“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15) The words “rightly dividing” mean to balance truth. The truth that is out of balance becomes heresy. Almost every doctrine in the Bible is a balance between opposing truths. It is like looking at the two sides of one coin.
Unity of God – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) If we push the unity of God too far, we end up making Jesus His own Father.
Diversity of God – “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.” (I John 5:7) The danger is if we push the diversity of God too far, we end up with three Gods. The balance of truth is a compound unity; one God in three persons. “And these three are one.” (I John 5:7)
Son of God – “God cannot be tempted with evil.” (James 1:13) The danger is if we push this too far, we believe that God does not understand our temptations.
Son of Man – “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 1:13) If we push this too far, we believe Jesus struggled with sin. The balance of truth is that God became a man. “For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9) Jesus is not half God and half man; He is very God and very man.
Faith as a gift – “to another faith by the same Spirit.” (I Corinthians 12:9) The danger is pushing this too far and believing only some people have faith.
Faith as a fruit – “but the fruit of the Spirit is… faithfulness.” (Galatians 5:22) If we push this too far, we believe young Christians cannot believe in great things. The balance of truth is faith is both a gift and a fruit. We have a faith that works. “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works, faith was made perfect?” (James 2:22)
Salvation by grace – “it is the gift of God and not of works,” (Ephesians 2:8) If we push this too far, we end up with no place in the redemption process.
Salvation by works – “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) If we push this too far, we think we save ourselves with our good deeds.
The balance of truth is salvation that works. “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)
Sanctified by God – “Now may the God of peace sanctify you completely.” (I Thessalonians 5:23) If we push this too far, we think we have no responsibility in the sanctification process.
Sanctified by ourselves – “cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit.” (II Corinthians 7:1) If we push this too far, we think we can cleanse ourselves without God’s help. The balance of truth is we are sanctified by God and our obedience. “And washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:14)
Righteousness as a gift – “abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.” (Romans 5:17) If we push this too far, we are righteous no matter what we do.
Righteousness by obedience – “obedience leading to righteousness.” (Romans 6:16) If we push this too far, we justify ourselves by our good deeds. The balance of truth is righteousness is both a divine gift and a personal responsibility.
The sovereignty of God – “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself.” (Ephesians 1:5) If we push this too far, we make God responsible for damning people to eternal destruction.
Free-will of man – “You see then that a man is justified by works.” (James 2:24) If we push this too far, we make man his own savior. The balance of truth is we are saved by grace and faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 3:8)
Elect by grace – “elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” (I Peter 1:2) If we push this too far, we have no part in the election process.
Elect by obedience – “be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure.” (II Peter 1:10) If we push this too far, election depends only on us. The balance of truth is God has chosen us and we must respond to His call. “If they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in.” (Romans 11:23)
Reviews for Grace and Truth Lesson 5 – The Balance of Truth Part 1