Occasionally I’m asked about various Bible versions. I use the New James, but regularly refer to other translations.
So, I was interested when author Rick Warren was asked, “What is the best translation of the Bible?
“When you translate it into your life!”
I like that! Isn’t that what the Bible is all about? If we’re just reading out of habit, or for pleasure, we’ve totally missed the point.
2 Timothy 3:16, reminds us of the value of reading and studying the Bible. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
The apostle Paul affirmed that the Scripture is inspired. Not inspired in the sense of an “ah-ha” moment. Or a stroke of genuine. But in a divine sense. The word “inspired” literally means “God breathed.”
The Scripture asserts that it’s origin is not from a human source, but that “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21)
God revealed His Word to guide you. Direct you. Help you. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we learn four ways the Word helps you.
(1) The Bible shows you what is right!
Paul calls this doctrine or teaching. Without the Word we are ignorant of what is right in the sight of God. Paul said the Jews in his day were ignorant of God’s righteousness. Instead they established their own system of righteousness. It reminds me of some folks today.
We are admonished not to be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:17). The Bible shows us what is right religiously. Morally. Ethically. I can know how to live right in my relationship with others. In my family life. And in my business and social dealings.
And most importantly, we can be assured of how to be right with God. How we can be reconciled to God. What to do to become a Christian. It’s all revealed in scripture!
(2) The Bible shows you what is wrong!
Paul calls this reproof. It means to convict or refute error. The Bible reproves us when we get off the path, when get away from what is right. From what we know we ought to do.
The world today doesn’t know what is wrong. In fact, it’s not politically correct to say anything or anyone is wrong. The watch word today is tolerance. We are told that we must accept any idea, belief or lifestyle, regardless of how bizarre or outlandish it is! The only thing wrong, is to say anyone is wrong!
The Bible teaches some things are wrong! It is wrong to lie. To lust. To cheat. To steal. To commit fornication or adultery. To engage in homosexual behavior. To hate others. To gossip. To be greedy. Well, you get the point! The Bible is our standard. It rebukes us when we’re wrong.
(3) The Bible help you get right!
Paul calls it correction. It means to straighten up or reform. Rectifying what is wrong. Setting things right. It’s the idea of admonition and restitution. It gets us on the right path. If we’re honest, we admit what is right and forsake what is wrong.
We get right by reforming our lives. By changing to conform to Truth. By allowing the Word to convict our consciences and change our lives. The Bible will correct my attitude and fill me with love. The Bible will correct my motives and make them pure. The Bible will correct my actions and make them godly.
(4) The Bible helps you stay right.
Paul calls this instruction in righteousness. It’s nurturing, training and teaching. Righteousness stands in opposition to unrighteousness. The Bible shows us how to live. Really live.
Instruction in righteous living helps us to correct our mistakes, curb our passions, and control our lives by continued personal growth (2 Pet. 3:18). Through Bible Study (2 Tim. 2:15) Through a Closer Walk with God. Through Fellows with Other Believers.
Let me encourage you to read the Bible. Study it. Meditate on it. And remember, as D. L. expressed it, ”The Bible was not given for our information, but for our transformation.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman