Home Bible Study
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
No two Believers are at the same place in their Spiritual walk; that’s a given.
Those who are newly baptized into the Body of Christ are not expected to know everything there is to know about the faith. They’re going to be asking questions for a while or at least they should be seeking answers. Although we will all arrive at the same destination, our journey with the Lord is a personal one.
The Apostle Paul mentions two “immeasurable journeys” and one of these is in the book of Philippians, chapter 1.
25: Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.
Paul was concerned for the individual Believer after they had trusted in Christ Jesus.
He was concerned about their “progress and joy in the faith.” Another word for this is their sanctification. It’s an internal journey of gradual growth into Christlikeness.
This internal journey is the personal struggle of every Believer with the world, their flesh, and Satan. But note the word, “progress.” You are to be making progress. My boot camp instructor used to shout at as us recruits, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re lagging behind!” The same principle applies to the Believer in Christ Jesus. Don’t get comfortable with where you are; God didn’t intend for you to languish there…move forward…progress.
How do I do this? Get into the Word. Purchase a Bible, or visit Crosswalk.com - there you’ll find many Bible translations plus other Bible tools and on site help. Then find a comfortable place where you can be by yourself and spend time with it. Learn to study!
One of the reasons I teach is to try to help people to study the Bible on their own…so that they can understand what it says, why it says it, and to whom it says it.
We are certainly living in an age of “scoffers” and those who are willingly ignorant.
Now I didn’t say stupid. There’s a difference between ignorance and stupidity.
I personally do not like the word stupid and I don’t use it. It’s an insulting word used to “tear down” an individual and nothing more. I’m talking about willful ignorance.
These are people who have no desire to know the details, the facts, or the Truth.
Permit me to illustrate. I worked with a very close friend for years who was an electrical contractor and he offered to teach me more than just the basics when I helped him on some big jobs. I turned him down because at that time I was attending school full-time and holding down a full-time job. My life was not my own…
But if my response had been, “No thanks, I’m just not interested.” This would have made me willingly ignorant. But as it is I’m simply “ignorant” because I’ve not been exposed to the technical side of electricity. There’s the difference.
People who are willingly ignorant do not want to know the details or the Truth!
Let’s look at an example from Scripture.
2 Peter 3
5a: For this they (the scoffers) are ignorant of…, (KJV)
What were they willingly ignorant of in this instance? The Flood!
Peter wrote this around 68 AD and the situation hasn’t changed. The majority of people, despite all the scientific proof which exists, still deny the Flood occurred.
There isn’t a college or high school text book that maintains the fact of Noah’s Flood.
But the majority still denies the existence of God, the deity of Christ, and the validity of the Bible. Nothing new – scoffers have existed throughout the ages (Matthew 7:13-14).
They are willingly ignorant.
The overall issue is faith; which is nothing more than taking God at His Word.
Some people have it; some people have a little, and some haven’t any – like Cain.
Please open your Bible to Romans, chapter 8 at verse 1.
We’re not through “mining this rich vein” just yet. We’re still digging deeper…
There are two more noteworthy “nuggets of truth” I want to bring to your attention before we move on to other treasures in this chapter.
The Apostle Paul uses the phrase “in Christ,” (in various forms) 165 times in 13 of his letters to the churches (it is absent in his letter to Titus), so it would be helpful to understand what this phrase means.
Sometimes Paul writes: in the Christ, in Christ Jesus, in Christ Jesus our Lord, in God, or in the Lord. Paul uses the phrase “in Christ Jesus” the most often.
It’s good to know that these phrases fill the place of an adjective or an adverb which the linguistic process had not yet developed. Consequently, these phrases characterize all sorts of Believer’s conduct and attitudes such as: Speech: 2 Corinthians 2:17, 12:19; Exhortation: Philippians 2:1; Boldness: Philemon 8; Brotherly Love: 1 Corinthians 16:24; or just notate the Believer: Romans 16:7, Philemon 16.
Theologians agree to translate these phrases in this way and leave it at that would over simplify them causing them to lose the depth of their meaning. Put another way, it would be an inadequate translation when Paul expected the phrase to express so much more.
Paul’s use of the phrase, “in Christ Jesus,” in Romans 8:1, is referencing both the Believer and their Eternal Security. I’m going to use the law of First Mention to prove this point. Please turn to Genesis, chapter 6.
Be careful. Scripture is clear that we are to use the entire book, “for our learning” but we do not get our doctrine from the book of Genesis or the Old Testament for that matter.
In Genesis “the book of beginnings” we have the foundational truths.
Noah’s ark was a foreshadow (a picture) of our New Testament Salvation.
I’m not going to take the time to go through the entire Genesis account of the flood most of you are familiar with it. I am going to point out those items that pertain to our N.T. salvation experience as God revealed them to us in this Old Testament depiction.
13: Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.
