Monday, September 04, 2006

Rightly Dividing the Word of God

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (KJV)

In seminary I learned about not bending the word of God. Bending the word of God is taking a verse of scripture out of its own context and using it wrongly. By bending the word of God it is possible to take a verse or passage of scripture out of the bible and use them to establish a doctrine that is not true. It is not only possible to create a false doctrine by bending scripture; it is common for people to pull a verse of scripture out of the bible to support what they want the bible to say. People who do this has most likely never read the Bible from cover to cover to understand its complete context, but have only read passages of scripture in isolation from the whole of the word of God. Bending scriptures is a shameful act, and those who bend the word of God should be ashamed of taking scripture out of context and using it to defend a wrong belief.

Bending the word of God to support a wrong belief also causes other scripture to seem to be in contradiction with itself. When this happens we make excuses for the conflicting passages of scripture. When addressing this issue with a person by pointing out his wrong beliefs I showed him a verse of scripture that was in disagreement with what he believed. He made the excuse that the Apostle Paul only wrote that particular passage of scripture to stress a point but he didn't really mean what he wrote. The word of God does not contradict itself and the Apostle Paul meant everything he wrote.

One of the ways we know that we are interpreting scripture is when we can back it up with other supporting scripture. When scripture appears to contradict itself then our interpretation is wrong. Instead of trying to defend our wrong beliefs by bending scripture and making excuses for contradicting verses, we must bend our beliefs to line up with the truth of the word of God.

The Apostle Paul says study to show yourself approved unto God. Don't just read a verse here or read a verse there. Don't just read passages of scripture in isolation from the whole of the word of God. Don't just listen to what others teach you about the Bible, but read it from the beginning to the end and read it over and over again. In studying the word of God we must clear our minds of our own ideas of what the Bible says and allow the word of God reveal its truths to us. If we go about studying the word of God with the intentions of using the scriptures to support our wrong beliefs, then we are not studying to show ourselves approved unto God. But if we clear our minds of our own beliefs, if we approach the word of God with a teachable spirit, then we will be able to study the word of God and be able to rightly divide the word of truth.

"Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

(Taken from a devotional thought by Rev. Alan R. Northam on 1/21/04)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jerry Bouey said...

Words of wisdom on rightly dividing the Word of God! Thanks for posting this article.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Thanks Jerry.... glad to see you come my way again!!!

5:35 PM  
Blogger Bro Tim said...

Thanks Bro Jim for posting this article. There is a bad problem with this in our churches in America. I believe God met what he said and you are right you can back scripture up with other scripture.
bro Tim

7:46 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Tim.... it seems today that everyone knows what the Bible says.... but it sure is hard to see it in their daily lives!!! We wouldn't have different names on our churches if we all simply practiced that all our doctrine would be based upon the word of God. The NT church pattern is quite simple if you simply follow the Bible!!!

6:46 PM  

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