Wednesday in the Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

2 Timothy 3:16-17


Today we have before us a couple of the most encouraging verses in all of Scripture because they teach us about Scripture itself: “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 competent, equipped for every good work.”  This short passage tells us from whence Scripture derives and what it can do for us if we apply ourselves to it.  (By way of aside, allow me here to add that though Paul would have been speaking of the Old Testament as he would not have known that he himself was writing Scripture at that moment, we as Christians receive the New Testament as equally inspired as our Lord’s coming in the fullness of time and subsequent commissioning of the apostles is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.)

In the first place, Scripture is theopneustos (θεοπνευστος) which translates literally, “God-breathed.”  This is to say that Scripture itself, the words of Scripture, are God’s very words.  This truth was declared by our Lord himself when he spoke of the importance of even iotas and dots, markings in the sacred writings (Matthew 5:18), that the “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), when he emphasized the precise words of Scripture in debates with the religious leaders (Mark 12:35-37), and in that he himself takes the title of “the Word” (John 1:1-2).  Moreover, the prophets always prefaced, “Thus says the Lord,” when they spoke the word and words of God.  This is all to say that Scripture is not a collection of the thoughts of worthy men but the very breath of God, His word.  From this understanding of Scripture’s inspiration, Scripture’s infallibility and inerrancy naturally follow.

So what then does the word of God do for us?  First, it makes us “wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.”  Christians believe that though the Bible is a difficult book, it is still simple enough for anyone to understand who applies his mind and reads of Christ.  What else does it do: It teaches, reproves, corrects, and trains.  And it does all this so “that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”  Scripture is eminently practical.  Scripture tells us how we may come to saving faith through Christ Jesus and how to live thereafter.  In short, its purpose is to save and sanctify.  We do not worship the book, but we know that without it, we would know nothing of saving truth.  God does not have to speak; he could have chosen to remain silent.  Bless God that he did speak and enlightens us today through His Holy Spirit speaking through the Scriptures.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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