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I must admit that most of my reading these days isn’t with physical books. I am an avid on-line / Kindle kind of person. For my bible study, I use Logos software. I love the convenience of that way. But I do still have physical books and my most treasured are my Bibles. Here is the oldest one I have. I was 16 at the time. I didn’t recall if I had bought it myself, so I looked at the front to see if there was an inscription.

Low and behold, look at who gave it to me.

How awesome is that?

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. [1]

2 Timothy 3:16–17

“All Scripture is God-breathed”: The doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is vitally important, and a doctrine that Satan has attacked from the beginning (“Yea, hath God said?” [Gen. 3:1]). It is inconceivable that God would give His people a book they could not trust. He is the God of truth; Jesus is “the truth”; and the “Spirit is truth”. Jesus said of the Scriptures, “Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17).

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The Holy Spirit of God used men of God to write the Word of God. The Spirit did not erase the natural characteristics of the writers. In fact, God in His providence prepared the writers for the task of writing the Scriptures. Each writer has his own distinctive style and vocabulary. Each book of the Bible grew out of a special set of circumstances. In His preparation of men, in His guiding of history, and in His working through the Spirit, God brought about the miracle of the Scriptures.

We must not think of “inspiration” the way the world thinks when it says, “Shakespeare was certainly an inspired writer.” What we mean by biblical inspiration is the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit on the Bible’s writers, which guaranteed that what they wrote was accurate and trustworthy. Revelation means the communicating of truth to man by God; inspiration has to do with the recording of this communication in a way that is dependable.

Whatever the Bible says about itself, man, God, life, death, history, science, and every other subject is true. This does not mean that every statement in the Bible is true, because the Bible records the lies of men and of Satan. But the record is true.

The Scriptures are profitable (v. 16b). They are profitable for doctrine (what is right), for reproof (what is not right), for correction (how to get right), and for instruction in righteousness (how to stay right). A Christian who studies the Bible and applies what he learns will grow in holiness and avoid many pitfalls in this world.

The Scriptures equip us for service (v. 17). Earlier Paul had called Timothy a “man of God” (1 Tim. 6:11); but here Paul states that any Christian can become a person “of God.” How? By studying the Word of God, obeying it, and letting it control his life. It is worth noting that all of the “men of God” named in Scripture—including Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, David, and Timothy—were men who were devoted to God’s Word.

  • Two words in this verse are especially important: “perfect” and “furnished.” The word translated “perfect” means “complete, in fit shape, in fit condition.”
  • It does not begin to suggest sinless perfection. Rather, it implies being fitted for use.
  • “Furnished” has a similar meaning: “equipped for service.”
  • In other words, the Word of God furnishes and equips a believer so that he can live a life that pleases God and do the work God wants him to do. The better we know the Word, the better we are able to live and work for God.

The purpose of Bible study is not just to understand doctrines or to be able to defend the faith, as important as these things are. The ultimate purpose is the equipping of the believers who read it. It is the Word of God that equips God’s people to do the work of God.

Why this is important: The times are not going to get better, but we Christians can become better people, even in bad times. We must separate ourselves from that which is false, devote ourselves to that which is true, and continue in our study of the Word of God. Then God can equip us for ministry in these difficult days, and we will have the joy of seeing others come to a knowledge of the truth.[2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Ti 3:16–17). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 252–253). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.