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10. Why to Abide in God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

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You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NET)

Why should we abide in God’s Word?

In 2 Timothy 3:1-9, Paul warns Timothy about the last days. The church would be full of those who love themselves and love pleasure more than God. They would be unforgiving, abusive, lacking natural love—having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof (v. 1-5). Essentially, the church would be full of professing believers who are not truly saved. In addition, it would be full of false teachers who take advantage of the flock (v. 6-9). These realities will cause many to become disillusioned with the church and, ultimately, turn away from God.

However, instead of being like those who profess but are not truly following God, Timothy was called to continue to imitate Paul—a man who was faithful during these dark times (v. 10, 14). He also was to continue in what he had learned in Scripture (v. 14-15). The word “continue” can also be translated “abide.”1 If Timothy would make his home in Scripture, he would be able to stand in these terrible times. After calling Timothy to continue in what he learned, he gives him reasons to continue in the Word (v. 15-17).

In Timothy’s time, many were falling away from God’s Word. Earlier, Paul described how some teachers were denying the resurrection (2 Tim 2:17-18). Maybe, like many liberal believers today, they were teaching that Scripture could not be trusted or that it referred to some type of spiritual resurrection and that no physical resurrection awaited believers. Paul denied that possibility in 1 Corinthians 15:14, as he said, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty.”

These types of attacks were not new to early believers: in fact, Satan began these attacks in the Garden of Eden. He said to Eve, “Did God really say…?” Satan knew if he could get her to doubt God’s Word, he could get her to disobey it. Therefore, these attacks have continued throughout history and are very alive today. Many attack God’s Word by saying that it is full of errors and cannot be trusted. Some say it cannot be properly interpreted. Others say that since it’s an ancient manuscript it cannot be relied on for contemporary issues like human sexuality, marriage, parenting, science, or government. Through such lies, Satan hinders or overthrows the faith of many.

However, in the midst of the difficult times and various attacks on Scripture, Paul gave reasons why Timothy should continue in God’s Word. Second Timothy 3:14-17 tells us why we should continue to abide in God’s Word and not cast it off, like many back then and many now.

Big Question: According to 2 Timothy 3:14-17, why should believers abide in God’s Word?

God’s Word Makes People Wise for Salvation

You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:14-15

Interpretation Question: In what ways does the Bible make people wise for salvation?

1. Scripture teaches our need for salvation.

Man was originally made in the image of God (Gen 1:27)—to be righteous just like God. However, man continually fails at this. Romans 3:23 says, “For all fall short of the glory of God.” This means we fail to be like God in our actions, thoughts, and emotions. Scripture not only commands our actions but our heart. The greatest command is to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. The reality is that we have never loved God with all our heart and mind, and we often, if not always, fail to love others as ourselves. Man continually falls short of God’s glory—both in action and heart.

This failure has tragic consequences: Romans 6:23 says, “For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our God is righteous and just, and the just punishment for sin is eternal judgment. This is the state of all mankind—under the wrath of God (John 3:36) and therefore in need of salvation.

2. Scripture teaches God’s plan of salvation.

After the sin of the first humans—Adam and Eve—God initiated a plan to save man. When Adam and Eve sinned, instead of immediately killing them, God clothed them with animal skin—implying that he killed an animal (Gen 3:21). From the beginning, we see the doctrine of substitution. Someone else could take man’s just punishment for sin. We saw that with the death of the first animal, and then, later God explicitly institutes animal sacrifice. For the nation of Israel, a perfect lamb would be sacrificed once a year on the Day of Atonement; the lamb took the death that ever person in Israel deserved for their sins. However, this lamb was only a picture of the perfect Lamb that would one day come and take away the sins of the world.

In the Gospels, John the Baptist sees Jesus Christ—God’s Son, who took on flesh—and says, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Christ lived the perfect life that we couldn’t live, and he died on the cross for our sins. Then he rose from the dead—proving that God accepted his sacrifice for the sins of the world (Rom 4:25).

In order for a person to be saved, he must put his faith in Christ (2 Tim 4:15). John 3:16 says, “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Romans 10:13 says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Scripture teaches the plan of salvation so that all can come to Christ and be saved. One day Christ is coming again, and those who have rejected him shall be judged eternally in a real place called hell, and those who have followed him, shall dwell eternally with him (John 3:18).

