This week’s Fighter Verse reminds us why we even have “Fighter Verses” at our church:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
The Bible is not a dead text. It is the very words of God — the eternal, boundless God who was and is and is to come. There are so many dimensions to it: it is a love letter, a grand narrative, and good news. Here Paul focuses on how practical the Bible is. As we go through life, we are faced with many challenging situations — but in the Scriptures, we have a guide to life written by the very Author of life. It is wisdom offered by the Wisest of All.
All Scripture is breathed out by God — All Scriptures (these writings we call “the Bible”), are “God-breathed.” As God’s breath hovered over the waters of creation and shaped chaos into order, and as God breathed into the clay to make Adam, and as God breathed onto His prophets, so too He breathed into to the authors of Scripture and guided their message and their very words. The entire Bible — every last word — is a gift to us.
and profitable — The word “profitable” could also be translated “useful,” “beneficial,” or “advantageous.” Because the entire Bible is directed by the Lord of All, the book is incredibly practical and helpful.
for teaching — How is the Bible practical or helpful? It teaches us. It instructs us. It reveals truth to us that we did not know or that we had forgotten.
for reproof — It is also helpful and practical because it sternly rebukes us. It is like light that floods our souls and reveals the dirt and stains. It reminds us of our need to repent, and it also reveals sins we didn’t even know we had.
for correction — It restores us or improves us. It burdens our souls down with the weight of our sin, yes, but then it lightens our souls with the wonder of grace. So the Scriptures teach us about God and that we fall far short of His glory, but they also teach us that we can continually draw closer to Him through Jesus Christ.
and for training in righteousness — In Ephesus where Timothy was pastoring, there were plenty of public buildings across the city devoted to exercise and training the body and mind. By using the word “training,” Paul is using that language to show another reason the Scriptures are practical: they grow and hone our new ability in Christ to do good to others. “Righteousness” is a word that evoked justice and fairness; ultimately, only God is righteous, but He has given us Jesus’ righteousness.
so that the man of God may be complete — We are God’s people. Let that sink in — you are God’s man or woman! (Ladies, the original word for “man” here is generic and so includes you too.) And through the Scriptures He has given you what you need to become “complete” — well-suited or well-fitted for a particular function. And er… what function would that be? We’re “well-suited” or “well-fitted” to do what exactly? Well…
equipped for every good work — We are well-suited or well-fitted to do good works! The Scriptures equip us to do good deeds. In other words, the ultimate goal of all of this is not simply knowing a bunch of things, but ultimately it will manifest in how we behave — in showing kindness and love to others to the glory of God. So in a sense, the Bible is “Relationships 101.”
Last night at the Young Adult gathering at Jireh, we talked about anxiety and stress. At the end during our big group prayer, several young adults spontaneously thanked God for giving us the Bible and for making it so practical and helpful. It really does relate to every single problem in life!
QUESTIONS TO ASK EACH OTHER:
- Scripture is so vital for life. What do you do during the week to saturate your mind and heart with the Word of God?
- The Bible is practical ultimately because it equips us to do good deeds (acts of service). How is the balance of “knowing things about the Bible” vs. “doing what it says” in your own life?
QUESTIONS TO ASK CHILDREN:
- God is so big and powerful that He made the whole universe — every bird and mountain and person and star. But even though He is so important, He took the time to give you an entire book to help you out. How does that make you feel about God?
- Can you think of examples why the Bible is useful? How has the Bible helped you before?