All Scripture

You have accepted the gospel of Jesus and learned many things about Jesus, God the Father, their ways, and their promises from the Holy Scriptures.  You must continue in the things you have learned.  The apostle Paul gave the following instruction to Timothy, his son in the faith.  2 Timothy 3:14-17 “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  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.”  Just like Timothy, you have learned many things from the Holy Scriptures. 

When the apostle wrote to Timothy, the writings of the New Testament had not been collected together into a single book.  The Holy Scriptures that Paul referred to were likely the Old Testament Scriptures, from Genesis to Malachi.  They include writings of history, instruction, wisdom, psalms, and prophesy.  As Paul said, these scriptures are inspired by God.  That means that they were “God breathed”.  The apostle Peter described it similarly in 2 Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,  for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  Inspired means that the Holy Spirit of God moved them or spoke to them the things that they were to write.  Yes, these holy men of God were humans and they were the ones who did the writing, but their message is from God, the I AM, the creator of the universe.  He wants His message to be passed down to all mankind.  He wants people to know His words.  As Jesus said in Matthew 4:4b “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”  You know the words from God because the Holy Spirit of God inspired the holy men of God who wrote the scriptures. 

The writings of the New Testament are also inspired by God.  From Matthew to Revelation, these books were written by the apostles and followers of Jesus.  Jesus gave many of God’s words to the apostles while He was on the earth, but He also sent the Holy Spirit to guide them after He returned to heaven.  He told his apostles in John 16:12-13 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”  Just as the holy men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the books of the Old Testament, I believe that other holy men of God were moved by the same Holy Spirit to write the books of the New Testament.  The apostle Peter wrote concerning the apostle Paul’s writings in 2 Peter 3:15-16 “And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.”   Peter understood that God had given Paul wisdom for his writings and some people twisted what Paul wrote as they also twisted the rest of the Scriptures.  The implication is that Paul’s writings were considered by Peter as part of the Scriptures, inspired by God.  So, you and I have the Holy Scriptures, both the Old Testament and the New Testament, which are inspired by God and collected into the Bible.  These writings are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 

The Bible is profitable for doctrine.  That means for teaching.  You are taught from the Bible many, many things.  You are taught about God and about His nature – who He is and what are His characteristics.  You are taught what pleases Him and what displeases Him.  You are taught how He hates sin and unrighteousness.  You are also taught that He loves you.  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  You are taught about His plan of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.  There are so many things that you are taught by the Bible; it is profitable for doctrine.

The Bible is profitable for reproof.   That means that it is helpful in convicting the sinner of the error of his way.  It is helpful in imposing discipline on those who depart from God’s ways.  It is helpful in combating error or false doctrine.  The Bible is profitable for correction.   That means that when there are false notions, mistaken views, or improper actions, the Bible is helpful in restoring things to their proper place and making things right.  The Bible is profitable for instruction in righteousness.  That means that it teaches you what God considers right or just.  As such, it teaches you what you should believe and how you should act.  Altogether, the Bible enables you to be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

My hope is that you appreciate that the Bible contains the words of God as He inspired holy men to write His message.  My encouragement to you is that you continue in the things which you have already learned and been assured of from the Bible and that you diligently seek to learn more and more of its truths which will make you wise for salvation.

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