Why should we continue in Scripture? We should abide in it because it teaches the way of salvation—no other book does. How can we neglect or despise it?

Are you abiding in it?

Application Question: Share your conversion experience. How did the Word of God make you wise for salvation?

God’s Word Is Inspired

You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you… Every scripture is inspired by God

2 Timothy 3:14, 16

Secondly, Timothy should continue in God’s Word because it is inspired by God. “Inspired” can also be translated “God-breathed” (v. 16 NIV). It means that every word of the Bible literally comes out of God’s mouth.

When Paul said “scripture,” he refers both to the Old Testament and the New Testament books that were already complete (cf. 1 Tim 5:18, 2 Peter 3:15-16). At that point, the only NT books not completed were 2 Peter, Hebrews, Jude, and John’s writings.2 However, we are correct to now apply it to the completed Canon.

Interpretation Question: How did inspiration work in referring to the writing of Scripture?

The Bible obviously has two authors—both man and God. When Paul says, “continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you” (v. 14), there is some controversy over whether the “who” is plural or singular. The earliest, and therefore, best manuscripts translate it as plural; “who” would then refer to Paul, Timothy’s mother and grandmother, and possibly others. However, the majority of manuscripts translate it as a singular, referring to Paul. If the singular is correct, as many commentators believe (because of internal evidence, cf. 1:13-14, 2:2, 3:10)3, Paul would be referring to his apostolic authority as a reason Timothy should be convinced of the Scripture’s reliability.4 The apostles were especially called to give God’s revelation (cf. John 14:26, 16:12-13). Either way (plural or singular) would include the apostle Paul. He was a divinely chosen, apostolic author, as were the prophets, other apostles and their associates. These divinely chosen authors, like Paul, convinced Timothy of the reliability of Scripture. In addition, when the Canon was recognized by the church, apostolic or prophetic authorship and/or acknowledgment was one of the primary considerations. It helped convince them of which books were part of Scripture (cf. v. 14).

Secondly, when Paul says all Scripture is “God-breathed” or “inspired by God,” he is referring to God’s authorship. In fact, God actually began writing the Bible himself; he wrote the Ten Commandments with his own hand. We see this in Exodus 31:18: “He gave Moses two tablets of testimony when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, tablets of stone written by the finger of God.”

But not only did he write the Ten Commandments, 2 Timothy 3:16 teaches that every word of Scripture is “inspired by God”—even though it was written by human authors as well. Wayne Grudem provides insight:

All the words in the Bible are God’s words. Therefore, to disbelieve or disobey them is to disbelieve or disobey God himself. Oftentimes, passages in the Old Testament are introduced with the phrase, “Thus says the LORD” (see Ex. 4:22; Josh. 24:2; 1 Sam. 10:18; Isa. 10:24; also Deut. 18:18 – 20; Jer. 1:9). This phrase, understood to be like the command of a king, indicated that what followed was to be obeyed without challenge or question. Even the words in the Old Testament not attributed as direct quotes from God are considered to be God’s words… The New Testament also affirms that its words are the very words of God. In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter refers to all of Paul’s letters as one part of the “Scriptures.” This means that Peter, and the early church, considered Paul’s writings to be in the same category as the Old Testament writings. Therefore, they considered Paul’s writings to be the very words of God. In addition, Paul, in 1 Timothy 5:18, writes that “the Scripture says” two things: “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain” and “The laborer deserves his wages.” The first quote regarding an ox comes from the Old Testament; it is found in Deuteronomy 25:4. The second comes from the New Testament; it is found in Luke 10:7. Paul, without any hesitation, quotes from both the Old and New Testaments, calling them both “Scripture.” Therefore, again, the words of the New Testament are considered to be the very words of God. That is why Paul could write, “the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).5

Interpretation Question: How can it be possible that Scripture has two authors—both God and man? What was the process?

Peter gives us a hint in 2 Peter 1:20-21:

Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Peter says the prophecies of Scripture did not come about by a prophet’s imagination or human impulse, but men were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

What does it mean to be carried along by the Holy Spirit?

In Acts 27:15, the writer, Luke, uses the same phrase to describe a ship being carried by a storm. Look at what he says: “When the ship was caught in it and could not head into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.”

