By Jack Eberle
We have been looking at II Timothy 2:15 in some detail. This is the beginning Scripture for the prospective workman in The Word. This is where it all begins. To learn The Word, one must “straight-cut”, or as it is more popularly known, “Rightly Divide”. There is no way around this admonition of God. Those who rightly divide will be unashamed workmen. Moreover, they will more certainly propagate The Word of Truth.
After this holy admonition, God uses Paul to warn us to turn from “…profane and empty babblings…” (Vs.16). Verse 17 says “…the word of them as gangrene will have pasturage”. Then Hymenaeus and Philetus are mentioned. Hymenaeus is mentioned in I Timothy 1:20 as a blasphemer. Philetus is not mentioned elsewhere. They missed the mark. They said the resurrection had already taken place. Here you see the examples of wrong division. The world has its religions and its Scriptural manipulators.
Should we know of who oppose, God would have us in meekness to attempt to correct them (2:25). Interestingly, God “will give them repentance”. There is no room for fleshly carnality and vainglory here. Also of note is that they will repent “unto acknowledgment of the truth”. Verse 26 indicates that they may return “to soberness” “out of the devil’s snare”. How great is His grace and power!
Looking on to 3:6-7, we find those are always learning but never able “to come to the acknowledgment of the truth”. Verse 6 seems to indicate that they also may have been Satan’s captives. As we come to verse 3:8, we are told of the two wicked Egyptian magicians who tried to “withstand the truth”. They will not be accepted concerning the faith”. This is speaking of not just the Egyptian magicians, but all who are in similar circumstances. See also Exodus 7:11. Paul commends those who have faithfully “followed my teaching” (3:10). He further indicates that all who do this will be persecuted (3:11-12).
In 4:3-4, Paul indicates that there will “be a time when they will not hear the sound teaching.” Vs. 4 “And from the truth they will turn away the ear, but will be turned aside upon the fables.” Does this strike a chord in your heart’s experience with teaching The Word?
In our study of right division, we looked at some incidents of “wrong division”. We saw that some (l) were never able to come to the acknowledgment of the truth.(2) Some erred concerning the truth. (3) Some withstood the truth. (4) Some turned away from the truth, producing false teachers. (5)
Repentance can bring folks back to the truth through God’s grace.
Next column: Why Right Divide?