Breathed Out By God
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. - 2 Tim. 3:16,17
Long ago, God made a decision to communicate to man and to commit His will to man in permanent, written form. He conveyed to the Jewish people their law, in written form and it was to be read to the people and preserved. He has done the same for all of mankind, in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the other books that compose the New Testament. For instance, the apostle Paul wrote Scripture; Peter said that’s what Paul and the others were doing (2 Pet. 3:16). We know, when Paul wrote to the Ephesians he said: when you read this, you can understand the will of God (Eph. 3:4).
All Scripture is breathed out by God. You may have a translation that reads, “inspired of God.”
It has always helped me to think of this in the simplest of terms: God breathed out of His mind and will, and the result was this book we call the Bible. Scripture.
This is why – in all these studies I’ve written – I’ve said: the content of First and Second Timothy is from God. It was written by or through Paul to Timothy and for us. But the origin of the message is, the mind of God. (“The Spirit expressly says…,” see 1 Tim. 4:1)
This premise is true for every believer: Anything that comes from the mind of God for man is profitable.
Those who desire to learn about God, sin, Christ, duty, life and eternity – should use the bible as their text; it is profitable for teaching. We may read other books, but there is only one authoritative text book for life. So, when we teach people about those things that pertain to God, we should teach them from inspired Scripture. It is profitable for teaching.
If I want to know what’s wrong with me – where my issues and problems and weaknesses are – I should rely on God’s written Word to tell me that (Jas. 1:21-27). Likewise, if I determine that I can help someone discover their sins, I should use Scripture to offer that reproof (Eph. 4:15). To say to someone, “I don’t like what you are doing” is generally not spiritually valuable. But to open the Bible and show people the destructive nature of their behavior – can, if the Word is received, lead to the necessary charge and restoration. And let me add, if someone approaches you with criticism or repoof, you are justified to ask them to open the Bible and show you where you are wrong. Reproof, in order to be legitimate, must be based on, must come from the Word.
Once I understand what my sin is, Scripture gives me the remedy, to correct my course and be right with God. First, I need to know my sin. Then, I need to know what God has said I need to do, in the way of repentance, reconciliation and replacing the bad behavior with the good. Inspired Scripture not only identifies our sin, but tells us what we can do to be forgiven and to recover from that sin and do better.
TRAINED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
If I desire to live right day by day, the sacred writings supply exactly the training I need. This gives me opportunity to say – nobody ever comes out of training. You use your training every day in life, to be a child of God. But there is never a time when you are finished with training in righteousness. There is no magical age … no level of experience … no time when you are finished being trained. And your training manual in righteousness is the inspired Word of God; what God exhaled, we have to inhale – to be righteous.
And thus, we are equipped “for every good work.” The preacher has exactly the message he is charged to impart. The Bible reader has the authoritative Word. The Bible class teacher is likewise equipped “for every good work.”
Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 22.9; September 2015