Rightly Divided - The Task at Hand
The first part of this blog series is here. The phrase "accurately handling the word of truth" in 2 Timothy 2 literally means "to cut a straight path, to handle something aright, or to teach the truth directly and correctly." Couple this with Paul's teaching just one chapter later, that "all scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching" and we can see that the word of truth refers to the whole of God's word, not just a part. Therefore the teacher is to accurately handle all of God's word. The teacher is to cut a straight path. But why? Let me offer three reasons. 1. (Positive) The sacred writings (understood correctly) give wisdom unto salvation through faith (2 Timothy 3:15). 2. (Negative) False teachers, and those who pursue selfish gain twist the scripture to benefit themselves (2 Timothy 3:1-9). It's the job of the teacher to refute such falsehood.
3. (Reality) Since the garden the devil has been asking the same old question, "did God really say?" And many have been duped. It's not that God's word is necessarily hard to understand but rather that we live in a fallen world and we have an enemy that attempts to make God's word confusing. Therefore, rightly handling God's word is a real and vital task!
It is both the job and the passion of the pastor-teacher. It's to the glory of the Father and to the eternal benefit of the hearer.
Tomorrow I'll be dealing with what it means to wrongly handle God's word (with examples) as well as the use of discernment and reasoning as God-given tools.