By Jack Eberle
Though by no means do I profess to know about all the Bible schools and seminaries now in operation, yet as a seeker and teacher of truth for some fifty years, it would seem that I could reasonably make this statement: I have never heard of a Bible school or seminary which taught a course named RD 101, i.e., Rightly Dividing 101, or for that matter, anything comparable. By making this statement, I don’t wish to denigrate the worthwhile efforts and accomplishments of any of these schools. God must be the judge of that. Would it not be sensible to begin at the beginning and teach the serious student RD101?
The beginning is a good understanding of the scripture basis for the foundation of understanding scripture. Many of you will know that it is II Timothy 2:15. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God; a workman not made ashamed, straight cutting the Word of Truth.”
Most of us have been brought up hearing this “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” That is a nearly accurate translation. The basic words above are as close as you can get to the actual words of God from the most up-to-date text.
There are certain factual conclusions we can draw from these very plain Words of God. (l.) To those who would be approved of by God, this is not an optional statement. The option is “To please” or “Not to please” God. The believer must be clear that God wants him to “Rightly Divide” His Words. (2.) God would have His believers to be “diligent” about this activity. Believers must apply some seriousness to the task; it will not be a leisurely pastime or a hobby. To please God, the believer will apply himself. (3.) When the believer is in the presence of God, or before the face of God, he will want to be accepted by God as a WORKMAN. The “4 Ps” preacher and the church-chaser will not be in this category. There are many who consider themselves good Christians who have never understood the primacy of God’s Word. Work denotes perspiration. Next to the blood of Christ, it is the most holy of fluids in the believer’s life. (4) The Workman who is not made ashamed is interested in what God said, i.e. the actual words of God. God is not an endorser of private opinions, no matter how glorious and intricate. The workman who puts in the work, and seeks God’s light will most assuredly NOT be ashamed. (5) “straight-cutting” or rightly dividing the Word of Truth. An errant cut will be inefficient and tend to mar the understanding. This is a precision matter, but only His Spirit can guide us into this “straight-cutting”. Yes, all scripture is for us and is profitable, but not all scripture is written to us to obey. May we be found doing that work that pleases our Lord.