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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


2 Tim 2:14-16 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Paul exhorts Timothy to commit to memory, believe, and teach the faithful sayings this letter contains to all members of the body of Christ. At this time, this meant to teach these truthful, godly principles to the church of Christ in Ephesus, where Timothy was an evangelist, committed to proclaiming the gospel message of Jesus Christ. God's will had been given to the world once and for all time. For God, His Son, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit to change His word in any manner would prove God to be a liar. This we know can never happen since God cannot lie. God, that cannot lie, promised the hope of eternal life ...before the world began (Titus 1:2). Moses wrote that God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent (Num. 23:19a). The writer of the letter to the Hebrew Christians confirms this by saying that it was impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18b).

Since God, Himself will never recant, or change the truths He has revealed through His inspired messengers, neither does any man or woman have the authority to do so. His truths, having been established, cannot be altered in any way. Because of this fact, there can never be any profit from arguing about any meaning His word contains. There are no double meanings in the word of God; they are permanent; they are fixed. Therefore strife over their meaning is vain. This must have been a serious problem in the church in Ephesus, because Paul's first letter to Timothy addressed the same situation in no uncertain terms. He wrote, if any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself (1 Tim. 6:3-5).

Derisiveness, created by arguing over bible truths, brings nothing but subverting of the hearers of God's word. There is nothing constructive and profitable about arguments and disputes among brethren within the body of Christ. Christians, especially those that are recently converted to Christ, that are exposed to constant, contentious bickering, and turmoil become confused, disenchanted, and their faith is soon shaken and lost. Sadly, but factually, most disputing is over matters of no importance.

In order to avoid such vain contentions, and the resulting destruction of faith, the church of Christ needs an eldership and preachers that are committed to the unity, and the peace, God requires in His church. Such leaders need to heed the same admonition Timothy received from the apostle Paul: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Only those having knowledge of the word of God, are able to rightly divide it. And only the preaching and teaching God's word, that has been rightly divided, can bring others to Christ, and lead members of His body in a unified and unerring way - that righteous and narrow way, which leads to eternal life in heaven, and is pleasing in the sight of God.

Rightly dividing the word of truth is an interesting scriptural phrase. It means to lay the word of God out in a pure, unadulterated, truthful, and straight line - in a manner that can be understood - in a manner that has no ambiguous meanings - in a manner, which cannot be debated. Oh, for leaders within the church of Christ, that have studied God's word, to a sufficient degree, that they are capable of rightly dividing the word of truth. The world is filled with unrighteous, false teachers professing to be "miraculously called by God, sent by Jesus Christ, or inspired by the Holy Spirit." In fact, they are driven by selfish, covetous reasons, to create strife within the religious world, and bring self-glory, and worldly gain to themselves. Christians are to strive not about words (God's words). Paul tells us to shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. Strife has no place in the church of Christ: from such withdraw thyself (1 Tim. 6:5).