Rightly dividing the Word of Truth



Reading : 2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God,

a workman that needeth not to be 

ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth


What is rightly dividing the Word of Truth?




Years ago I wrote the Chairman of the Evangelical Broadcast (Television) in the Netherlands and in my letter to him I told and explained him about 2 Timothy 2:15. He wrote me back that he used and believed only  in II Timothy 3:16. Maybe he had never  heard about the rightly dividing the Word of truth. Have you ever heard about 2 Timothy 2:15? 

Before we go to 2 Timothy 2:15 we read first the verse II Timothy 3:16: What does this mean II Timothy 3:16: All or every Scripture is given by inspiration of God. God had/have inspired His Word. The Bible is God's Word. He is the Author of the Bible. He gave through His inspiration (His Spirit) commands towards men/writers to write down what He told them to write down and so we have the 66 books! My dear brothers and sisters: the Bible is complete! From Genesis 1:1 till Revelation 22:21. It is the most read Book in this world, most translated Book in this world. It is not just like that: it is the Book of God and as we have seen  inspired by Him!  (voorbeeld Holy Prophets)  With this purpose it is written because it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works For 


Now the question for you; the whole Bible is for us: why are there so much denominations in this world who all differ from each other and all of them say they have the truth or believe in the truth, in the Bible? How come? Or would God have given guidance how to read the Bible? Or is the Bible a Book of contradictions? A seemly contradiction we are now reading: ìn Matthew 6 verse 12 we read: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. In Ephesians 4:32 we read And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. So we have here two different verses! A question why first we have to ask for forgiveness of our sins and we have to forgive others and in the other verse we have to forgive others because we are forgiven? These verses are not the same. How can we understand this? 

Another example to this: If you get post in your mailbox at home which is personally written for your neighbour do you open it? No you don't open it and you give it to your neighbour. So is it also with the Bible. The whole Bible we can read and study but not everything of the Bible is personally written to us! (example Noah: God told him to build a ark because the flood would come and God would destroy all men from this earth because of sin. Is God asking us to build a ark because of a worldwide flood He will bring? Answer No)


The question is now: does it mean that II Timothy 3;16 and II Timothy 2;15 contradict each other? The answer for this question is no. On the contrary it complete each other! II Timothy 3:16 declares us that all of the Bible is given for our profit and II Timothy 2:15 explains us how we as believers in Christ get most out of the Bible. 


What do you have to do when you read God's Word?

 1 You have to read in the context. You have to read the whole chapter
 2 You have to ask yourself:
To whom and over whom and when is it written?
 3 What is written does it speak to me personally or does it speak to someone else? Example James 1:1
 4 What do I read literally?


What is rightly dividing the Word of Truth?


Again let us read 2 Timothy 2:15 : “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”


1 Study to shew thyself: Be diligent. To be present yourself competent unto God

The Bible is a living Book. If you know how you read the Bible you get pleasure and gladness in your life as a believer in Christ.  Do you understand the value of Bible study? How can you establish a pattern and stick to it? What kind of things should you study? Why you should study the Bible! We are reading Colossians 2:6,7. God commands His servants, you and me, “Study to show yourself approved before God.” The Bible is the inspired Word of God we know. It is His written Instruction Book to mankind. It answers every important question in life. It reveals the road to salvation , it explains HOW TO LIVE.  Thats why God asks you and me to study His Word! 

2 Approved unto God: What does it means? Competent unto God means having the neccessary ability. 


3 A workman A workman from the Greek word ergates labourer. It was in the ancient times that you had  stone masons. . The mason cut the needed stones for the construction and bring them to the building site. It was examined by a architect and the work of each mason was examined because the building must be good constructed. If the work wasn't good the mason was ashamed because his workmanship was faulty and he had not rightly divided.


4 That needeth not to be ashamed. This is without a cause for shame. If the work of the mason was good than he was not ashamed ! He had rightly divided!


