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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: Rightly Dividing the Word

Patternist

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Without going into specifics about what IS “rightly dividing the word of truth”, there are a few evident conclusions from this short text.

First, consider that a worker who does NOT rightly divide the word of truth has reason to be ashamed. This stands in contrast to the popular, but uninformed view that God is not concerned with our understanding or heeding His will for us. He is! And for the one who is willfully ignorant, it is appropriate to say, “You should be ashamed of yourself!” Consider prayerfully that such shame is in the eyes of God, not man.

Second, consider that the admonition to rightly divide indicates the possibility of dividing the truth in a wrong or illegitimate way. Too often religious disagreements are attributed to the fact that “we just see things differently”, or “these are just equally valid interpretations.” Spiritual truth is no more subjective than the solution to a common math problem. We are not free to believe what we wish, we are commanded to believe God’s will!

Third, it takes diligence to rightly divide the word of truth. I recently read an article that bemoaned the loss of respect for the “expert.” In our egalitarian society, every person seems to believe his opinion on any matter is as valid (true) as any other, no matter how uninformed he may be. As a preacher, I have actively studied God’s word for over 35 years. And yet, it is common for individuals who are completely ignorant of what the Bible teaches to argue as if they are equals in understanding God’s will. It is not necessary to get a university degree to know God’s will for man, but it does take diligent study.

I encourage you to diligently study the Bible, so that you may receive God’s approval. In so doing, you will equip yourself for “every good work” (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

(Note: This passage alone is sufficient reason for the articles here on the Patternist Facebook page. If we take this admonition seriously, our first question should be HOW to rightly divide the word of truth). These efforts serve to assist in that pursuit.

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