2 Timothy 3
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. – Vs 16-17
The Word of God is more than just a blueprint for living or some kind of religious self-help book. Yet that is how many of us treat it. We go to it to find helpful tips on everything from raising kids to personal finances. We pull verses out of context and twist the meaning of passages to get the answer we're looking for or a confirmation for whatever it is we've decided to do. We fail to recognize that is the revelation of God Himself. It is a multifaceted story of God's unfolding relationship with mankind. It is powerful and potentially life-changing. It is so much more than we give it credit for.
There is no doubt that the Bible is a powerful teaching tool. But it is more than just an academic textbook or book of religious doctrines or dogma. It is a divinely inspired document that is filled with the teachings of God. It reveals who God is and His relationship with mankind. It teaches about holiness and sin, righteousness and immorality, condemnation and salvation. In its pages we are shown the truth about the meaning of life and the reality of eternity. And because it is divinely inspired, it is the only book that can miraculously teach us new insights and provide us with new wisdom each time we read it. The Holy Spirit can take a familiar passage and open our eyes to new applications that up until that moment had remained hidden from us. That is why it is an adventure to read and study it every day, because it never grows old and it's truths are never exhausted. It is the living Word of God.
One of the reasons the Bible can be hard to read is that it can be hard on our sin. The Greek word translated in these verses as "reproof" carries the idea of exposing someone's sin in order to bring correction. And that's exactly what happens when we read the Word. It shines a light on the sin in our life in order that we see it. But it not only shows us our sin, it gives us proof of it and convicts us about it, which should lead us to confession regarding it. The light of God's Word shines into the darkest recesses of our lives to expose the hidden sins that we have grown far too comfortable with. But we can't confess what we can't see, and we can't be forgiven of what don't confess. Thank God for the exposing, convicting power of His Word.
With conviction should come correction. As we see our sin, we should want to change our relationship to that sin. Which is exactly what the Word of God helps us to do. It not only reveals our sinfulness, but shows us how to be restored to a right relationship with God. It gives us the steps we need to take in order to improve our conduct and character. God doesn't just leave us in a state of hopeless conviction and guilt, but provides a way out, a way of change and transformation. It is about all about restoration and reconciliation. Which should make us want to read it more and more.
For training in righteousness
The Greek word used here is a multifaceted one that carries the idea of training a child. It includes "the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body" (NET Bible Commentary). God's Word touches every area of our life and utilizes a range of techniques to accomplish its goal of righteousness in our lives. It encourages, commands, admonishes, corrects, rebukes, comforts, etc. It gives us just what we need right when we need it. It is personal, loving, and highly practical. And it always leads us to a life of increasing righteousness.
Adequate and equipped
God's Word has an objective: The equipping of His people for service. It is designed to prepare us and mold us into the kind of servants He can use for His work in this world. That is why the Word is so important in our lives. We can't live without it and we can't serve without it. We cannot become what He has called us to become without it. So making the Word of God a regular part of our lives should be a non-negotiable for every believer who is serious about his walk with God. It is as necessary to our faith as oxygen is to life. God speaks to us through His Word. He transforms us through His Word. He prepares us through His Word. So that we might be ready to do His will.
Father, thank You for Your Word. It is a light that shines into the dark corners of my life exposing hidden sin and allowing me to confess that sin to You so that You can forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Give me an increasing hunger for Your Word so that I might be a man of God, adequate and equipped to do Your will. Amen