Use the Word of Truth with Caution

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who
does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
—2 Timothy 2:15—

Approval before God is not something which happens accidentally. Notice first, Paul cites the need for diligence. If we are prone to idleness and indifference, the end result will not be good. But what shall we be diligent in? There are a lot of good answers to that question throughout the Scriptures. However, the contextual answer deals with our approach to Scripture. The KJV translation of our text begins, “Study to shew thyself approved…” We can study in such a way that we will be approved, but conversely, we can study in such a way that we are not approved, but rather should be ashamed.

If we mishandle the word of God, we ought to be ashamed. In his writing, Paul mentions the need for integrity in how we use God’s word on multiple occasions. Notice:

· “…we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:17)

· “…we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)

Some misuse God’s word. We need to be upright and careful in how we use the Scriptures. In the latter part of 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul says we must “rightly divide the word of truth.” By implication, if we must rightly divide the word, it is possible to wrongly divide the word. In fact, the apostle Peter spoke of some who do so:

“…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, as 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.  (2 Peter 3:15-16).

There are some who do not know what God’s word says and are content to remain in their ignorance. There is no excuse! Others are dishonest with God’s word, cutting and pasting, adding and subtracting. Peter is clear, the end result of those who so mistreat the Scriptures is destruction.

We are to rightly divide the word of truth. Let’s speak about “truth.” for a moment. We live in a day where people speak about truth as though it were fluid. People will talk about “my truth,” “your truth,” etc.. I do not have a truth and neither do you. We have opinions and thoughts, which may be right or they may be wrong—but there is one truth. Truth does not change from person to person; it is not subject to an individual’s implulses.

Truth is consistent, unvarying, and inflexible. 2+2 is 4. It has always been 4, and always will be 4. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what your age, gender, or ethnicity is, 2+2 is 4. This was true yesterday, it is true today, and it will be true tomorrow. And, whether you acknowledge it or not does not change the fact that 2+2 is 4.

God’s word is truth. Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Your word. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). And again, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Whether you believe it or not does not change the fact that God’s word is truth. Whether you follow it or not does not change the fact that God’s word is truth.

Friend, let us be diligent students of God’s word, careful to rightly divide it, understand it, and apply it in our lives. If we will do so, God will be glorified and we will have prepared ourselves for eternity with the Lord in heaven.

Links: back to our article archive | GROW magazine | YouVersion

Print Friendly, PDF & Email