SAME WORD, BUT DIFFERENT MEANING!
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15).
In studying the word of God, one of the most important truths to understand is that there are many times the same word is used in different ways. Consider the following:
1. “Saved” can be talking about being saved from eternal hell to the eternal heaven; or we can be saved from a hell on this earth to a heaven on this earth; or we can be saved from dying a physical death to remaining alive; or we can be saved from ignorance by coming to a knowledge of the truth; etc.
2. “World” can be talking about the earth on which we live; or the word world can have reference to the age or dispensation; or the word world can have reference to a particular geographic location or nation; etc.
3. “Righteousness” can have reference to the righteousness of Jesus Christ which enables us to enter the eternal heaven; or the word righteousness can have reference to the practical righteousness which comes from keeping the laws of God.
4. “Heaven” is a word that means state of bliss and joy, and can have reference to the eternal heaven where all the family of God will be when this world is over; or heaven can have reference to the heaven we can experience while we live here on this earth (kingdom of heaven); etc.
5. “Baptism” is a word that means to be immersed, and can have reference to water baptism; or it can have reference to being baptized with fire; or baptized with the Holy Ghost; or a spiritual baptism; etc.
6. “Faith” sometimes have reference to the word of God, the faith which was once delivered to the saints; and sometimes it can have reference to that part of the fruit of the Spirit which enables us to believe; etc.
7. “Sinner” is a word that sometimes is talking about every human being, because of our Adamic nature; while at other times is referring to an individual who is an unrepentant sinner who is walking in willful disobedience and open rebellion to the word of God; etc.
8. “Forgiveness” sometimes have reference to what we received because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary; while at other times forgiveness is expressing what we experience when we repent and return to God (Experiencial forgiveness).
9. “Church” can have reference to a local body of born again, baptized believers; or it may have reference to the church in the wilderness (Old Testament); or it may have reference to the entire family of God; etc.
10. “Gospel” simply means good news, and can have reference to the gospel of Jesus Christ; the gospel of the kingdom; the everlasting gospel; etc.
11. “Death” means separation, and can be talking about physical death which is the separation of the life from the body; or it can have reference to a soul death; or separation from fellowship with God; etc.
12. “Soul” can be talking about part of us that is immortal; or it can have reference to breath, life, mind; etc.
13. “Sanctification” can have reference to the work God did for us before the foundation of the world; or it can have reference to what we are supposed to do in our own lives; etc.
14. “Justification” is sometimes talking about being justified by the blood of Jesus Christ; or being justified by faith; or being justified by works; etc.
15. “Hell” can have reference to the grave; or a place of torment for God’s disobedient children while they live here on this earth; or the valley of Gehenna; or Hades; etc.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
Looking at the above 15 words carefully will help us realize the importance of doing what II Timothy 2:15 says. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” A failure to “rightly divide” the different applications and meanings of words will lead to chaos and confusion, and will prevent one from being able to understand the truth of God’s Holy word. Whenever studying, we should try to always use a concordance to look at every place a word is used in the Bible, looking at each verse, and grouping the verses together according to what they mean in their context and according to the different Hebrew and Greek words from which they are derived. May God help us as we begin to study some of the above words, and their different meanings and applications, as we try to grow in a knowledge of the truth.