St. Paul wrote to Timothy, many centuries ago:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in right- eousness” (II Tim. 3: 16).
The Apostle referred, of course, to the sacred Scriptures, also called The Bible and The Word of God. All of it, he says, is “God-breathed and profitable,” to “teach,” to “reprove,” to “correct” and to “instruct.”
But why, then, have so many heresies and false teachings sprung up through the years – all based upon the Bible? And why have so many thousands of sincere people been led astray by these false teachings?
The reason is that teachers and followers alike have failed to heed another important statement which Paul made in this same letter prior to his declaration that all Scripture is inspired of God and profitable. This statement is found in Chapter 2, Verse 15:
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
The Bible can prove “profitable” to us only as we “rightly divide” it. We must rightly divide the Word of truth for the simple reason that if we do not do this we can pervert the truth and change it into error. Through the centuries God has periodically altered His dealings with mankind. Many religious rites which were commanded in Old Testament times are positively forbidden in this present dispensation of grace.
In Old Testament times, for example, animal sacrifices were required for acceptance with God, and from John the Baptist through Pentecost water baptism was required (Lev. 17:11; Mk. 1:4; Acts 2:38), but some years after the death of Christ Paul was sent forth with “the preaching of the cross,” and he declared that: “We have redemption through [Christ’s] blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7) “Being justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.