St. Paul wrote to Timothy, many centuries ago:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3: 16).
The Apostle referred, of course, to the sacred Scriptures, also called The Bible and The Word of God. All of it, he says, is “God-breathed and profitable,” to “teach,” to “reprove,” to “correct” and to “instruct.”
But why, then, have so many heresies and false teachings sprung up through the years – all based upon the Bible? And why have so many thousands of sincere people been led astray by these false teachings?
The reason is that teachers and followers alike have failed to heed another important statement which Paul made in this same letter prior to his declaration that all Scripture is inspired of God and profitable. This statement is found in Chapter 2, Verse 15:
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
The Bible can prove “profitable” to us only as we “rightly divide” it. We must rightly divide the Word of truth for the simple reason that if we do not do this we can pervert the truth and change it into error. Through the centuries God has periodically altered His dealings with mankind. Many religious rites which were commanded in Old Testament times are positively forbidden in this present dispensation of grace.
In Old Testament times, for example, animal sacrifices were required for acceptance with God, and from John the Baptist through Pentecost water baptism was required (Lev. 17:11; Mk. 1:4; Acts 2:38), but some years after the death of Christ Paul was sent forth with “the preaching of the cross,” and he declared that: “We have redemption through [Christ’s] blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7) “Being justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). source
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