KNOWING AND DIVIDING
Knowing the word of truth is for all Believers. But dividing it is a different matter indeed, because dividing is the responsibility of those who minister it.
In his letter to Timothy Paul encourages him to ...
"... 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.
Timothy was sent by Paul to assist the Believers at Ephesus and Paul is encouraging him in his ministry to them. In his first letter to Timothy Paul says:
"These things command and teach.
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine," 1 Timothy 4'11-13.
Remember, the words about commanding and teaching are not for everybody to do. Certainly, every Elder should take notice of the rest. But Timothy is a co-worker for the Kingdom of God (Colossians 4'11).
Paul is confident that his "true son in the faith", as he called Timothy, is the man for the ministry.
So what is rightly dividing the word of truth? The Greek word for "rightly dividing", orthotomeo, is used only once in the New Testament.
According to Strong's Concordance it simply means "to cut straight"; from two words orthos (straight, not crooked) and tomoteros (sharp).
However, "cutting straight" the word of truth would have been something Timothy was familiar with because he was told to:
"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching," 2 Timothy 4'2.
He would have known this as well:
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2 Timothy 3'16.
He could divide the word of truth because he knew it. He would have heard his "spiritual father" Paul saying, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom" (Colossians 3'16).
Knowing the word of truth meant he could divide and minister it truthfully - straightly. (For more go to "Hear Him!" on the Menu.)