to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJB
(Q) What’s the point of “Rightly Dividing” God’s Word?
(A) The point is that God instructed us to “Rightly Divide” the Word of truth in II Timothy 2:15. But how do we know what is right? With hundreds of denominations and all sorts of diverse beliefs about God, the Bible, morality, and truth, how can we know what is right? In fact, how can we know anything at all to be for sure? Mankind has dealt with this issue since they were given a brain to think.
The short and easy answer to this very serious question is never enough. The short answer is that we know what is right and true by God’s revelation, specifically His written revelation in the Bible. However, mankind cannot possibly obey every command or instruction given by God down through the ages of time. This is the reason God tells us to “Rightly Divide” the Word of truth.
Most people will say to this short answer, “well, that’s your opinion.”
You see? A longer answer is always needed, but in this article, I can only give you the basics of “Rightly Dividing” the Word of truth; 3 pages. If you are looking for a more comprehensive study about this issue, then click on the FAQ category on my home page called “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth.” There you will find a continuing series of 53 articles about this subject. Each article is only one page long, and you can take your time reading them.
Let’s continue now with the basics about rightly dividing.
You cannot know if something is true unless you know the truth. You cannot know the truth unless there is a truth that you can know. And if there is a truth that can be known by everyone, then it cannot be discovered within us, but outside of us in the realm of the supernatural. The only way that we can know for sure is if God tells us. Otherwise, our logic may be wrong, and our experience may be wrong, and our senses are easily deceived.
In God’s written revelation, the Bible, we are given the answers to all of life’s most intimate questions. All that is needed to accept God’s answers to life’s most important and troublesome questions is faith, that is to believe God what He tell us in His word the Bible.
If you knew the answer to a very difficult puzzle that I could not figure out, all that would be needed for me to get to the answer would be to believe your instructions, to follow your advice.
To the legalistic Jews it was a stumbling block to have faith in Christ and His words. They wanted to work out the puzzle for themselves. They could not accept that they were not capable of working out their problems.
To the Greek philosophers, faith is foolishness because they must trust something outside themselves. Since a philosopher’s sole authority rests only in his own reason or experience, it is impossible for him to accept the revelation of God.
“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness”-l Corinthians 1:22-23.
But by faith, we receive the treasure of the truth of God and the answer to what is right.
“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God”-l Corinthians 1:24.
By faith, we read that Moses received instructions and obeyed, that David received instructions and obeyed, and also that Paul was given instructions and obeyed.
“For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me” –1 Corinthians 9:17·
“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery … “-Ephesians 3:2-3.
So then, we are given the same commission and instructions by Christ to rightly divide what is right from what is wrong in this dispensation.
“Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” –2 Timothy 2:7.
God’s revelation as the standard of truth is a tremendous asset to our understanding what is right. All that is needed is for us to believe it as it is given to us.
There are three divisions that when recognized will give a tremendous boost in understanding the Bible. When their differences are not fully appreciated, confusion arises. Most of church history has been plagued with Bible difficulties by wrongfully ignoring these necessary divisions.
(1) Law /Grace
Law and grace are the two principles under which mankind has operated with God. The first law was given to Adam and Eve; later hundreds were given in covenant with Israel. We learn from the law the need for a great work to be done for God’s righteousness.
Grace is epitomized in the great dispensation of grace in which we now live. It describes undeserved favor unto reprobate humanity. God’s provision of free grace is offered to all without works. God’s love is manifested in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
While both principles magnify the Lord Jesus Christ they must be separated if we are to avoid doctrinal confusion. We are either under law or under grace.
Israel and the Church are the two entities through which God’s will is performed. Israel gives purpose to religion being the only religion ever ordained by God. Through its covenants this one great nation of priests shadowed the greater things to come on earth through the Messiah.
The Church here is not the general congregation throughout all history, but that unique, one-body Church which is called the Body of Christ. In every aspect, this new creature represents the power of faith. Through faith the gospel of Christ creates all things new manifesting God’s glory in heavenly places.
While both entities point to the Lord Jesus Christ for their fulfillment they must be separated if we are to avoid identity confusion. We are either Israel (more aptly Jew or Gentile), or we are the Church the Body of Christ (neither Jew nor Gentile).
(3) Earth / Heaven
Heaven and earth are the two spheres of dominion that God has purposed to glorify Himself, but since the beginning, they have been usurped by Satan through sin. In the end, the home of lowly mankind, earth, will become the centerpiece of God’s kingdom. Israel will declare the marvelous works of God manifest in the flesh who keeps promises through all ages.
Heavenly places have always been the realm of angels and other spiritual beings. In the end, heaven will be filled with grace taught members of the new creature. The one Body will declare the riches of His grace through Christ in the very places where the great rebellion started in the universe.
While both dominions will be gathered together in Christ, they must now be separated if we are to avoid ministry confusion. We are either building a kingdom on earth through the covenants, or we are ambassadors from heavenly places.
Prophecy / Mystery
These three divisions are sometimes simplified into the general division between Prophecy truth and Mystery truth. The law, Israel, and the earth are the subjects of prophecy which had been spoken since the world began until Paul (Acts 3:18-24).
Grace, the one- Body Church, and heavenly places are the subjects of the mystery of Christ which had been kept secret until revealed to the apostle Paul (Romans 16:25). This is the dispensation in which we now live.
A failure to rightly divide these pairs has turned the Bible into a conglomeration of confusion. Do not try to put together what God has separated. Making these distinctions clear will greatly benefit anyone who desires to grow in their understanding of God and the Bible.
Everyone understands how to rightly divide naturally, but the inconsistency of its application produces doctrinal confusion. If we were to attempt to obey every word in the Bible without respect to the context, then we would be faced with a serious dilemma – oh, the contradictions!
For example, concerning our zealous missionary efforts, do we go to Gentile nations to preach the gospel? Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 10:5 to “Go not into the way of the Gentiles“; but in Acts 22:21 the same Jesus tells Paul: “Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles” -Acts 22:21. Surely, we cannot do both. Certainly, the solution is obvious to any amateur Bible student. What Jesus told the disciples was not to or about the Apostle Paul and his ministry. Thus, we have just one of many examples of why profiting from the entire Bible requires that we rightly divide the entire Scripture.
It is only by “rightly dividing” the Word of Truth that we can see with clarity the thread of God’s purpose throughout the Bible and the enormous profit it sows in every area of our life.
The whole Bible is true and accurate. It’s all God’s Word, but it’s not all for our obedience or our doctrine. We must ‘rightly divide’ God’s truth to find God’s instructions for all people living today. When we ‘rightly divide’ there will not be any contradictions!
If you are sincerely looking for God’s truth, He will open your understand about this subject of rightly dividing.
Have a good day,