Sunday, March 9, 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 understand the Bible!
God’s will for man is two-fold: firstly, the Lord Jesus Christ wants to save man from his sins and Satan’s policy of evil (1 Timothy 2:4a), and, secondly, He wants to educate man about His original plan for him (1 Timothy 2:4b). “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
While a full comprehension of dispensational Bible study is not necessary for salvation from sins, where to find in Scripture God’s current plan of salvation is absolutely critical. For example, we do not find the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork declared in the Old Testament. Calvary’s crosswork was definitely prophesied (Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, et cetera), but the benefits Israel received from it were not fully revealed until after it happened (Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 1:19; et al.). Moreover, until Paul’s ministry, God did not reveal what Calvary meant for us Gentiles (1 Timothy 2:5-7; Titus 1:2,3; 1 John 2:2; et al.). Unless we “rightly divide the word of truth” as today’s Scripture instructs, we overlook these doctrinal differences, and we do not recognize where in Scripture we find God’s message of salvation for us Gentiles.
God’s good news to us Gentiles today is that He is offering His grace in Christ to us, without any works on our part. The Gospel of the Grace of God, first committed to the Apostle Paul’s trust, is “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). If we Gentiles are to have a right standing before God (justification unto eternal life, eternity in heaven, et cetera), God expects us to believe and trust that message. Once we trust that Gospel, and that Gospel alone, then we can study the Bible to grow spiritually, to “come to the knowledge of the truth,” to learn why God saved us….