5 Rightly dividing the Word of Truth. From the Greek Word orthotomeo. Here we see two words: ortho and tomeo or temno. Ortho means straight, correct, true, right or upright. We have Orthodox= conforming to established correct doctrine, Orthography is correct spelling, standard writing, Orthopedic is correction of skeletal deformaties. Temno or temeo comes the English for this tomy : We have appendectomy tonsillectomy, tracheotomy. Surgery is the most exact kind of dividing. Our word orthotomeo here in 2 Timothy 2:15 doesn't deal with the medical field. The point here is that careful and precise dividing is required by God's workman as he studies the Scriptures!


A example of rightly divding we find also under the Old Testament:

In Psalm 119 verse 128 (Let us read this)David tells us here that the word precepts refers to God's Word and he sees that God's Word is right from every false way. He hates false things to the ways of man.

Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct orthotemeo rightly dividing thy paths. God rightly divides the paths open to His own children.


Two Programs or plans of God 

Scripture reading Genesis 1:1

Right division will recognize God's twofold program: For the earth via Israel His chosen people and second for the heavens  the Church which is His Body, the Body of Christ. God has two plans: first with Israel

and second with the Church. There are distinctives between those two programs and rightly dividing will not confuse or mix the good for Israel with the good for His Church.

Brothers and sisters: study the Bible must be accompanied by right division if you as believer in Christ are a approved man or worman of God.


Example of our Lord when He was on earth how He rightly divide . First let us read Isaiah 61:1-2! And now we read Luke 4:16-21: Our Lord rightly divides between two big events. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord and than after that our Lord abruptly stops and closed the book and sits down. This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears He said. The day of vengeance belongs to our Lord's Second Coming to earth. His second coming was not yet come. The Lord knew his so that's why He stopped abruptly!  So the conclusion from this that our Lord rightly divides between these two events.


Two different and distinctive truths:


Let us read Luke 1:70 and Acts 3:21: God speaks through His prophets since the world began


Romans 16:25: God kept secret: this was not revealed by the mouth of His prophets. Revealed to the apostle Paul which concerns God's purpose for the heavens and the church called His Body.


Jews, Gentiles and the Church of God (past time but now)

We read 1 Corinthians 10:32: The question is now are we Jews? No

God originally separate the Jews from the nations: Genesis 12;1 Acts 7, 2-3 Ephesians 2:11-13. 

If somebody from the gentiles wanted to believe in God and get saved the way was through Israel as a blessing channel. He or she became a proselyte. That was in the past time. But now:

Now in Christ: His Body Ephesians 1:22-23 believing Jews and Gentiles: Now one new man Eph 2:15.

By the cross God changed the dispensational boundaries by breaking down the middle wall between Jew and Gentile. Not at the cross because this is the time when our Lord was crucified on the cross. Jew and Gentile reconciled by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was first revealed to Paul the apostle of the Gentiles. It was not known until the apostle Paul got this from our risen Savior Jesus Christ from heaven. Galatians  1:11 and 12. 

Brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ: if we as believers walk away from the light which II Timothy 2:15 brings us: the conflicts, fears and seemly contradictions will accompany us. But if we turn to this light of rightly dividing Gods Word the fears and uncertainties will disappear and our hearts and our thoughts will be delighted and we shall to understand Gods Word. 

So the most important for us as members of the Body of Christ is that we learn very well the epistles of the apostle Paul Romans till the end of Philemon, 13. This is personally written for us to read and to study. Acts 20:24, 32, Romans 16:25-26  God wants us to study those epistles because this is our daily spiritual food my dear brothers and sisters! Everything we can find in these epistles: our salvation in Christ without works, justification, righteousness in Christ, our position in Christ, our hope in Christ, our daily walk  and more and this will enlight us


And now the question. If you are sitting here and you are not saved,  realize that you are still in your sins because you are a sinner and that you got from Adam. Romans 5:12.  Why not to accept the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the grave to give you righteousness, justification Romans 4:25? Believe now on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved forever!   We don't know if tomorrow will come. Do it now before it is to late. Now is the day of salvation II Corinthians 6:2