Rightly Dividing the Word
We are well into the study of “end time” events; and we are for the most part using the books of Daniel and Revelation for this. We have visited other books of the Bible for the purpose of gathering information and to demonstrate the continuity of Scripture. This practice shall continue.
Although the Bible contains sixty-six books, written by more than forty authors, the Bible is to be studied as a whole. There are thirty-nine Old Testament books and twenty-seven New Testament books. The Bible is like a puzzle, of sorts, and all the pieces of the puzzle fit together when all is said and done. (This occurs when the Bible is properly used of course.)
10: “For He (God) says, ‘Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there…’” (NASB)
The King James Version translate the same message this way:
10: For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little: (KJV)
I like the New English Bible translation because of its clarity.
10: He tells us everything over and over--one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there!" (NEB)
Of the twenty-seven New Testament books, the apostle Paul is credited with writing thirteen of these. It is my opinion, Paul also wrote the book of Hebrews. He didn’t sign his name to this letter (book) because of their (The Jews) animosity toward him.
Question: We know Paul wrote half of the New Testament. Why then are his teachings omitted from the majority of Sunday sermons? Since Paul, is designated as the “apostle to the gentiles,” by the risen Lord, you would think the church leader(s) would spend more time instructing congregations on these Pauline Doctrines.
Here’s some homework for you, if you choose. For the next few months keep track of the sermons in your churches. How many of these sermons are based on one or more of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.) and how many are from one or more of Paul’s letters to the gentile believers.
II Timothy 3
16: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
Are Paul’s writings Scripture? The Bible reveals truth.
Peter, the apostle, and Paul for the longest time were at odds with one another until the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Peter (Acts 10) that he was not to call “unclean” what God has “cleansed.” Before Peter’s execution, in AD 68, he wrote the letter we call II Peter. In this letter, Peter includes Paul’s writings as Scripture and the necessities to both read and heed his words even though, as Peter writes, “...in which are some things hard to understand…”
II Peter 3
14: Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
15: and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother (Who?) Paul, according to (What?) the wisdom given him, (Paul was not taught these mysteries, kept hidden in the mind of God, by any man but all these mysteries were revealed to him by the Lord Jesus Christ. By which Paul) wrote to you,
16: as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, (Peter was a good Jew. Born, raised, and taught all the ways of the Jews. Paul’s message of salvation based on faith and faith alone was both foreign to Peter and the twelve and “hard to understand” based on what they knew.) which the untaught (I like the word ignorant instead of untaught here.) and the unstable (Do what?) distort, as they do also (Now get this) the rest of Scriptures, (and so by doing bring about) their own destruction.
Now that’s harsh language. I know it is. But this is what the book says. If you either ignore the writings of Paul, or if you choose to “distort” his significant contributions to Scripture, you shall bring about your own “destruction.”
25: Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past…,
Just because Paul is designated as the apostle to the gentiles, and his writings are primarily for us believers, does not mean, in any way, that we ignore or rip the Old Testament out of our Bibles. To quote Paul, “…may it never be.”
(To be continued.)
By: Gary Heitzman