Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 37)



Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Established November 2008

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)


This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4


Romans by the Book

Lesson 37

I offer greetings to each and everyone and I appreciate that you dropped by. 
Thank you for taking the time to study God’s Word with us. 

I’ve said this many times but it bears repeating, “This book is meant to be studied.” 
This isn’t my opinion.  I’ll show you a verse in Scripture that supports this statement.

This is the beginning of a new year, and there are some routine announcements that need to go out to the group and to the new visitors. I’ve been inserting a few of these here and there as we go along in the month of January.  There are only a few left, so if you’ll please bear with me.

If you’ve been with us for awhile then you’re already aware of this but for those who are new or just visiting I want to remind the group that HBS exists to present and to promote the Word of God.  Since Scripture interprets itself, my role is to enlighten you as to “What do the Scriptures say” - and in some cases what it does not say? 

There’s one more important item to cover before we begin this Bible lesson.

The Apostle Paul wrote, "…Study (Scripture) to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." (2 Timothy 2:15).  (KJV)

We are to study Scripture - “to show ourselves approved unto God, so that we need not be ashamed.

Study = to learn about a subject by reading and researching
Studying involves reading, but reading does not necessarily involve studying!

Read = to identify and understand the meaning of the characters and words in written or printed material

I read my newspaper I don’t study it. 
I didn’t study the last novel I read. 
However, I did study the last textbook I was assigned in college.  
I urge you to see the difference.

A Believer is “commanded” to study Scripture and there are many reasons for this.
Yes, this is a command and not a suggestion…  I don’t want to take the time to travel all the way down this road, but suffice to say with false teaching on the increase how will you recognize it unless you are aware of the truth? 

You know when they train new treasury agents they don’t teach them to spot a counterfeit bill by using fake money.  No sir, they use real money.  The new agents spend so much time going over our paper money; looking at every item and detail on it, until they know it so well that a fake one stands out amongst a group of real bills.  

Now apply this illustration to the study of God's Word.  Every Believer is commanded to reach the point where he or she can show themselves approved to God, a workman who need not be ashamed… rightly dividing the word of truth.

What does it mean to Rightly Divide the Word of Truth?

The Greek word translated “rightly divide” is Orthotomeo. 
It is used only once in the Bible - here.  This Greek word means “to cut straight.”
It was a word used by carpenters who measured twice before they cut wood. 
Surgeons practice this same principle today in the O.R., and that’s a good thing.

First, The Bible is a progressive revelation, meaning God revealed various aspects of His will and plan to mankind over the ages (periods of time). 

Second, rightly dividing the word of truth means more than correctly interpreting it.   By this I mean to say, the manner by which we apply Scripture’s wisdom to our lives (i.e. application), although that’s certainly a part of it.

But this Scripture verse is telling us that God’s Word has divisions that must be made in Scripture and these must be rightly divided.  This is the essence of dispensation (= the system by which anything is administered). 

Dispensations are not ages but stewardships or administrations.  Here are two examples.

Colossians 1

25: Whereof I (the Apostle Paul) am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you (Gentiles), to fulfill the word of God;

And:

Ephesians 3

1: For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles –

2: if indeed you have heard of the (what) stewardship (or dispensation) of God’s grace which was given to me for you;

From these two examples above it’s clear that the Apostle Paul was chosen by the Creator God to be the administrator (or steward) of the Gospel of Grace for us Gentiles, which is a new dispensation in Scripture, to fulfill the word of God.

As this relates to the Bible and recorded history, this means that different responsibilities were given to men and women at different divisions (administrations) by God.  For example the responsibilities for the nation of Israel under the Law were much different than they were for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. 

*Please note that during every division in Scripture or dispensation the method of salvation does not change.  Justification by faith, alone, never changes through the dispensations (see Hebrews 11:6). 

"…Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." (2 Timothy 2:15).  (KJV)

Dispensationalism is a system of theology that sees God working with humanity in different ways during different dispensations.

The Bible and Dispensationalism both teach us that God gives different demands and responsibilities to the people living in different divisions (administrations).
 
Some people struggle with this concept, but for the most part anyone who believes anything about the Bible agrees with it to some degree.  For example, how many people are still trying to offer animal sacrifices to God as they did in the Old Testament?

While the Bible was written for all people and for our learning, it is not addressed to all people in general.  Part of it is addressed to the Jews, part of it to the Gentiles, and part of the Bible is addressed to the Body of Christ (the Church) - 1 Corinthians 10:32.

I recently wrote a very personal letter to my sister over the holidays.  I addressed the letter and its contents to her, which means it was meant for her eyes only. 
Now if another person picked up that letter and began reading it, as though it were intended for them, would that work?  I don’t think so.  But you see so many people pick up their Bible and begin reading it as if the entire book was written to them and for them and that’s incorrect.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction, for training in righteousness; (2 Timothy 3:16) and what happened to the nation of Israel was written for our instruction and our learning.  But we must not apply to the Church what does not belong to it.  To do so is to misapply Scripture and this leads to confusion; some people use the word contradiction(s).