In the same way the ship was “driven” by the storm, so the authors of the Bible were “carried” by the Holy Spirit in the writing of Scripture. The Holy Spirit drove them along in the writing of the content and also kept them from error. The writers were there; they were thinking and writing, but they were being moved by the Spirit.

In John 16:12-13, Christ said:

“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come.

God sent the Holy Spirit to inspire and bring to remembrance all the words that Jesus said. The Holy Spirit would not only bring things to remembrance, but he would teach the writers of Scripture further revelation. This is how the New Testament and the Old Testament were written: the Holy Spirit moved upon men to write the actual words of God. Timothy was to continue in God’s Word because it is inspired by God. We should also continue in it.

Application Question: What does the inspiration of Scripture mean? Why is the inspiration of Scripture so important?

God’s Word Is Inerrant and thus Reliable

Every scripture is inspired by God…

2 Timothy 3:16a

The primary implication of Paul reminding Timothy of those who taught him God’s Word and how God is the ultimate author of Scripture is to emphasize the Scripture’s reliability or inerrancy.

What does “inerrancy” mean? “Inerrancy” has many definitions: Wayne Grudem said, “The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.”6 Millard Erickson said it this way: “Inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible is fully truthful in all of its teachings.”7 Warren Wiersbe adds:

Whatever the Bible says about itself, man, God, life, death, history, science, and every other subject is true. This does not mean that every statement in the Bible is true, because the Bible records the lies of men and of Satan. But the record is true.8

Inerrancy simply means that the Bible is true and without error in the original manuscripts, and for that reason, we can trust its copies.

Why should we believe in its inerrancy? What are some evidences for the inerrancy of Scripture?

1. Evidence for the inerrancy of Scripture is the character of God.

God cannot lie. Titus1:2 says, “in hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the ages began.”

Paul encourages Titus with the fact that God cannot tell a lie. That’s why we can trust the Scripture and everything said in it. Numbers 23:19 says: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a human being, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it happen?”

In fact, Christ called himself “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus is the truth because there is nothing false in him. Everything he says and does is true because he is God and that is his consistent, faithful, and unchanging character.

Another proof of the truthfulness of God, and therefore the truthfulness of Scripture, is seen in how God instructs Israel to test prophets. Deuteronomy 18:21–22 says,

Now if you say to yourselves, ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the Lord?’— whenever a prophet speaks in my name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.”

The way God tells Israel to test prophets also teaches the truthfulness of God. If a prophet made an error in his prophecy, he wasn’t speaking for God because God cannot make errors. He knows all things and cannot lie or be tempted (cf. James 1:13). Since the Bible is literally God’s Word, it cannot have errors.

2. Evidence for the inerrancy of Scripture is what the Bible teaches about itself—that every word is true, not just the ideas, concepts, or general themes of Scripture.

This is important because some liberal theologians teach against this: they would say that the ideas of the Bible are true but not necessarily every detail or event, such as Jonah being swallowed by a big fish or the virgin birth of Jesus, and also that it is not always accurate when it comes to topics like science or history.

However, this teaching contradicts what the Bible says about itself. Look at what Christ taught in Matthew 4:4: “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Jesus said that man lives on “every word” that comes from the mouth of God, not SOME words or SOME events. Similarly, the Psalmist said this about Scripture:

The law of the Lord is perfect and preserves one’s life.

Psalm 19:7b

Your instructions are totally reliable; all your just regulations endure.

Psalm 119:160

The Lord’s words are absolutely reliable. They are as untainted as silver purified in a furnace on the ground, where it is thoroughly refined.

Psalm 12:6

Scripture teaches that every part of it is true, not just some parts or the main ideas of Scripture.

3. Evidence of inerrancy is the perseverance of Scripture.

Jesus said this, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place” (Matt 5:18).

This is important because some liberal theologians say that the Scriptures we have today are not the same as the original writings. Essentially, they are saying that God did not preserve his Word. However, Jesus declared that even the smallest letter, the least stroke of a pen will not disappear from the Law until all is accomplished. We can believe that the Word of God is inerrant because God has preserved it.

