2 Timothy 3:14-17
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
All. That little 3-letter word at the beginning of this passage carries immeasurable weight.
For two thousand years, this world has worked feverishly to try and discredit God’s Word. From History Channel specials to archaeologists, from practicing agnostics to liberal theologians, God’s Word has been under a constant barrage of attacks—all in an attempt to weaken the power of God’s Word. And all without success. One has to ask, if this Word from God isn’t inspired, then why so much fuss about it?
To understand why the integrity of this Word is so important, you have to read the context of Paul’s writing just before these verses. Paul is challenging Timothy and the generations that follow to stand strong in the difficult struggles that come in the Christian life. He is saying to Timothy, “Just as I faced trials and struggles of many kinds, you will face those same trials because of your faith. But you have a reason to stand strong.”
Paul goes on to reveal that the confidence to stand strong is the Scriptures that Timothy has known from his early childhood. This Scripture gives us all we need to walk confidently and live boldly because it is given straight from God through divinely inspired writers to Timothy…and to us. All of it.
Elsewhere in Scripture, Paul tells us that we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Such a reality could be a daunting task if it were not for the promises of today’s passage. You see, God has given us all we need to fulfill our purpose in Him. Everything we would ever need to know about this life is “God-breathed” to us through the Bible.
Here is the danger. I love to read books like many of you. I have favorite authors who teach me many good things. But many of us can fall into the trap of leaning too heavily on the words of men for direction and forgetting that our directions are found in the Bible. You don’t need a self-help book or an inspirational teacher. Those are both incredible resources but they cannot replace the Bible.
Everything you and I need to follow after Christ was prepared “ahead of time” for us. We have the tools to teach, rebuke, correct, and train one another right here in the precious words of Scripture. We can trust that, not only are all of God’s Words true, but they can make us complete when we allow them to transform us by constantly exposing ourselves to the Bible.
- Ask yourself this hard question: do I really believe all God’s Words are true? If not, think about what parts give you the hardest problem and commit to a deeper study
- Hard question #2. How open are you to the correction and training of Scripture? Do you really allow the Bible to speak truth into your heart and rebuke you when it your life is out of step with the Spirit?
- Think intentionally about ways to expose your life further to God’s word—Scripture memory, Bible study, audio Bible for drive times, etc.