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"The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou
to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (II Tim. 2: 2).
Here the Apostle "rightly divides" between the truth committed to himself as the
prisoner of the Lord, and that committed to the Apostle of the Circumcision. Failure to
recognize this distinction lies at the root of much confused teaching today. Timothy was
to "rightly divide" among the redeemed, and commit this precious truth to those men
only who were "faithful". This however was not sufficient. All faithful men are not
"able to teach others" and so a further process of right division must be put into
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life" (II Tim. 2: 4).
We must "rightly divide" between the two words translated life namely zoe and bios.
Zoe is used mainly of the life principle (John 3: 16) whereas bios deals with the
phenomenon of life, the means of living (Mark 12: 44).
"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according
to my gospel" (II Tim. 2: 8).
The same Christ had been raised from the dead as an historic fact independently of
anybody's gospel. He had been raised from the dead according to Peter's gospel
(Acts 2: 30) with a view to David's throne, being somewhat different from the position
that Christ held according to the gospel committed to Paul.
"Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain salvation
which is in Christ Jesus with aionian glory" (II Tim. 2: 10).
This is not salvation pure and simple, but that salvation which is accompanied with
"aionian glory". This distinction is the subject of the verses that immediately follow:
"It is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him
(salvation in its simplest form). If we endure, we shall also reign with Him (salvation
and aionion glory). If we deny Him, He also will deny us (i.e. of the added glory). If we
are faithless, He abideth faithful, He cannot deny Himself (i.e. so far as initial salvation
is concerned)" (II Tim. 2: 11-13).
"Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they
strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers" (II Tim. 2: 14).
Here Timothy has to divide between "words to no profit" and "these things" that deal
with salvation and glory.
Pursing our investigation beyond verse fifteen we observe that HymenŠus and
Philetus did not actually deny the resurrection but misplaced it. They failed to "rightly
divide" as to time (II Tim. 2: 17, 18). Then we see that the foundation of God has a
seal with two sides, one emphasizing divine grace and the other human responsibility
(II Tim. 2: 19). We further learn that there is need to "rightly divide" between the vessels
that are found in a great house (II Tim. 2: 21), also we are taught what to "flee" and what
to "follow" (II Tim. 2: 22), and to distinguish between "striving" and "meekly
instructing" (II Tim. 2: 24, 25).