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 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!)
We started this series with the first part of this passage, that Scripture is inspired (God breathed) and without a doubt, profitable. If you haven’t read it, there is no need to review it first, but you can go back if you chose. Titled Scripture – Inspired & Profitable. The second part is about why it’s imperative to be firmly rooted Scripture – Profitable For Doctrine.
This is the third part and could be a hard read for some, and others, it will be confirmation to what you already know. Now, we need to remember what the main emphasis is on this study, that all of Scripture is profitable. So, in the long run, our best interest is taken into consideration and for us to continue to grow spiritually, sometimes we need to be reproved and corrected.
Jesus had to correct His disciples often to keep them on track and focused. While they were debating on who was worthy enough to sit with Him on the throne in glory, Jesus gave them a reproof, or rebuke, and told them that it was already decided who would sit from the Father who prepared it (Ref. Mark 10). One thing we need to remember is that Scripture isn’t a Democracy, it’s a Monarchy. So we can’t vote to change what God has already laid out, but sometimes we forget that and need a reproof. Even Peter the rock of the church got a few reproofs in his time. Jesus at one time said to him, “get behind me Satan!” in Mark 8:33 because he lost his focus from the things of God to the things of men.
A reproof isn’t meant to tear us down and degrade us. It should never be demeaning and spoken with hate. Jesus didn’t forsake them after a rebuke. He instead used it, and here’s the 2nd point, for correction. After he gave the reproof in Mark 10, he then began to teach Kingdom ways; that they shouldn’t strive to be great, but to serve as He came to serve. Being corrected and being reproved are different. A reproof stops us from continuing on a wrong course, and a correction gets us back going, but with new directions and views on things.
The very definition of “correction” means – restore to an upright position or a right state. “Correction” also means – to improve life or character. Everyone that knows me before I gave my life to Jesus has seen the transformation in my life. One of my friends I went to school with asked if I was the same Steve Smith he grew up knowing. My response, directed by the Holy Spirit, was no! That I was the new and improved version.
Scripture is never meant to tear down, but to build up. It’s meant to show God’s ways for us to follow, and is extremely profitable. So when we get reproved by God’s word or our spiritual leaders, we need not to take offense but take time for correction. The corrections are meant to improve our lives and character, and make us more like Jesus.
(In the next 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