All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;2 Timothy 3:16(NASB)
As we thumb through the pages of Scripture, which have become so familiar to us, it is a challenging and awesome thing to consider Who it is that lies behind those inspired pages and the eternal significance of their content. The written Word of God is not just a collection of curious books, penned in antiquity. Scripture is a direct revelation from the living God to His born-again people, and we would do well to take every page to heart.
The completed library of sixty-six books is a powerful, living, unified whole. The breath of God's Holy Spirit, imputed divine light, life, power, and hope into that sacred text. The Holy Spirit of God, Who in times past, moved prophets of old to pen the sacred words of Scripture, is the same Breath of God, Who breathes life to the spirit of a man when he is born from above.
He illuminates our minds with truth, inspires our heart with spiritual understanding and gives godly discernment to all who have been saved by trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He tells us the end before the beginning. He dispels our fear, to keep us from stumbling. He gives us His perfect peace in our hearts and an unshakable confidence in the gospel of Christ.
It is no surprise that the Word of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness, for it is given by inspiration of God. It unveils His holy character and reveals His divine plan for mankind. It convicts us of our need of a Saviour, and teaches us about the eternal plan of the Creator. It informs us of what God expects of His children, and guides us along the road of righteous living. It trains us in the path of patient endurance, and it furnishes us with examples of lives that are lived in humble obedience to our Father in heaven.
"All Scripture is inspired by God. All Scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." The Word of God amends our skewed human perceptions, it highlights prideful attitudes and exposes false presumptions. It alerts us to the pitfalls of sinning and warns of the consequences of sin. It highlights the problem of our inherited sin-nature and reassures us that in Christ, we have all we need for life and godliness.
However, God's Words warns that the God of love, Who will redeem us by faith, is also a God of justice and righteousness, Who will judge the wicked and condemn the unrighteous. In this last letter before his death, Paul gives this amazing truth about the God-breathed Scriptures to Timothy, AFTER a passage that warns of the difficult days that are coming for the Body of Christ.
Paul warns us that, "in the last days, men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents. They will be ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. They will hold to a form of godliness while denying its power." He warns that evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves, in every area of life. This catalogue of lawlessness is sufficient to discourage the staunchest of saints.
But the darkest of nights always breaks into the brightest of dawns. Nights of sorrow invariably burst into mornings of joyfulness. The problems and pain that we face in this fallen world are not worthy to be compared with the glories that are to come hereafter. And Paul reminds Timothy, and us, that in the midst of this world's evil, we have ALL we need for life and godliness because we are 'in-Christ' - and have the inspired Scriptures to teach us all we need to know.
God's Word is there to correct us when we fall, to train us in righteousness and to reassure us that God is firmly in control. The Word of Truth protects us from the error of sin and warns us of false teachings and the doctrines of demons. It is the Word of Life, that equips us with godly wisdom and gracious counsel and it builds up our trust in our God and Saviour, Who died for us on Calvary's cross, so that we could become His adoptive children, and live with Him in the eternal ages to come.
Should not we who are so familiar with the stories of Scripture, reverently consider HIM? He is the One Who inspired the text of Scripture, which is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. Should not we who are saved by grace through faith in Christ, recognise the deep significance and consequences of the God-breathed content of His Word and take it to heart in these perilous days?
Let us NEVER forget that ALL Scripture is God-breathed. From start to finish it is profitable, beneficial, enriching, and illuminating, for all God's people. It teaches the truth, opens the way of salvation, warns of danger and comforts us in our sorrows. It reproves us when we go astray, corrects us when we miss the mark, instructs us to do what is right, and is the most comprehensive training manual in righteousness.
Let us act in accordance with one of Paul's final instructions to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith. "Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings....continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them." Let us also continue in the things we have learned from the Bible, and as we do so, let us deepen our relationship with the One Who wrote them.
Thank You, loving Father, for the God-breathed Scriptures. Teach me, convict me, correct me and train me through the living, powerful inspired Word of truth, that I may be equipped to carry out the work that You have ordained for me to do. Keep me mindful of the dark days that face the Church in these end times and may I live and work to Your praise and glory. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.