It is rather unfortunate that there are many who have replaced the Bible with books and creeds of men and the Bible is no longer considered the book of all books. People seek out man’s opinions for the solutions to the problems they encounter and are left empty and void, receiving no definite direction and guidance, which only the word of God can provide. Question: “What does the Bible mean to you?”
Let’s consider what the Bible claims to be. It is the apostle Paul who says in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “all scripture is given by inspiration of GOD.” Paul is saying that the very source of the scriptures is given by the very breath of God. The Scriptures are GOD-BREATHED! Paul is making it clear by this very statement that the scriptures ORIGINATED with God and NOT MAN. This is NOT the only place that Paul attributed the words that he and other apostles spoke as ORIGINATING FROM GOD (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Paul made it clear that what he and his fellow-ministers of the Gospel spoke were NOT just a collection of stories, great poems, wisdom of men, nor just a collection of books containing mythical fiction. The scriptures you hold today, and we study together, were written by inspired men, however the very words came from God! When the Old Law was given by God, it was delivered to Moses who would be the instrument to God would communicate His will to the Israelites. The New Law, the New Testament was given through the apostles who served as instruments to communicate the perfect law of liberty to us. It was the very promise that Jesus gave to His disciples that after He would ascend into heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father that the apostles would have “the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). Those words that the Spirit would speak to them would originate from God. And the Holy Spirit would come with POWER on the Day of Pentecost just as Jesus had said and the Gospel was preached. In 2 Peter 1, Peter informed that the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled through Jesus. Those very prophecies Peter said, “did NOT come by the will of man, BUT holy men of God SPOKE as they were moved by the HOLY SPIRIT” (2 Peter 1:21). These prophecies were NOT cunningly devised fables, but that which the prophets spoke, with the prophets being instruments that communicated the will of God to others, such prophecies were fulfilled! God breathed His Divine Word to these prophets to communicate His word. We can easily look at those prophecies being fulfilled. The word of God is powerful (cf. Heb. 4:12; Rom. 1:16). If we recognize the Scriptures as such, then we will receive it as those in Thessalonica did (cf. 1 Thess. 2:13).
Not only does Paul tell us what the Bible is, he further answers the question that has been asked: “Is the Bible Relevant to you and me today in 2021?” In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul begins answering that very question with the word “profitable.” That very word means that the God-Breathed Word is going to profit us, help us, benefit us! There are many things that came to my mind in the secular that would be of great use, profitable, and beneficial for us, but only if we use it and actually apply it. The same it is with the God’s word. Quotes we have heard, such as, “dusty Bibles leads to dirty lives” and “the Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” You know why that is? Because they didn’t only recognize the BIBLE to be inspired of God, but furthermore recognized such words to be profitable for “doctrine, which means “teaching.” A life that is not falling apart is one who searches the word of God for truth in how to live a life that is pleasing to God. That person acknowledges exactly what Jeremiah 10:23 says, “it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps” ; it is as the Proverb said in Proverbs 14:12 that “there is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is death.” That person realizes that His teaching is the standard that teaches sound words that make for a sure solid foundation, rather than the sinking sands of man’s opinions. Friends, if we acknowledge that the very words of God are profitable for doctrine/teaching, then we will diligently study it (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15). Paul doesn’t stop there though; he continues to say that the God-breathed scriptures are also profitable for reproof! This is one of the big reasons that those of the world doesn’t care too much for the God-breathed scriptures. People don’t particularly care for being reproved, even if it is in the kindest of ways. Reason being, it exposes conduct that is unacceptable to the doctrine/teaching of the word of God. There are numerous examples of people in the Bible where they were reproved due to their sinful conduct that was in direct opposition to the will of God. Their sin was exposed by the word, and they were instructed on what they needed to do to make it right before the Lord. There are many who do not care for the God-Breathed Word today because they don’t want their deeds exposed by the light, that is the word. (cf. John 3:19,20). However, when we see the word as what it truly is, we will search out the doctrine so we can be reproved so we can be corrected. Friends, it is of no use to be reproved if we don’t in turn allow the correction. We see this repeatedly throughout the Bible, especially with the Israelites. They were told what they were doing that was wrong, and then Moses would advise them of the instruction for them to get back on the right track. What profit is it to me if I just have someone who continuously reproves me, exposing that what I’m doing is wrong, without providing a solution to make it right?! You see, the word of God not only is profitable for reproof, but is also beneficial in correcting us, providing the solution to get our feet back on the narrow path.
As we go back to verse 16, we find another benefit to what the word of God does and that is for “instruction in righteousness.” The Greek word used here for training is “PAIDEIAN” which is not only used here in this verse, but in other scriptures such as Ephesians 6:4 referring to bringing up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The idea presented here is as we see with our children who we provide training/instruction, which is a continuous process as they grow from a child to an adult and continues even then as we live before them and model our lives before them in all that we taught them and continue to teach them. I want my children to be trained/instructed in such a way that when something comes up against them, they will have a natural response to do what is right.
So, “what does all of this mean to us?” Paul tells us in verse 17. In every aspect of our lives, our relationships, the Bible equips us, making certain we are properly furnished/supplied as we journey upon this earth. God’s word equips us for living this life. The word of God prepares us for dealing with the struggles of this life. Notice also, the point of being adequate, fully equipped, is so that we may be ready/prepared “for every good work.” We don’t just study the word of God so that we know some interesting stuff, but we study so that we can DO things, so that we are prepared “for every good work.” God’s word gets us ready to actually do the things we need to do! And reason being, so we can be pleasing to the Father who we are children of. So, “what does the Bible mean to you and what will you do with the Bible?”
Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 🙂