“If there be anything in my style or thoughts to be commended, the credit is due to my kind parents for instilling into my mind an early love for the Scriptures,” once wrote the 19th century statesman Daniel Webster.
“From the time that, at my mother’s feet or on my father’s knee, I learned to lisp verses from the Sacred Writings they have been my daily study. The older I grow and the more I read the Holy Scriptures, the more reverence I have for them and the more I am convinced that they are not only the best guide for the conduct of this life, but the foundation of all hope respecting the future state.”
This was Paul’s reminder to Timothy about the value of his childhood upbringing at the feet of his mother and grandmother when he wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The apostle affirmed that the Scripture is inspired. Not inspired in the sense of an “ah-ha” moment. Or a stoke of genius. 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 to His Word to guide you. Direct you. Help you. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we learn five ways the Bible helps you.
(1) The Scripture 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.
(2) The Scripture shows you what is wrong!
Reproof means to convict or refute error. The Bible rebukes us when we get off the path, when get away from what is right.
The world today doesn’t know what is wrong. In fact, it’s not politically correct to say anything or anyone is wrong. But 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 are wrong
(3) The Scripture help you get right!
This is 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.
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 motives and alter my actions to make them pure and godly.
(4) The Scripture helps you stay right
Instruction in righteousness is nurturing, training and teaching. Righteousness stands in opposition to unrighteousness. The Bible shows us how to live. Really live. How to correct our mistakes. Curb our passions. And control our lives.
(5) The Scripture equips you for every righteous work.
Complete. Capable. Competent. Fully filled. Perfectly equipped. Completely prepared. These various renderings of verse 17 point to the results in the life of God’s man or woman.
Read the Bible. Study it. Meditate on it. Internalize it. ”The Bible was not given for our information,” as D. L. Moody put it “but for our transformation.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
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