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. The third is Scripture – Profitable For Reproof & Correction.
Instructions sometimes are usually (at least for men like me that think we know it all in the assembly department) the last place we turn to for accurate information. It’s only when we get stuck and can’t figure things out that we dig into the box for those, now very valuable, instructions. Before we just overlooked them and pushed them to the side not realizing if we would have started with them in the first place, we would have saved helpful time and energy.
So our thought process was: I know enough to do this on my own. If I spend the time to read the instructions, I will be wasting time. If I read the instructions first, everyone will think that I don’t know anything. If I do it without the instructions, everyone will praise me and I will feel good that I did it on my own. Whoever wrote them didn’t do them correctly and it will only slow me down. If I read them they could confuse me and I’ll feel stupid… Seems it would be profitable if we’d just read the instructions in the first place to avoid all this. Right?
We are all born into sin. You know how I know? By watching a child grow up. When they are born they are so innocent, they laugh a lot, cry a lot, and then when they get a little older they become mischievous. They start doing stuff nobody taught them like lying. Sneaking things. Promising they will do something just to get you off their back… It seems that we spend a significant amount of time teaching them how to be good because somehow they already know how to be bad. That’s why we need the Scriptures, to teach us how to live righteous. Without the instructions from God’s word how will we know what is pleasing in His eyes. Society just goes with the popular vote and goes with what they feel like whether it be right or wrong.
The last part of our study passage here says that if we are instructed in righteousness, “the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. “Man” meaning both male and female. Everybody. Mankind. That we may be “complete”, meaning there must have been something missing because we failed to get the instructions. Then lastly, but not less important, to complete what God has called us to. His word equips us for every good work, and our work is to be an example of Jesus to the world. To live with Godly morals and virtue. God’s word completes us. Gives our lives meaning. Helps us to follow in His ways.
Elder Steve Smith