2 Timothy 3:16-17. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Why was the Bible given to us? According to the verse above, it was given for “Instruction in righteousness.” Righteousness under the New Covenant comes to us as a free gift. Free to us, yes; but it was anything but free to our Father. It cost Him the life of His Beloved Son.
Divine Order Of The New Testament.
God is a God of order. Take note of the order in the verse above. “All scripture is profitable for:”
2. Reproof—of wrong conduct
3. Correction—of wrong doctrine
The entire Bible was written for our instruction, yes. But especially, as far as the church is concerned, particularly the non-Jewish church, the writings of Paul are best for our “Instruction in righteousness,” i.e. Doctrine, reproof, and correction. Toward that end, Paul wrote Nine books to the Church, not including the four letters to individual people, namely 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon. Those are his pastoral letters. They are much more personal.
Below is the list of Paul’s Letters to the non-Jewish Church:
2) 1 Corinthians
3) 2 Corinthians
8) 1 Thessalonians
9) 2 Thessalonians
These are the nine letters that were written to Jewish Christians:
3) 1 Peter
4) 2 Peter
5) 1 John
6) 2 John
7) 3 John
Using the order in the opening verse, look what The Holy Spirit did. He placed all the books in this order: 1) Romans–Doctrine; 2 & 3): 1 & 2 Corinthians, for reproof of wrong conduct. 4) Galatians—Correction of wrong doctrine. 5) Ephesians—Doctrine. 6) Philippians— Reproof of wrong conduct. 7) Colossians—Correction of wrong doctrine. 8 & 9) 1 & 2 Thessalonians—Doctrine.
Isn’t God amazing? Romans is all about the DOCTRINE of grace that Paul preached. Then, in 1 & 2 Corinthians, he is correcting wrong conduct. Remember what the Corinthians were up to? They were drinking and carousing during the Lord’s Supper, having happy hour! I’d say that qualifies as WRONG CONDUCT.
Next, we have those foolish Galatians. They got all mixed up, thinking, “Now that we’re saved, we need to obey the Law of Moses,” because some Judaizers said so. NOT RIGHT!! Paul had to write to them and correct their WRONG DOCTRINE. We are not under the law.
The Book of Ephesians contains all kind of DOCTRINES about being seated with Christ, the doctrine of marriage, order in the church, order in marriage. It also discusses the principles of, “sit, walk, stand,” which is the WEALTH, the WALK and the WARFARE of the church.
In Philippians, Paul once again has to REPROVE WRONG CONDUCT. Colossians was written in order to correct WRONG DOCTRINE in their Church because many of them were going over to Gnosticism. 1 & 2 Thessalonians both deal with DOCTRINES concerning the Lord’s coming. “Don’t sorrow as those who have no hope.” Of all people, we sure have hope!
We who believe in Jesus, know He is coming back for us! That is our HOPE!!!Everyone who is alive and remain, regardless of their level of faithfulness…or the lack thereof…shall be caught up TOGETHER to meet the Jesus in the air…”And so we shall always be with the Lord!!!” This is “harpadzó,” more commonly known as “The RAPTURE!”
Some speculate that the Bible was put together in it’s current order by translators. But when you read this, you’ll see that this statement is not accurate. THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS DESIGNED OUR BIBLE IN SUCH A WAY THAT IT IS NOT ACCORDING TO CHRONOLOGY BUT IN DIVINE ORDER.
A Message In The Order.
Even the order is a message! Romans was one of the LAST letters Paul wrote. It is placed first while 1 & 2 Thessalonians, his first two letters, are placed LAST. Why? Because Romans deals with the basics of the Gospel of GRACE, while 1 & 2 Thessalonians talks about the rapture of the church and the return of our Lord. It is the Holy Spiriti’s way of telling us He wants us to start with the Gospel and END with the coming of Jesus! ISN’T GOD COOL!?
But it’s not just the New Testament that demonstrates God’s love of order and of His people. You may follow the link below to check out the Divisions of the Old Testament and be blessed all over again!
You may continue to Part 15 of Rightly Dividing The Word Of God by following the link below. We’ll be talking once again about CONTEXT and how to apply it to every day Bible study:
6 thoughts on “The Letters Of Paul: Part 14 of 16—Rightly Dividing The Word Of God.”
God is God of order. Tak notr of the order…
Take not Tak
Bless you and great article!
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What about 1 Thessalonians 4&5? Are they taking about rapture or second coming?
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The rapture, or harpadzó, of the Church. They are two separate and distinct events.