1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
15 Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, dividing the word of truth aright.
Timothy 2:15 KJV) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Apostle Paul tells us to study God's word with a view to rightly
dividing the word of truth. It is interesting that when people talk
about how to study the Bible there is all kinds of different methods
that people use: historical, literal, allegorical.
There are all
these different methods people use but you can see right here in the
word of God that God's method, through the pen of the Apostle Paul to
Timothy and to us, is to rightly divide the word of truth.
the Apostle Paul thought about the concept of rightly dividing the word
of truth, he thought of God's Word in terms of its right division, that
is, times past, but now and ages to come. (Ephesians 2:11,13,7)
Ephesians 2:11-13 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh,
and called uncircumcision of them, which are called circumcision in the
flesh, made with hands 12 That ye were, I say, at that time without
Christ, and were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and were
strangers from the covenants of promise, and had no hope, and were
without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus, ye which once were far off, are made near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:7 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
7 That he might show in the ages to come the exceeding riches of his grace through his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
simply, as the Apostle Paul thought about God's Word, he thought in
terms of what God was doing in the past, what God is doing now, and what
God is going to be doing in the future.
We should study the
Bible from the dispensational perspective, that is, we should want to
understand what God says to us living in the time period we are living
When we approach the Bible we need to understand who we are and where we fit in the Bible.
we are not the nation Israel wandering through the wilderness led by
Moses. We all understand that is not who we are. So, we know when the
Old Testament that talks about that it has nothing to do with us today
in the dispensation of grace. We are not the nation of Israel wandering
through the wilderness led by the hand of Moses. But we are somewhere in
The basic reason we have to rightly divide the word
of truth is to understand where we are in history. Obviously, we live
after the cross. But where after the cross? Christ died sometime in the
past. Where are we in relationship to that? Christ has not yet come back
to the earth yet. Where are we in relationship to that? Right division
gives us the ability, when approaching the Word of God, to understand
where we fit are in history, in relationship to God's eternal purpose,
that is, where we fit in the word of God in relationship to what God is
doing in time.
It is interesting that every single Bible believer
and Bible writer understood that principle. Moses understood that the
coming of the Messiah was future from his day. Moses understood that the
entrance into the land was future to his day. He taught the word of God
and what he wrote was in relationship to where he fit in the word of
The prophets all taught the word of God and prophesied about
from the standpoint of where they fit in the word of God . It is the
same with the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. When John the
Baptist showed up, he preached the message in relationship to where he
was in the fulfilling of God's word.
For example, he said,
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." John could not have said
that back here in Moses' day because the kingdom was not at hand back
in that day.
John could not have showed up in the day of Isaiah and
said, "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand." Because it was not at
hand back then in that day.
Just like today it would be wrong to go
out and preach John's message, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand." Because it is not at hand today.
So, John preached his message in relationship to where he and that nation Israel fit in the overall plan of God.
too, when we come to the "but now", the time period in which we now
live (the dispensation of grace), we have to understand where we are in
relationship to the fulfillment of God's word if we are going to
understand what God is doing in our day and time.
approach the word of God, it is absolutely necessary and critical that
we do it God's way, that is, to rightly divide it, so we understand
where we are in relationship to what God Almighty is doing.
Faith is understanding what God's word says to us and where we fit in God's plan and purpose.
we think we are Israel, for example, back in Old Testament, and claim
promises that have nothing to do with us today, that is not faith; it is
presumption. Actually, it is unbelief. It is coming back to a portion
of scriptures that says nothing to us yet we say, "God says this to us".
However, He never said that to us. So, to go back there in the Old
Testament (Genesis - Malachi) and say we are operating by faith by
claiming those things is actually unbelief.
So, too, it is if we
go to the books that have to do with the future generation going through
the tribulation period (Hebrews - Revelation) and claim those promises
for us that also represents unbelief; it is not faith. Rather, when we
understand where we are in the word of God, where we fit in the word of
God, we understand that we live in a time period the Bible calls the
dispensation of grace and that dispensation of grace was committed first
to the Apostle Paul and through his writings to us (Romans - Philemon).
order to approach God in faith today, we approach him by believing the
specific instructions we find contained in our Bible in the books Romans
through Philemon. We can try to approach God on the basis of the book
of Leviticus but God will not accept us today on the basis of Leviticus.
The book of Leviticus is the Law and the sacrifices, but God will
absolutely never accept any individual today on the basis of Leviticus.
if we attempt to obey every single verse in Leviticus God will
absolutely not accept us on the basis of that book because that is not
what God is doing today. Rather, what God is doing today is found
specifically to us in the books of Romans through Philemon, the writings
of the Apostle Paul, the apostle God sent to us Gentiles in the
dispensation of grace.
The word dispensation simply means a set of revealed commands or instructions regulating human affairs.
far as God is concerned, the revealed commands or instructions
regulating human affairs for the time period in which we live was
committed to Paul. He calls it the dispensation of grace.
The set of instructions that are to regulate human affairs today can be categorized by the word "grace".
is why salvation is by grace, we live by grace, our security is by
grace, we stand in grace and we deal with each other based on grace. It
is because that is all God is dispensing today: Grace!
But there is a time coming afterwards when God will dispense wrath.
Praise God He is not dispensing that today!