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Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth. There is nothing more essential in the study of God's Word than rightly dividing the word of truth. In particular, a focus on dispensationalism is critical. What is dispensationalism and why is it essential in the interpretation and study of God's Word?
Dispensationalism is the biblical approach to rightly dividing the word of God. 2Timothy 2:15 demands that we, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. We have a great need to be approved by God as a workman, thus, His word must be rightly divided.
What does it mean to rightly divide the word of truth? The Bible is not a book of confusion. Yet, there are divisions. Dispensationalism is a process of rightly dividing the divisions; whether historical, theological, practical, etc. That is the essence of dispensationalism. Not to rightly divide God's Word leaves Christians divided.
There are many false approaches to biblical application due to ignoring dispensationalism. It is not a sin to be ignorant. Yet, it is a sin to ignore our ignorance. The examples are many: i.e.: the Church in Galatia was bewitched and the Church in Corinth was bewildered and the Church in Thyatira was beguiled. In fact, the ignoring of dispensationalism has resulted in admiration of ideology over theology. It is foolish to think that churches can be spiritually directed apart from being scripturally correct. Rightly dividing the word is the ingredient of Believers who are indeed spiritual and effective.
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There are believers who are disturbed by the need for dispensationalism because they think that it makes aspects of the Bible irrelevant to them. However, correct dispensationalism does not exact irrelevance on any portion of Scripture. Rather, it sheds light on our need to respond correctly. It turns on the light, helping us to know where we are, and where to go and not go. That is the essential benefit of dispensationalism.
God works different ways at different times. Before the flood, people were vegetarians, but that does not mean that I cannot eat meat today. Neither do I need to put myself under the dietary laws given to the Old Testament Jews. Dispensationalism shows us that these laws are not meant for us to follow. This allows the Bible student to understand the spiritual and practical applications and implications of these laws without being compelled to practice them. Dispensationalism brings liberty from things like the law and yet gives greater weight to spiritual applications for today.
Dispensationalism believes God's word to be literal. It challenges and solves many contradictory thoughts about the Bible. Dispensationalism destroys doctrinal heresies.
If Christians are going to be spiritually directed, then we need to be scripturally correct. Thus, the demand for an understanding and application of dispensationalism is proper and necessary for biblical interpretation. College of The Open Bible provides a comprehensive course devoted to the principle of rightly dividing the word. This online course is a 3 credit hour study and can be applied or transferred to a degree program. Learn more by calling 864-607-5200.
Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger
COLLEGE OF THE OPEN BIBLE