The historical reliability of the Bible supports the perseverance of Scripture. Historians use two standards in order to evaluate the textual reliability of ancient literature:

  • The time interval between the original and the earliest copy
  • The amount of manuscripts available

When you consider the Bible’s textual reliability against other ancient literature, it far surpasses them all. For example, the most reliable ancient book, outside of the Bible, according to textual criticism is the Iliad. It was written in 900 BC, and there are 643 remaining copies from around 400 BC. This makes a time gap of 500 years. The New Testament was written from 40-100 AD. The earliest existing copy is from 125 AD, which is only a 25 year time gap, and there are over 24,000 copies.9 “The Bible, compared with other ancient writings, has more manuscript evidence than any 10 pieces of classical literature combined.”10

Josh McDowell, in Evidence that Demands a Verdict, gives further evidence of the preservation of God’s Word by quoting John Lea, the author of The Greatest Book in the World, as John considered the Bible in comparison with Shakespeare’s writings:

“In an article in the North American Review, a writer made some interesting comparisons between the writings of Shakespeare and the Scriptures, which show that much greater care must have been bestowed upon the biblical manuscripts than upon other writings, even when there was so much more opportunity of preserving the correct text by means of printed copies than when all the copies had to be made by hand. He said:

“‘It seems strange that the text of Shakespeare, which has been in existence less than two hundred and eight years, should be far more uncertain and corrupt than that of the New Testament, now over eighteen centuries old, during nearly fifteen of which it existed only in manuscript. ... With perhaps a dozen or twenty exceptions, the text of every verse in the New Testament may be said to be so far settled by general consent of scholars, that any dispute as to its readings must relate rather to the interpretation of the words than to any doubts respecting the words themselves. But in every one of Shakespeare’s thirty-seven plays there are probably a hundred readings still in dispute, a large portion of which materially affects the meaning of the passages in which they occur.’”11

God has miraculously preserved his Word, and therefore we can trust it.

4. Evidence of inerrancy is that Scripture uses Scripture in such a way that supports its inerrancy.

In the Bible, at times an entire argument rests on a single word (e.g., John 10:34–35 and “God” in Psalm 82:6), the tense of a verb (e.g., the present tense in Matt 22:32), and the difference between a singular and a plural noun (e.g., “seed” in Gal 3:16).

For example, in Matthew 22:30–32, the entire argument rests on a single word. The Sadducees were the liberal theologians of Christ’s day; they did not believe in miracles, the resurrection, or even an afterlife. So one day, they tested Christ on his belief in the resurrection. They concocted a scenario where a woman’s husband dies and then she marries his brother. The brother dies and she marries another brother. He dies and she marries another and so on until the seventh died. Then she eventually died. “Basically, they argued that the idea of resurrection posed insuperable difficulties, hence it was not reasonable, therefore it was not true.”12 After presenting this scenario, the Sadducees asked Christ, “At the resurrection whose wife will she be?” Consider how Christ responded in Matthew 22:30–32:

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. Now as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living!

Here, Christ’s argument rests on the tense of the word “am.” Essentially, Christ says, “Didn’t you notice that ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ was written in the present tense?” Christ was saying that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still alive, and therefore, would one-day be resurrected. This confronted their lack of belief in the afterlife and the resurrection, as well as their lack of understanding the literal inspiration of Scripture. Every word has been chosen by God, even down to the tense.

We also see this in how Paul handled the words of Scripture. In Galatians 3:16, Paul says: “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. Scripture does not say, ‘and to the descendants,’ referring to many, but ‘and to your descendant,’ referring to one, who is Christ.”

When looking at the promise of Abraham, Paul argues that the promise was not just to Israel specifically, but that it was to Christ and therefore, everybody in Christ. He says in Genesis the promise was to Abraham’s “descendant,” singular, and not “descendants,” plural. Here the argument rests on the word “descendant” being singular.

The Bible is inspired and inerrant even down to the tense and plurality of the words. Every word is inspired by God, and not just the ideas. This gives credence to the importance of studying and meditating on each word of the Bible since we believe God chose every one of them for a purpose. This is one of the reasons many Bible students study the original languages of Scripture. They do this because they are convinced of the validity of each word. Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4).

Questions About Inerrancy?

1. Some might ask, “How can the Bible be without error if mere humans wrote it? I know God made it but so did man, and man is fallible.”

