(937) 669-3090 support@cffm.org

God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).

The context of II Timothy demonstrates why we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of truth. The selection of that term “word of truth” is not accidental. It is only used five times in the Bible.

“Word of truth” is used in Psalms 119:43, II Corinthians 6:7, Ephesians 1:13, and James 1:18. It is not in II Timothy by accident; it points purposely at truth and not falsehoods and lies. II Timothy is written against the background of the church and its ruin. In I Timothy, the church was moving up, rising, prevailing. By the time Paul wrote II Timothy, things were beginning to fall apart; people had forsaken the mystery. It was written to Timothy when the church was, for the most part, forsaking the truth and running after error; it was on the way down.

II Timothy 2:15 is set against a backdrop of false teachers. In verse fourteen, Paul tells Timothy to avoid word battles that only ruin the listeners. In verses sixteen through eighteen he talks about false teachers who had said the resurrection of the believers had already passed ― it had already come ― and that their godless chatter was eating away at their audience like gangrene. Without rightly dividing the scriptures, we will not be able to protect ourselves, let alone others, from erring concerning the truth. Paul says in verses seventeen and eighteen, that Hymenaeus and Philetus erred concerning the truth. But even with all of this, Paul still says, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure.” The deposit that Paul delivered to Timothy, Timothy is supposed to deliver to other faithful men. By God’s mercy and grace, it has been delivered to us, and it is our joy to keep that deposit and pass it on.

II Timothy 2:14:
Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

“Charging them before the Lord” is quite an emphatic or forceful way of saying it ― charging, demanding, commanding before the Lord. “Charging them before the Lord” shows what a big deal it was. People want to argue about things. They want to advance their causes. When you say, “The Word says…” they say, “Yeah, but…”

II Timothy 2:15-16:
Study [earnestly, diligently, using our time wisely] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

People go on and on about the most useless things. You want to speak the Word, and they say, “What about this person and what about that person?” In Matthew 7:16, Jesus says that by their fruits you shall know them. That is how we are known, by our fruit. That is how I know the people that I work with are valiant for the truth, because there is fruit in their lives.

II Timothy 2:17:
And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus.

It says “their word” not “God’s Word.” Their word ate like a canker. Yet they tried to pass it off as God’s Word. The words of Hymenaeus and Philetus ate like a canker, a gangrene. For us, it does not mean much to read that. At least it does not for me. I do not know Hymenaeus or Philetus. These were people they knew and with whom they associated. What if it was said of people whom we know? Do you think the impact would be multiplied?

II Timothy 2:18:
Who concerning the truth have erred [NIV translates that phrase, “Who have wandered away from the truth…”], saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Nobody wants to make a mistake when it comes to rightly dividing the Word, but we wander away from it, we go off on tangents. We follow this thing and that thing, and we go after this and that. All of a sudden, we are like sheep that are lost! We had no intention of getting lost. A sheep does not go out and say, “Well, today I am going to go out and get lost.” It just starts eating and sees more grass over there, and it just follows the food. It is like the devil putting crumbs along the way, enticing us to come this way.

It is like the lady who had a skunk in her basement who called the radio show for help. The radio man said, “Oh, that is easy. Just put bread crumbs going up the basement stairs and out to the porch, then down the stairs.” So, the next day, she calls the show back saying, “Now I have two skunks in my basement.”

That is how it happens; people just go after the crumbs. They just start eating, and all of a sudden, they are lost. They do not remember where they are. They do not remember what is going on or how they got there. “How did I get here? I do not know. If I remembered, then I would know how to get back.”

II Timothy 2:19:
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure [Paul and the other apostles set this sure foundation before God’s people, and it behooves us to cleave unto it], having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

We know we are His, and we live His Word, departing from iniquity. We know we are on the right track when we have departed from iniquity. We know we are His and our lives are more godly, more holy. We see the result. We do not get angry like we used to. We do not go off and get drunk every weekend. We do not fall into all the old-man habit patterns that we used to have, because we have learned to put them away. That is the deal; let every one that nameth the name of Jesus Christ depart from iniquity.

We cannot let our allegiance to truth deteriorate. They call them cankers. These cankers progressively undermine one’s belief in the uniqueness and authority of the Bible. How would you like to believe that the gathering together has already happened and you missed it? No thanks! God guarantees me I am out of here when it happens. Praise the Lord.

The scriptures set the Word of Truth in opposition to that which is false. The immediate context gives examples pulled from the lives of Paul and Timothy. These examples were very real to them. They knew these men; they lived through these situations. They had an experiential knowledge of scriptures like Ephesians 5:6 which says, “Let no man deceive you with vain words,” and Colossians 2:4 in which Paul says, “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.”

These scriptures were real because that is what was happening to them. People were beguiling them with enticing words. It sounded oh, so good. They saw people deceived and beguiled with enticing words. The first century church did not make it much more than a generation before they lost the truth of the mystery, and that is scary to me. It is scary, and it would be even scarier if I did not know how big God is. If I did not know how big God is, I would say we are doomed to fail. We are not doomed to fail, because God is bigger than that.

Even during Paul’s lifetime people forsook the truth of the gospel and turned unto fables. That does not need to happen to us. Even if everyone historically has blown it, we do not need to. We can be among those who do not blow it! We can be among those who do not forsake the mystery. We can be among those to stay put on the doctrine and not change because of stupidity or foolishness. We do not need to follow the devil’s bread crumbs. If we are dining on the whole loaf of truth, we will not be tempted to follow after the crumbs.