re-posted from Pr. Flamme (26 verses, 2:16 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Rightly Divided
- Paul presents three pictures of a pastor: the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer (1-6).
- The Unbound Word of God (8-13)
- Rightly Handling the Word of Truth (14-19)
- Honorable vs. Dishonorable Use (20-23)
- How to Handle Theological Opponents (24-26)
- Public teachers of the Word are the subject for this chapter (vs. 2).
- The three images of the pastor are important. A soldier suffers with his comrades in arms. The athlete is attentive to the rules of the game. The farmer labors with patience and enjoys the fruit of his crop. The pastor must have these specific attitudes. He must suffer for Christ’s sake, for the sake of preaching the Gospel according to his charge, not for preaching his own opinions. To compete according to the rules means that there’s no shortcuts or excuses out of godly living for pastors. They are held accountable to God’s Law like everyone else. Perhaps the image of the farmer is the most important. His labor is arduous but his reward takes a long time to sprout and ripen for harvest. Yet, the reward, the great harvest of the faithful is his delight and joy. Even if he doesn’t see the fruit of his labors in this life, the pastor will surely see all the saints that Jesus saved through his works on the wondrous day of the Lord when we’re all gathered around the throne of the Lamb.
- The namesake of our blog and Facebook group comes from this chapter! In my ESV translation it reads, “rightly handling the word of truth.” “Rightly dividing” or “rightly cutting” might be better renditions. The image is of a craftsman who makes an expert cut, like a jeweler who crafts the shape of a diamond. This task is the highest art in all Christendom. It’s to divide and distinguish between threats and promises, wrath and grace, Law and Gospel. To distinguish these properly is to know the truth of God’s Word, that we are sinners and that Christ is our only Savior.
- Prayer: Merciful Lord, teach me to know your Word rightly distinguished. Keep me from turning your Law into a ladder into heaven so that I may rejoice in Christ’s work to save me from sin, death, and the devil. Amen.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/
-Pastor A. Brian Flamme