This is true, and because of this reality, the Bible must be clearly recognized as a miracle. Man is sinful and prone to error; however, God is perfect and cannot err. The Holy Spirit inspired the authors in such a way that they were kept from error in the writing of Scripture.

2. One might ask, “If we do not have the original manuscripts, isn’t the argument of inerrancy in the original manuscripts a moot argument?”

When we look at the way that the apostles and the early church handled the copies of Scripture, we see their belief in the reliability of the copies.

In the early church, the copies of the originals were passed around from church to church, and yet, the copies were always still considered authoritative. We see this in several ways:

  • When Paul spoke about the Scripture being God-inspired in 2 Timothy 3:16, he was using copies, not the originals. The early church was using copies, just as we are now. The original texts were copied and passed from church to church. Yet, they still believed they were inspired and, therefore, authoritative.
  • We also see how the early church believed the copies were authoritative by looking at the Old Testament quotations used in the New Testament. The majority of the OT quotes in the NT were from the Septuagint, which was the Greek version of the Old Testament.13 Even though the original verses were in Hebrew, the writers of the NT still considered the copies, the translated verses, authoritative and without error. We even see Jesus quote the Septuagint in his rendering of Isaiah 29:13 in Mark 7:6–7:

Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:’This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.’

Again, this is a quote from a copy, but it was still inspired by God. The apostles primarily used Greek translated verses of the OT in the quotes placed in the New Testament. If Jesus and the apostles used copies, then, similarly, we can trust the copies we have.

Here is a contemporary argument: If I apply for a job, the company will most likely take a photocopy of my driver’s license and keep it for their records. They know the copy is not perfect. It may have a smudge here or there, but in general, the copy is considered accurate and acceptable.

This is how the early church handled the copies of Scripture and so do we. God has preserved his words, and it is still authoritative. In fact, when we compare the thousands of copies of Scripture, they are 95 to 99 percent the same.14 The copies of the OT and NT manuscripts contain no significant variances. The errors are typically copyist errors such as an undotted “i,” an uncrossed “t,” or an occasional scribal addition, but nothing that affects any doctrine in the Bible. By comparing the thousands of manuscripts, we can with great certainty discern what the original said. God has preserved his Word.

Any errors are in our understanding of the text, the copy of the manuscript itself, or the translation. But the Bible cannot have error because God is without error. If we cannot trust the Bible on one thing, then the whole Bible comes into question.

Application

What does all this mean for us?

1. The inerrancy of Scripture means we can trust the Word of God.

We should not doubt even spectacular stories in the Scripture, such as Jonah being swallowed by a big fish, Moses parting the Red Sea, or the earth being destroyed by a flood. God cannot tell a lie, and therefore, you can trust his Word.

It also means you can trust his word for salvation. You can trust his word on how to raise your children or run a God-honoring business. The Scripture holds the very words of God and is trustworthy.

2. The inerrancy of Scripture should guide how we meditate on the Word of God.

It is good to, at times, meditate on single words, noting every detail down to their tenses and their pluralities, because each word was chosen by God. They are God-inspired and every aspect of them has meaning for us.

With the Sadducees, Jesus asked, “Have you not read?” Sure, they had read, but they really didn’t study and meditate on each word as given. Many times, we miss a great deal in our study of the Bible because we forget that every word was chosen by God and that man shall live ‘by every word’ (Matt 4:4). This type of study will greatly enrich our devotional time.

Application Question: Why is the inerrancy of Scripture such an important doctrine? In what ways is it being attacked in Christendom?

God’s Word Is Profitable

Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Observation Question: In what ways is every Scripture useful or profitable?

Another reason Timothy, and ourselves, should continue to abide in God’s Word is because all Scripture is “useful,” also translated “profitable.” This includes all aspects of Scripture including the genealogies and obscure passages. We must study them with this understanding—that they’re profitable!

In what ways is Scripture profitable? Paul gives four ways:

1. All Scripture is profitable for teaching or doctrine.

One of the things that makes Christianity unique among religions is that it is full of doctrine. It has the doctrine of God, the doctrine of humanity, the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the doctrine of the end times. This is because what we believe affects how we walk, and therefore, God informs us about himself and many other important doctrines to guide our day-to-day actions and lives.

Timothy needed to continue in the doctrines of the Word of God, and not the new doctrines that the false teachers professed or that were popular in secular culture. This is also true for us.