14: “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch…”
The Hebrew word Kopher (pronounced: ko’-fer) is the same word “pitch” used in verse 14 and used in conjunction with the ark. It is also the same word that’s translated “atonement” (make reconciliation) at other places in the Bible. The pitch “sealed” the ark of safety against the waters of judgment protecting all those within. Without the pitch, the ark would have sunk and all lives would have been lost.
The blood (atonement) of Jesus Christ ensures our salvation today.
Noah and his family could not be saved unless they were inside the ark.
Likewise, if a person is NOT “under the blood,” (in Christ Jesus) they are not saved.
3: For you (Believers) have died and your life is hidden (concealed) with Christ in God.
I want you to picture your salvation or your eternal life as if it were a treasure, which it truly is, because that’s what the language here implies. Now this treasure is concealed in a place that is more secure than Ft. Knox. It’s not entrusted to our keeping – because we are prone to lose things…or be defrauded of our wealth. Our eternal life is deposited with Jesus Christ in heaven, where He is, and where God is.
Therefore, nothing can reach it or enter in and take it away! Our greatest treasure has been entrusted to the One who “is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12b)
God was in the ark when He invited Noah and his family inside.
1: Then the LORD said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.
It was time for judgment to fall upon the earth and its inhabitants.
But after Noah, his family, and all the creatures were securely inside the ark, God left the door to the ark open another seven days so that anyone else who chose to could come into that ark of safety; but none came (Genesis 7:10).
16: Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him.
Your Bible says, "The LORD closed it behind him."
The word "LORD" in all capital letters in the Old Testament always refers to "Jehovah." With maybe a few exceptions, Jehovah is God the Son – Jesus Christ.
When the LORD, Jehovah, God the Son, invited them into the ark, He became the gyroscope that maintained the safety of the ark throughout the flood experience, and when we examine the flood closely, we'll see it was more than just waters rising calmly and a thunderstorm. The devastation was cataclysmic and instantaneous.
All those outside the ark were destroyed in a flash!
The LORD closed the door! There was only one door in the ark, and in the New Testament, we are told there is only "One Door," John 10:1-14 uses the analogy of the Sheepfold Door, at “ground level;” the only door to the sheepfold is The Lord Jesus. Peter also makes this plain in Acts 4:12.
12: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name (Kingdom Gospel) under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
The Apostle Paul uses this analogy in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 3
11: For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
This is the reason there was only one door going into the ark, and when that door was shut, there was no possible way anyone else could enter. There was only one window in the top of the roof, but it was inaccessible to anyone from the outside. These things are pertinent to our own Salvation experience. There's only one door to Salvation, and when we enter that door, God seals it. There's not a human latch on that door - God shuts us in!
We have established that God "shut the door," and it was the pitch - the Atonement that sealed out those waters of judgment for Noah and his family. It's the Blood of Christ that secures us from any judgment. This is a tremendous promise for us. Can God lie? Absolutely not! If we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then if God said it that settles it! Then there's no controversy. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
This verse doesn't cover the whole human race. But for those members of the human race that are "in Christ Jesus" the promise of God is that we will never face condemnation.
I don't use the rest of the verse given in the King James Version because almost every scholar agrees that the last part of verse one was never in the original manuscripts.
It has only shown up in a few, and they feel that somewhere along the line, someone who was not inspired added that portion that reads "...who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." It comes up again later on in the chapter where it is appropriate.
"There is therefore now no condemnation..." That means exactly what it says!
There is nothing that God can bring against us in condemnation if we are in Christ Jesus! Why? For the same reason that once Noah and his family went into the ark, and the door was shut by the LORD, and the ark was sealed against the waters of judgment, no harm could come to them. Again, this was more than just a storm. This was the wrath of God being poured out onto God-haters.
All those who are in Christ Jesus are called sons and daughters of God. We are family!
I want to show you another verse.
14: For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons (and daughters) of God.
Not they "might be," or they "may hope to be," but they are!
That's a present tense verb. Consider a modern illustration, a husband and wife with two or three children has a son who becomes a renegade. He is an embarrassment to everything the family stands for. The parents, at their wits end, finally say, "He is such an embarrassment that we want to cut him off. He doesn’t get a dime of the inheritance. Furthermore, we’ll go to court and totally disinherit him. Let's not even recognize him as our son!" And this they do. But no matter where this child goes, whose blood is flowing through his veins? His parents!
It's no different here. Once we have entered into this kind of a relationship, and we have become legitimate children of God by virtue of all the acts of God, who can change that?
No one, it can't be done.
We may think that God should kick someone out of His family, but the Scripture stands.
If that person has genuinely entered in, he is in Christ Jesus permanently.
I am a firm believer in eternal security only for those who have been genuinely saved.
For a genuinely saved person, there is now no condemnation.
(To be continued)
© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved