The Power of Your Words
May 1, 2024
Just A Thought
May 3, 2024
The Power of Your Words
May 1, 2024
Just A Thought
May 3, 2024

Rightly Dividing

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)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 NASB)

I like the King James Version which says, “rightly dividing the word of truth.” This isn’t a math problem but like math we must divide the Word. Understanding the Word requires we look at the great division in the Bible.

Let’s start with the cross, which is the dividing point between the old and new covenants. Before the cross the old covenant ruled. After the cross it’s the new covenant that reigns. The new covenant made the old covenant obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). Under the old covenant there is law, and you were blessed if you were good, do good, get good. Under the new covenant is grace and you are blessed because God is good.

So, when we are reading the Bible, we must divide the words whether they are appropriate before or after the cross. What does the scripture say in light of the finished work of Jesus?

Before the cross righteousness was demanded. After the cross righteousness was a gift from God (Romans 5:17). Before the cross God was far off and unapproachable. After the cross He has brought us near to God to find mercy and grace in times of need (Ephesians 2:13). Before the cross we forgave to earn God’s forgiveness (Matthew 6:14). However, at the cross we were unconditionally forgiven, and we now forgive because Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians. 4:32; Colossians 3:13).

Does this mean we are to only look at the New Testament starting with Paul’s writings? No, the whole Bible is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). And we can see Jesus throughout the whole Bible. But does the verse apply to us who are new covenant Christians? Is it law based, or grace based? This is part of “rightly dividing” the Word. There is a divide, and unfortunately it often is with Christians who don’t rightly divide the Word.

The cross is the great divide. What Jesus did at the cross makes up a whole new covenant with us. Divide each verse by what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Is it grace or is it law? Jesus brought grace. We can look at an Old Testament verse and ask if that applies to us? There is lots of grace in the Psalms, for example. So, when you read the Bible, do you only see rules, or do you see God’s grace in action?