2. All Scripture is profitable for reproof or rebuking.

If teaching or doctrine shows us what is right, rebuking shows us what is wrong. Scripture rebukes us when we are wrong in thought or action. It exposes error.

3. All Scripture is profitable for correcting.

Doctrine shows us what is right; rebuke shows us what is wrong; and correction shows us how to make things right. The word “correcting” “refers to the restoration of something to its original and proper condition. In secular Greek literature it was used of setting upright an object that had fallen down and of helping a person back on his feet after stumbling.”15 After Scripture exposes our sin, it then shows us how to correct it by getting right with God and others.

For example, Ephesians 4:28 says, “The one who steals must steal no longer, rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need.” This is rebuke and then correction.

4. All Scripture is profitable for training in righteousness.

Scripture instructs us on how to live a godly life. It provides God’s wisdom for marriages, parenting, work, decision-making, etc. If it is righteous, Scripture trains us in it; we just have to take advantage of it.

Ultimately, the Word of God is profitable for all these things (teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness) “that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work” (v. 17). If we are going to be used by God, we must be equipped—made strong for the task—through the Word of God. It gives us wisdom and empowerment for God’s tasks. Apart from God’s Word, we’ll be unequipped—like walking into a desert without water.

Warren Wiersbe said, “The better we know the Word, the better we are able to live and work for God.”16 William Barclay adds:

“…Here is the essential conclusion. The study of the Scriptures must never be selfish; it must never be simply for the good of a man’s own soul. … He must study the Scriptures to make himself useful to God and useful to his fellow men. He must study, not simply and solely to save his own soul, but that he may make himself such that God will use him to help to save the souls and comfort the lives of others...”17

If we don’t abide in God’s Word, we’ll be unequipped. Are you allowing God to equip you for all righteousness? This is why we eagerly listen to God’s Word in Sunday service and in small groups. This is why we daily study it. We do this so God can train and equip us for righteousness. God can’t use someone greatly who neglects his Word.

Are you abiding?

Application Question: If the Word of God is so profitable, why do so many Christians struggle with reading/studying it? What are some helpful disciplines to aid a person with daily Bible study?

Conclusion

From the beginning, Satan tried to attack God’s Word. He said to Eve, “Did God really say?” In the same way, Scripture is always being attacked today, as people are tempted to doubt it or turn away from it. However, God’s Word is trustworthy and necessary.

Why should we continue to abide in it?

  1. God’s Word Makes People Wise for Salvation
  2. God’s Word Is Inspired
  3. God’s Word Is Inerrant and thus Reliable
  4. God’s Word Is Profitable

Copyright © 2017, 2018 (2nd Edition) Gregory Brown

Unless otherwise noted, the primary Scriptures used are taken from the NET Bible ® copyright © 1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

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Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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1 Guzik, D. (2013). 2 Timothy (2 Ti 3:13–15). Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik.

2 Accessed 12/3/16 from https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-17-why-you-need-bible-2-timothy-316-17

3 Stott, J. R. W. (1973). Guard the Gospel the message of 2 Timothy (p. 99). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

4 Calvin, J. (1998). 1, 2 Timothy and Titus (p. 154). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

5 Wayne A. Grudem; Elliot Grudem. Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know. (Grand Rapids: MI: Zondervan, 2009), Kindle Edition.

6 Wayne A. Grudem, W. A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 90.

7 Millard J. Erickson. Christian Theology (2nd ed). (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1998), 246.

8 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 252–253). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

9 McDowell, Josh. Evidence That Demands a Verdict, 1: 001 (p. 43). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.  

10 McDowell, Josh. Evidence That Demands a Verdict, 1: 001 (p. 19). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

11 McDowell, Josh. Evidence That Demands a Verdict, 1: 001 (p. 19-20). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

12 MacDonald, William. Believers Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 1287.

13 Gleason Archer and Gregory C. Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament: A Complete Survey. (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Pub, 2005), Kindle edition.

14 Josh Mcdowell. New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1999), Kindle edition.

15 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (p. 159). Chicago: Moody Press.

16 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 253). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

17 Teacher’s Outline and Study Bible - Commentary - Teacher’s Outline and Study Bible – 2 Timothy: The Teacher’s Outline and Study Bible.

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