. One of the powerful statements made was; Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim.2:15)
There are 3 things to highlight in this verse letís dissect it.
1. Study to show thyself approved unto God:
Paul instructed Timothy to study and be eager to do his utmost to present himself approved unto God.
Paul wanted Timothy to search the scriptures for himself so he can gain insight from Godís word.
When we study the scriptures for ourselves, we practically apply ourselves to gain revelation from Godís word to walk and live a life of faith.
Paul always encouraged Godís people to do the same; He commended the men of Berea for their studious attitude. Because they received what Paul taught with readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, to see whether the things Paul said were true (Acts 17:11)
2. A workman that needs not to be ashamed:
Paul did not want Timothy to be ashamed of failing to know the correct teachings of scripture.
The Pharisees, Sadducees and Lawyers of Jesusí day were misguided in their theology and inaccurately interpreting scripture (Matt.22:15-46)
Jesus confronted them by saying, ďYou do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God (Matt.22:29)
When Jesus said this statement, it was in response to the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection. So they decided to intimidate Jesus with their misguided doctrine (see Matt.22:23). The Sadducees were stopped in their tracks and slapped with a scriptural dose of reality.
Paulís intention for Timothy was so that he can prepare the young minister in the same area to confront any erroneous teaching that may come his way as it did with Jesus.
Paul pointed out two men, Hymenaeus and Philetus who have erred from the truth by preaching and saying the resurrection already happened. And there is no other resurrection thatís going to take place (2 Tim.2:15-18)
Paul did not want Timothy to err or wander away from the true interpretation of scripture about the topic of Resurrection and be another workman who will be put to shame like the Saducees, Hymenaeus and Philetus.
The New Testament clearly teaches that there are 5 Resurrections. The first resurrection having took place with Jesus and the Old Testament saints, leaving us 4 more resurrections.
1. First Resurrection- Christ and OT saints (Matt.27:52-53/ Eph.4:8-10)
2. Second Resurrection- Christians that are raptured and those who died in Christ (1 Thess.4:13-18)
3. Third Resurrection-The two witnesses and martyrs (Rev.11:9, 11-12)
4. Fourth Resurrection -The tribulation martyrs (Rev.20:4-6)
5. Fifth Resurrection-The final resurrection and Judgement (Rev.20:11-15) Keep in mind that John classifies this as the First Resurrection. However, in the sequences of events of future resurrections this is how God will manifest the remaining resurrections in chronological biblical order.
3. Rightly dividing the word of truth:
Paul wanted Timothy to correctly analyze, accurately divide, and rightly handle the teaching of Godís word.
The scriptures speak for themselves when we correctly analyze the passages, then accurately divide one passage from the other and rightly handle the proper placement of the select passages.
The topic of resurrections is found throughout the Old & New Testaments. When we rightly divide everything it has to say in scripture;
We find Prophecies about the resurrection (Psalm 16:8-11)
We find who actually gave a description of it (Psalm 71:20-21)
We find who taught about it (Acts 2:22-33)
We will find who did not believe in it (Matt.22:23-33)
We will find who distorted its true teaching (2 Tim.2:15-18)
We will find the miracles of resurrections that took place in the Old & New Testaments with Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, Peter and Paul.
We will also find the differences of Jesusí resurrection and the resurrections that others experience which are totally different. And the 5 resurrections we just discussed above.
The Outline: The Teachers Approach
Let me share some practical approaches to studying scripture;
1. Find out what God wants you to study
2. If youíre a young Christian or are not well versed in scripture, just continue reading the bible over and over. If you are more experienced, then pray and ask God what He wants you to study.
3. Your study may always have a two-fold purpose to instruct you to live a productive life and to later share with others.
4. What do you believe God is telling you to study? What topic? Do you need to walk in more love toward everyone? Do you need to forgive anyone? Is the topic of Prayer is of interest? No one can tell you what to study. God has to lead you. The more you ask the more thoughts will come to you about that particular topic.
5. The bible is full of milk and meat. Milk is basic topics (1 Peter 2:2) Meat is deep topics (1 Cor.3:1-3/ Heb.5:12-14)
6. The basic topics are outlined in Hebrews 6:1-3;
Repentance from dead works
Faith toward God
Doctrine of Baptisms
Laying on of hands
Resurrection of the dead (We outlined this already)
Once we study these topics we will have a good foundation of the doctrine of Christ. However, we should not remain stuck on one particular topic we must move on in our spiritual growth and learn whatever God is leading us to research.
The problem with staying in one topic is you become unfruitful. If you study one topic for any amount of time and you feel that you did not exhaust more info out of it lay it down and come back to it later. God will add to the info as you go along in your walk with Him.
In my next article, we will go deeper with some academics on structuring the scriptures. May God bless you to get your teacherís calling established in Jesusí name, amen.
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