Mathematics can be quite complex, yet one of the most basic divisions of mathematics is called arithmetic. You may better grasp what I am talking about when I say that the most basic operations of arithmetic are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A grasp of these basic operations is a necessity for anyone who desires to grasp any of the more complex divisions of mathematics. Interestingly enough, the same things hold true for the Christian life. It can be quite complex, but at the same time we could break it down to the simplicity of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
First of all, let us consider addition and subtraction. One of greatest needs of Christianity in our day is faith in God's word. As such, we are told on numerous occasions (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19) that we are not to add to or subtract from the word of God. A man that believes God's word is perfect, accepts it as it is and has no desire to add to it or take away from it. Along these lines, the apostle Paul praised the Thessalonians, "because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." The history of mankind was still in its infancy when the first attack came against God's word. Satan cast doubt on the words of God when he asked, " Yea, hath God said" (Genesis 3:1). Eve subtracted from God's word when she left out the word, "freely" in Genesis 3:2 and then added to God's word when she added the phrase, "neither shall ye touch it" (Genesis 3:3). Then Satan finished the conversation off with another blatant attack against the word of God when he said, "Ye shall not surely die" (Genesis 3:4). The question we must ask ourselves is, "Are we like the Thessalonians or the Devil?". Its only basic Bible arithmetic, but many are flunking out. How about you? Are you adding to and subtracting from the word of God?
Next we ought to consider the operations of multiplication and division. Unlike addition and subtraction, we ought to be consistently trying to multiply and divide. When we speak of multiplication, we are speaking of multiplying the word of God by preaching, teaching, witnessing and distribution (Acts 12:24). The multiplication of God's word brings great benefit to others and enables them to receive the gospel by which you were saved. Not only should we occupy ourselves with the multiplication of God's word, but we also must enlist ourselves in the operation of division, or better yet "rightly dividing the word of truth". We must be able to rightly divide between law and grace, between Jew, Gentile and the church of God, between our position and our practice, and so on. Whereas multiplication greatly benefits others, rightly dividing God's word will greatly benefit you.
In closing it would do us well to consider the great accomplishment it would be for a believer to get these four things down. If we would have faith in God's perfect word and leave off of adding to it or subtracting from it, surely it would change our lives for the better. If we would occupy ourselves with the ministry of reconciliation by multiplying God's word, surely we would see others come to know Christ, and if we would learn to "rightly" divide God's word, surely it would help us to grasp the truths of God's word so that we would not be snared by the lies of cults and false doctrines.