cut straight, dealing straightforwardly, harmony, oneness, orthotomeō, right thinking, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, stinking thinking, teach the truth directly and correctly, unity in ALL believers
Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15, CJB
Most believers assume that to rightly divide Scripture means to correctly interpret it. While correctly interpreting the Word of God is certainly a crucial objective, this definition does not exactly describe what the phrase rightly divide actually means. Then too, since the Word of God has no doctrinal lies, no doctrinal errors in it, when we rightly divide the Word of Truth we are NOT separating doctrinal lies or errors from scriptural Truth or accuracy/validity. Therefore, the Divine Truth is that when we are rightly dividing the Word of God we are, as the Greek word orthotomeō literally denotes, cutting straight, or guiding on a straight path.
In other words, if the Word of God is cut and/or directed correctly, then the person who is reading, preaching, and/or teaching the Word of God is the man or woman who is, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, getting and/or giving the true sense of the Divine Truth that is contained in the Scriptures. He or she will not be perverting or deleting any of God’s Word—he or she neither will be distorting nor taking away from or adding to the Word of God. Then too, he or she will not be turning people away from the Divine Truth with his or her own false teaching or his or her own agendas.
Contrary to the popular opinions about what rightly dividing the Word of God means, the person who is rightly dividing the Scriptures will be the godly man or woman who, by explaining and applying the whole Gospel that is in God’s Word, will be pointing out God’s Divine Truths by plainly yet faithfully writing about, preaching, and/or teaching what actually is in the complete Word of God. This person does so without withholding, misrepresenting, or sugarcoating anything that is beneficial to the people who are hearing or reading what has been spoken or written about any specific biblical Truth. Even if what is being written about, preached, or taught is hard for some people to accept because they prefer to apply their 21st century cultural interpretations to the Word of God, or hard for some people to accept because they prefer to apply their natural intellectual wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to supernatural spiritual wisdom, knowledge and understanding, or hard for some people to accept because they can’t find certain theological terms, like “Rapture,” “Trinity,” or even “Bible,” in the Word of God, or hard for some people to accept because what they are listening to or reading goes against what has traditionally been written, preached or taught, the person called of God to preach and teach His Word at such a time as this still should be rightly dividing the Word of God (see also 2 Timothy 4:2-4).
Put differently, the Holy Spirit filled godly man or woman who is rightly dividing the Word of Truth is treating God’s Word honestly and fully, in a straightforward manner. The point here is that because there are so many ways to distort the meaning of God’s Truths that are either concealed or revealed in His Word, then the only way that there ever will be any true unity of ALL believers is when ALL believers agree with (are in harmony with) what the Word of God actually says. This harmony, however, only can be achieved by the teaching, enlightening, prompting, and leading of the Holy Spirit, who doesn’t give two or three different interpretations of scriptural Truths. Indeed, even using traditional hermeneutics (the science and art of interpreting meaning from a written text) often results in different interpretations of said text, because hermeneutics is established man-made rules that are used to interpret God’s Word!
For the record, God gave His children His Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit would unite ALL believers by teaching them God’s Divine Truths. Put differently, where God’s Word is concerned, the Holy Spirit helps ALL believers have right/correct thinking instead of stinking thinking. For this reason, believers’ harmony, oneness/unity, will be witnessed not only in what all believers profess to believe about the Truth the Scriptures convey but also in how all believers live their lives publicly and privately.
A favorite Christian quote that supports the kind of harmony or oneness that comes from rightly dividing the Word of God is as follows:
It is perilous to separate thinking rightly, from acting rightly. He is already half false who speculates on truth and does not do it. The penalty paid by him who speculates on truth without doing it, is, that by degrees the very truth he holds becomes a falsehood. ~ Frederick W. Robertson
There can be no doubt that Robertson is echoing James 1:22 (CJB), which reads: “Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it!”
The bottom line is, when the Holy Spirit teaches, enlightens, prompts, and leads God’s children, especially on how the Word of Truth should be rightly divided (how they should cut straight; teach the truth directly and correctly; and deal straightforwardly), every genuinely born again, saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and being sanctified believer would have the same supernatural spiritual wisdom, knowledge, and understanding about the Divine Truth that is in any biblical verse. There would be no way that conflicting opinions or meanings could exist, because there never would be two or three, or more, interpretations of any single biblical Truth.
Once again, God gave us the Holy Spirit so that He not only would make us one with our brothers and sisters, but also so that He would make us one with our Lord and our Father God. Clearly we never can be one with God, Christ Jesus, and our Household of Faith siblings if our “rightly dividing” of the Word of Truth causes us to preach, teach, and/or write about different understandings of the same biblical passages!
Finally, whether writing, teaching, and/or preaching the rightly divided Word of God, the Scriptures always should be presented accurately, straightforwardly, as a single, unified whole, without taking any detours and without having any concealed or revealed agendas. Ultimately, by faithfully and authoritatively rightly dividing the Word of God, the presenter will be demonstrating to his or her readers and/or listeners that God’s Word is a marvelous whole from beginning to end—that God’s eternal plan of salvation, as depicted in the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation, is ONE unified (harmonious) plan. This last reason is why God’s children also must be unified (harmonious) in how they rightly divide God’s Word.