All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
(We are going to be doing some very important teaching with this passage in a short Devotional series because it is the core foundation our faith is built on. As we know, a foundation built on sand may be seemingly strong at first, but will eventually start to fail. So we are going to be replacing this sand with a much stronger one, that when we get tested by the winds of the world, we’ll stand firm on the Rock!)
Scripture, which is God’s word, is Holy Script, inspired by God. Now we know God didn’t actually write the Bible by His own hand, but by inspiring others to write what he breathed into them. Yes, breathed. The word “inspired” originally means “God breathed”. So God breathed on man (inspired him) to write, and because God’s word is breathed out, when we read it we breathe it in. That’s why it’s the Living word. Think of it as God exhaling His word and then when we read it, we inhale it, giving us life. How many times have we been reading the Bible and something just jumped off the page and into our spirit. Peace filled us, or maybe conviction. Comfort took over, or maybe a deeper revelation.
The first thing Paul says in this passage to Timothy is that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God”. Not some. ALL. Not man’s ideas or thoughts. There wasn’t a board committee formed and suggestions were pulled out of a box and implemented. Right? We must realize God wrote it, and it’s not a menu that we can pick and choose from what we’d like to have, and then ignore what we dislike. We have to accept it in it’s entirety as it being breathed out by God. He directed the writers what to write, and what not to write. So we can’t edit the Bible to make us feel comfortable and neglect the things that challenge us.
There is a reason we have to take His word in it’s entirety, and this is Paul’s next point, it’s “profitable”. There is a purpose behind it. It’s useful, advantageous, beneficial, helpful… When we were children and growing up we were taught what was acceptable. We may not have understood why back then, but someone had our best interest and we are better because we were steered in the right direction. For some of us it was beneficial for us to get a whippin’. We matured better and learned how to respect others. It was profitable. Paul is saying here that it’s profitable for us to know the word of God, and not only know it, but to trust it and to implement it into our lives.
If you think about it, there is really nothing unprofitable from His word. Hebrews 4:12 sums it up to say that it’s living. Powerful. Sharper than a two-edged sword. Piercing. A discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart. And so much more…
(In the rest of this short Devotional series, we’ll cover the rest of this passage and go deeper into the profits of knowing God’s word).
Elder Steve Smith