There’s an old story about a couple who sent their son off to college. When he left they gave him a Bible and told him to read it carefully, because it would be very helpful.
After a few weeks of school, the son messaged his parents that he needed a little money. The parents answered and told him to read John 3:16.
The son responded, “I read John 3:16, now what about the money?”
The parents returned his message saying, “Ok. Now read 2 Timothy 3:16-17.”
Pretty soon the son called and said, “I read those verses, but I really need some money.”
Well,” said his Dad, “if you were really reading your Bible, you’d have your money. Because there’s a $100 bill by each of our favorite Bible verses.”
While your Bible may not be full of $100 bills, the Psalmist penned that God’s Word is “more precious than gold.” It is filled with spiritual treasure that will enrich your life beyond any monetary possession.
In my reading this morning, I was reminded of this truth from a familiar passage that all Christians need to truly believe and embrace.
Paul recalled Timothy’s upbringing at the feet of his mother and grandmother and how they instilled the Word in his young heart. Then 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 Scripture is not derived from a human source. It is “God-breathed.”
“Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21).
Today the Bible is maligned, misquoted and misunderstood. But, if we really believe it, and seek to apply its principles, it will help us in 5 specific ways.
(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 who are guided by subjectivism, human opinion, and long-standing traditions.
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. And ethically. I can know how to live right in my relationship with others. In my family life. In my business and social dealings. And most importantly, we can be assured of how to be right with God.
(2) The Bible shows you what is wrong!
Reproof means to convict or refute error. The Bible rebukes us when we get off the path, when we 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. 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 Bible helps 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 Bible 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 Bible 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.
Get into the Word. Study it. Meditate on it. And apply it to your life. After all, as D. L. Moody put it, “The Bible was not given to make us smarter sinners.”
Are you really reading your Bible?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman