“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Truth is very narrow! The equation “two plus two” has only one correct answer, and yet there exists an infinite supply of wrong answers to that equation! In the verse above, Paul exhorts Timothy to rightly handle the word of truth! There is one way to rightly handle the word of truth, while there are endless ways to wrongly handle the word of truth!
To understand Scripture correctly, it is vital that all passages be read within their context. Seven guidelines can help us to consider the context of a passage: (1) Every phrase must be understood within the context of the sentence. (2) Every sentence must be understood within the context of the paragraph. (3) Every paragraph must be understood within the context of the subject. (4) Every subject must be understood within the context of the book. (5) Every book must be understood within the context of the Testament. (6) Each Testament must be understood within the context of the entire Scripture. (7) And all of Scripture (the Word of God) must be understood in the context of Jesus Christ (the Word made flesh)!
And yet, while these guidelines can help us, there are passages in Scripture that are deeply troubling, and difficult to understand: Lot offered his daughters for rape (Gen.19:8); Israel is instructed to kill all the men, women and children of Amelek, including even babies (1 Sam.15:3); Corinthians believers are baptized on behalf of the dead (1 Cor.15:29). Why did God include such difficult passages in His Word?
I would submit two possible reasons: (1) to attract us to a never-ending investigation and meditation on Scripture, as we come to the realization that a lifetime of study will not be enough to exhaust the wealth of the Word of God; (2) and to awaken in us the realization that we are not ultimately saved by our level of biblical knowledge, but by the One who is the Grand Theme of every page of Scripture! We are weak, even in our understanding of the Word of God, but our hope is not in ourselves in any way! Our hope is in the One who died for us, and rose again, conquering death and sin and hell!
To rightly handle the Word of Truth is to see Jesus, and to love Him supremely!