By Jack Eberle
In our previous study, we considered the verse which could be termed the key to the understanding of The Scriptures, II Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.
Another principle of RD is the “place” of the passage or verse. II Timothy 2:15 is found in the last portion of Scripture written – time wise. Paul had been in bondage but was able to write several letters. II Timothy was the last written by Paul and thus the last portion of Scripture. In this situation, you can see why things written at this juncture by Paul certainly were extremely important.
Ephesians had been the first book speaking of “The Mystery”. (Eph. 3:9) The Body of Christ was revealed. Now, after some time, Paul is writing his last epistle, though only God knows this. Paul’s earthly circumstances are not good. He is pretty much alone having seen a great desertion from the truth. The setting is “ruin”. Paul is exhorting to individual faithfulness in the midst of adverse circumstances. He is warning of perilous times, formalism, and fables. The faithfulness of The Lord shines through. He is thankful to Christ Jesus for His enablement (l: 12). He emphasizes His faithfulness (2:13), the foundation of God (2:19), His deliverance out of persecutions (3:11), the crown of righteousness (4:8), The Lord strengthens and “will” deliver (4:17-18).
The emphasis is plain. Paul, under God’s direction is preparing the member of The Body of Christ for the most difficult times imaginable. Nothing is more important at this time than to “rightly divide” The Word of Truth. Satan will jumble the truths and confuse and misdirect as many believers as possible. The truth must be clear. True workmen must “labor” in The Word. They must know their hope and reward. They must know personally the One to Whom all glory goes. The One Who is the source of their strength and the cause of their salvation.
Paul knows and senses much difficulty for His beloved body members. He seeks to shore up their bravery and challenge them to “having done all, to stand”. No doubt the panoply of Ephesians 6 crosses his mind. Throughout all, they will need to be workmen in The Word in order to be victorious in this coming age of trial.
The “straight-cutter” will learn from the book or letter written, and from the time this portion of Scripture was written. He will, of course, consider the author God uses, and understand the evident choice of God. All these things help the student to understand more fully the great truths of His Holy Word.