There are 7 Dispensations in Scripture:
Innocence (Genesis 1:1-; 3-7)
Conscience (Genesis 3:8-8:22)
Human Government (Genesis 9:1-11; 32)
Promise (Genesis 12:1-Exodus 19:25)
Law (Exodus 20:1 – Acts 2:4)
Grace (Acts 2:4- Revelation 20:3)
And the millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:4-6)

This intro ran longer than I originally intended, but it’s important to understand some of the basics of Bible study and what we’re about here at HBS.

Please open your Bible to the book of Romans at chapter 5.

Romans 5

14: Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him (note the capitalization) who was to come.

The last Bible lesson ended reflecting on the dire results of Adam’s transgression.
I didn’t enjoy ending the Bible lesson on that note, so I closed it with this thought,
But there’s good news” and the closing phrase in verse 14 alludes to this promise. 

Let’s examine this comment from the Apostle Paul.
Adam who is a type of Him (note the capitalization) who was to come.

As we learned earlier, Adam is the Federal Head of the human race. 
Everyone without exception comes from the line of Adam. 
This includes Eve (Genesis 2:21-22) and Jesus Christ (see Luke 3:23-38). 
Jesus had a human mother, but Jesus’ Father was God (see Luke 1:26-38).

In verse 14, Adam is declared a type of the One who was to come.
Put another way – Jesus Christ is the last Adam and here Paul compares the two.

The first Adam was “created” from the dust of the ground, and the LORD God breathed the breath of life into him.  The man became a “living soul.”  He was perfect; without sin. The last Adam (Jesus) was “born” without a sin nature. 

Adam (the Federal Head) of the human race was to, “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” with his offspring.  Because he willfully chose to disobey the LORD God’s command in the garden he brought his entire race down into death instead. 

Jesus, despite being a descendant of Adam, did not inherit his sin nature. 
Even though Jesus was born of a woman, Jesus’ father was God.
Therefore, we have the 2nd Man (the Son of Man). 

Jesus lived a sinless life.  He succeeded where Adam failed.
Jesus Christ was sent to fulfill the purpose of God for that original human race. 
He’s truly the Last Adam and there’s no improving on Jesus Christ.

So, Adam who (willfully chose to disobey the LORD’s command and brought death into God’s perfect world) is a type (where Adam failed – Christ succeeded) of Him who was to come…

I think it’s time to review Scripture.  Please go to 1 Corinthians, chapter 15.

1 Corinthians 15

45: So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” 
The last Adam (Jesus Christ) became a life-giving spirit.

46: However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.

47: The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.

Throughout Scripture there is a repeating cycle. 
First there is the “natural” and then the “Spiritual.”
Let’s define these two terms using the book.

1 Corinthians 3

14: But a natural man does not accept the things of Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Natural means:  pertaining to the fallen state, earthly, fleshly, or corrupt.

1 Corinthians 3

15: But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

16: For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM?  But we have the mind of Christ.

Spiritual means the opposite of natural:  pertaining to the restored state; these folks are Believers Old Testament or New; sinners still, but saved.

Here’s an example:  Cain (the natural) and Abel (the Spiritual).

Cain was a natural man.  He had no faith in God.  Why do I say this?  Look at the Biblical evidence and ask yourself what is faith because there’s a connection. 

The best definition of faith I know is this – faith is taking God at His Word. 
God said it; I believe it.  Over and out! 

Cain was a farmer.  He was a man of the earth.  When the appointed time came to bring his offerings to the LORD what did he bring – fruit of the ground – (Genesis 4:3)?

In contrast, what did Abel offer as a sacrifice to the LORD? 
Abel brought firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.
Abel obeyed the LORD’s command, demonstrating his faith.

 What was God’s response? 
This book says, “…the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering…but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard.”

Why did the LORD reject Cain’s offering?  It wasn’t a “blood” sacrifice.
We know from Genesis chapter 3, Adam and the woman believed the LORD in the garden, and then animals were sacrificed, blood was shed, so that they could go on living.  How do we know this?  Adam named his wife “Eve.” 
Eve means, the mother of all the living.

In this manner, the LORD showed the man and the woman that the shed blood of animals was required to appease Him.  But the blood only “covered” their sins (their sins weren’t removed – the blood of animals cannot remove sin - Hebrews 10:4) and from this time onward this is what needed to be done and at the appointed time (see Hebrews 9:22).   

Cain disobeyed God’s command.  He brought fruit instead of an animal sacrifice. 
From this act we learn that Cain was prideful and destitute of faith. 

There are many examples in Scripture of this truth.  Two others that come to mind are:  Esau (the natural)/ Jacob (the Spiritual) and King Saul (the natural)/King David (the Spiritual).

Natural men and women are concerned and occupied with the material things of this world.  They are not concerned with the things of God.  The supernatural work of God is to change the natural into the spiritual.  We were all “natural” before we were saved.

When a natural man or woman trusts Jesus Christ as their Savior, God exchanges what is natural (that received from Adam) with the spiritual (that received from Jesus Christ -through faith). 

So, in Adam, all men and women experience the second death.
But in Jesus Christ all will be made alive (see 1 Corinthians 15:22).

(To be continued)

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