Thursday, October 11, 2012


In the second chapter of Second Timothy the believer is presented in seven characters.  He is called a son (v. 1); a soldier (v. 3); an athlete (v. 5); a husbandman (v. 6); a workman (v. 15); a vessel (v. 21); and a servant (v. 24).  With each of these characters there is a suited exhortation. As a son, Timothy is exhorted to be strong in grace. Grace goes with sonship, just as law goes with servitude--as we learn from Galatians. Then, as a soldier, Timothy is exhorted to endure hardness, and to avoid worldly entanglements; these are the elements of a good soldier. As a vessel, he is to be cleansed, separated; and as a servant, gentle, patient, and meek.
But in verse 15, he is told what is required of him as a workman"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.The Word of Truth, then, has right divisions, and it must be evident that, as one cannot be "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" without observing them, so any study of that Word which ignores those divisions, must be in large measure, profitless and confusing.  Note the following subjects that need to be kept separate in order to understand God's Word: 
The differences between the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God.
The differences between the seven dispensations.
The differences between the two advents of Christ.
The differences between the two resurrections.
The differences between the five judgments.
The differences between law and grace.
The differences between the believer's standing and state.
The differences between salvation and rewards.
The differences between believers and professors.
When such differences are not observed and understood, then great confusion results.  For example, reformed theology often fails to distinguish between the two resurrections and between the various judgments, and the result is that they teach one general resurrection and one general judgment which takes place at the end of the world.  This would be like a professor of history looking back at the twentieth century and saying that World War I and World War II and the Vietnam War and the Gulf War were actually all one giant war and should not be treated as separate wars. I should not like to have him as my professor for history! I would be utterly confused by this professor's propensity to blur all distinctions and lump everything together as one!
Faithful Bible teachers not only focus their teaching on what the Scriptures say,
they first prepare by prayerfully and faithfully laboring over God's Word!

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