Originally published at holdingforthhisword.
RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF GOD
Being skillful in the word of righteousness is the same as rightly dividing the word of truth. A passing acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures will not suffice for skillful handling of God’s Word. Diligent study of the Scriptures and dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ for understanding through the Holy Spirit is the only way in which a believer becomes skilled in the word of righteousness. Much time spent alone with God the Father in the Holy Bible will equip the earnest saint with the necessary knowledge and skill to handle God’s Word according to His will.
Too many spend countless hours reading the works of men, but give the Bible a mite of their time using it as a devotional aid rather than training with it as the Sword of the Spirit. I used to spend many hours reading “Christian” books, but God in His mercy delivered me from love of man’s mind and granted me love of Christ’s mind. Hebrews chapters 5 and 6 give much instruction in the skillful application of the word of righteousness.
12For by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
1Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment. 3And this we will do if God permits. 4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, 5and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God and put Him to an open shame.
7For the earth that drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. 9But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes things that accompany salvation though we speak in this manner. Hebrews 5:12-6:9
These believers were still camped out in the beginning principles of the word of God and had not made progress into the word of righteousness. As indicated by the book of Hebrews they were still vacillating between faith in Christ Jesus and return to temple worship. They were still babes and therefore were not able to be teachers of God’s word. They needed to embrace Christ Jesus as Lord, turn from their own self-righteousness, and progress in the doctrine of the Word of God which accords with godliness. They were at risk of being cut off and cursed because they hadn’t been completely convinced in the sufficiency of Christ Jesus as their Savior and Lord. However, after this rebuke and exhortation, Paul confirmed that he believed they belonged to the Lord and would progress to maturity.
Correctly handling the word of righteous allows us to be faithful teachers of the good things of God’s Word, the Bible. There are those who faithfully teach the truth of the Word of God, but there are numerous others who disseminate teaching that is contrary to the gospel of our salvation. We must be Bereans and check out everything that anyone teaches by the sure Word of prophesy, the Bible.
We are warned throughout the Scriptures that vile men will enter the church spreading false teaching leading away disciples after themselves. Therefore, if we are to be faithful stewards of the doctrine which accords with godliness, then we must know that doctrine through diligent study and dependent reliance upon the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit.
How many times have you read the Bible all the way through? How often do you read it and/or listen to it? There are so many wonderful resources that we can access so that we always have the Bible at ready for our study.
I have a pocket KJV New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs that I carry with me wherever I go and when I am waiting I read it. God has blessed me many times through reading His Word when I had opportunity. I listen to the NKJV on CD in my car whenever I travel. Again, God has blessed me through listening to His Word as I had opportunity. After Christ Jesus delivered me from the abyss of false teaching and error and set my feet upon the firm Rock, Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, and the Word that He has given to us, the Bible, I have refrained from going to the word of man and spend my time exclusively in the Word of God, the Bible. He has called me to stand up for the truth and that is what I am doing. I want to exhort you to set aside the works of men and take up the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation and study the Bible.
Please go to our only source of truth and light the Holy Scriptures which direct us to our Savior Jesus Christ Who is the truth and gives us His light. As we study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the Word of truth, we will be well equipped in the word of righteousness and be able to teach and encourage others with His Word.
1But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Peter 2:1-3
10Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Acts 17:10-11
3Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 3-4
14But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17
15Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2:15-16
As we come to understand and know the word of righteousness we will be able to discern between truth and error, between godliness and godlessness. The word of righteousness centers upon Jesus Christ and His glorious gracious gospel of salvation.
God’s word tells us that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. God’s word tells us that we are reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. God’s Word tells us that we are now the beloved children of God when once we were His enemies because of the work that Christ Jesus has accomplished for us, dying in our stead, taking the punishment that we deserve when He was crucified and then rising from the dead to procure justification, sanctification and eternal life for all who will believe. God’s word tells us that those who repent and put their faith in Him have eternal life. God’s Word tells us that we are new creations in Christ Jesus and live for Him by His Holy Spirit indwelling us. God’s Word tells us that we are reconciled to God by faith based solely upon the work of Christ on our behalf and we must believe what the Bible tells us to be saved.
The word of righteousness stands against all Scripture twisting and perversion of the gospel of our salvation either through legalism or antinomianism. We are saved by grace through faith and once saved we will bear the fruit of salvation in our lives. Those who fail to bear godly fruit indicate their faith is spurious. Those who reject sound teaching and instruction from God’s Word bear witness that they don’t know Christ. Those who rely upon the doctrine of men rather than the sound doctrine of God’s Word show they are deceived and have not received the Savior as their Lord.
15This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 1 Timothy 1:15-16
18Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19that is God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
6For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be save by His life. 11And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11
19“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 22For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’” Acts 4:19-23
14For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:14-17
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25
14Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:14-18
As God’s dearly beloved children let us know and proclaim the word of righteousness that the lost may be saved and the saved edified. Let us know the Bible so well, by His Spirit, that we will be able to spot and refute error and proclaim the truth which saves. May God bless us for His work. Love in Christ.
21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 1We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:21-6:2
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