Let Us Rightly Divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
1. According to John 8:31-32, we can know the truth by continuing in the Lord's Word. 2. As we endeavor to continue in the Lord's Word, we must fulfill certain responsibilities. a. We must take all that the Bible teaches on any given subject. b. We must also "rightly divide [handle accurately] the word of truth." 3. An important component of rightly dividing the word of truth is avoiding human traditions and commandments.
I. THIS PRINCIPLE IS ADDRESSED IN TITUS 1:13-14
A. In his teaching Titus was to help the people in Crete to "be sound in the faith." B. To accomplish this Titus was to teach the people in Crete not to give heed to the "commandments of men." C. Such commandments must be avoided because they turn people from the truth.
II. THIS PRINCIPLE IS ILLUSTRATED IN MARK 7:1-13
A. (vs.1-5) Certain men found fault with the Lord's disciples. 1. (vs.1) These men came to Jesus from Jerusalem [Jesus was in Galilee]. a. These men were: 1) Pharisees: members of the strictest sect of the Jews 2) scribes: copiers and teachers of the law. b. The scribes and Pharisees often criticized Jesus (ex: Mark 2:15-16). c. This was probably their purpose for coming to Jesus. 2. (vs.2) On this occasion they found fault with the Lord's disciples. a. They saw the disciples eat with "defiled" [unwashed] hands. b. This does not mean that the disciples had not washed at all. c. (vs.3-4) Mark explained what took place. 1) These Jews followed a set of oral traditions that had been passed down for many years. 2) One tradition said that the Jews could not eat a meal until they went through a ceremony of washing themselves. 3) They also believed that their cooking vessels and tables had to be purified. 4) Sanitation was taught in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12-15). 5) However, this was a manmade tradition. 3. (vs.5) They asked Jesus why His disciples did not follow their tradition. B. (vs.6-8) Jesus answered the Pharisees and scribes. 1. (vs.6) He applied the statement in Isaiah 29:13 to these men. 2. (vs.7-8) He also said that their worship was "vain" and why it was vain. C. (vs.9-13) Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of these men. 1. (vs.9) They actually considered their traditions to be more important than God's written commandments. 2. (vs.10-12) Jesus illustrated their error. a. (vs.10) Jesus quoted 2 commandments given in Exodus 20:12 and 21:17. b. (vs.11-12) These men had developed a tradition which allowed them in their minds to be free from obeying these 2 commandments. c. (vs.13) Unfortunately, this was just one example of many similar practices.
1. Jesus went on to show what really defiles people (vs.14-23). 2. As we endeavor to rightly divide the word of truth, let us avoid human traditions and commandments.