Friday, January 10, 2014
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).
The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to study the Bible!
Paul instructed, “study… rightly dividing the word of truth,” so he would obviously also teach us how. We need not seek manmade theological systems for explanation; we simply study Paul’s epistles to see how the Apostle would “rightly divide the word of truth.” In addition to Acts 3:21 and Romans 16:25, we recognize other general divisions God has made in His Word.
In Ephesians 2:11-13, Paul wrote: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
Dispensational Bible study involves placing the Bible on a timeline, a timeline that corresponds to the Bible’s table of contents. God supernaturally arranged the Bible books, so the order of books and epistles in the Bible’s canon is not some haphazard assemblage.
- In “time past,” God dealt with man on the basis of physical circumcision (Jew) and physical uncircumcision (Gentile)—these Bible books are Genesis through Malachi, the Four Gospels (see Matthew 15:24; Romans 15:8), and early Acts (chapters 1-8).
- Today, in the “but now,” God does not make that distinction between Jew and Gentile (Romans 3:23; Romans 10:12; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:28). Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, go here.
- In the (future) “ages to come” (Ephesians 2:7), God will accomplish His purpose and plan for heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:9,10). The books of Hebrews through Revelation concern Israel’s role during that time (Ephesians and Paul’s two Thessalonian epistles discuss these future events from our viewpoint as members of the Church the Body of Christ).
This divinely-ordained system makes the Bible so much easier to grasp….