“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly approved for every good work.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Everybody knows John 3:16. I wish people would also spend some time studying 2 Timothy 3:16. The Third Day guys studied and memorized this one together a on a tour few years back. If I were to list my favorite Bible verses, this would definitely be near the top.
So many things about this verse stick out. The word “rebuke” for one. We have gotten really good at rebuking lately. The anonymity provided by the internet can sometimes prompt us to say things to strangers that we’d never say to people we know in person.
We get bogged down by the middle section of this verse, get so caught up in all the rebuking and correcting, that we forget about the source and the purpose of Scripture.
The source of Scripture is God himself! This verse describes it as “God-breathed”. I love that phrase. Yes, God used people to write the words down, but it is literally the words of God spoken onto the page. I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to pay close attention to what it says. Sometimes when I go on trips my wife or kids will leave notes for me in my suitcase. I treasure them for sure. That’s the same kind of approach we should take with Scripture. It’s something we cherish as part of a loving relationship.
The other thing to note here is the purpose of Scripture. It is to equip us to do good works. There is a place for debating the finer points of Scripture, but that should never be the end in itself. If the ultimate goal isn’t to help prepare people to go out and do good things in the name of Jesus, then something is off.
Scripture is the very breath of God sent out to draw people to him. We as servants of God have the honor of being the tools he uses to do that. May we cherish it and study it so that we can be “thoroughly approved”.