In These Last Days
Are we in the Last Days?
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 PERFECT, THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Note the items for which Scripture is of profit. Most people are interested in profit. Here is profit that is abiding. But some of the items are not liked so well. Doctrine is all right. Most folks that are spiritual at all enjoy some doctrine, teaching. But reproof that is different. We like to reprove, but do not care to be reproved. But the reproof of the Scriptures should be accepted with thankfulness. There is also correction. If our way is wrong, then we can correct it by the Word. But it is hard to admit that one is wrong. This is a grace that can be learned by practice. Then there is the instruction in righteousness. God's ways are righteous. We need to know them so we can walk in them and so be instructed in righteousness. Now the object of all this profitable work of the Word is that the man of God might be perfect, not perfect morally as so many think, but perfect in that he can accomplish that for which he was created.
THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THINE HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIGHT. AND THESE WORDS...SHALL BE IN THINE HEART: AND THOU SHALT TEACH THEM DILIGENTLY UNTO THY CHILDREN, AND SHALT TALK OF THEM
WHEN THOU SITTEST IN THINE HOUSE, AND WHEN THOU WALKEST BY THE WAY, AND WHEN THOU LIEST DOWN, AND WHEN THOU RISEST UP. Deuteronomy 6:5-7.
No one can love God unless he knows God. And God can be known only from the Word that tells us about Him. David said, THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MINE HEART, THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE (Psalms 119: 11). Evidently he knew this counsel of God. The Jews knew that knowledge of the Word and belief in it brought life, so it was the custom at the Passover that the youngest child that could talk would ask the question as to why they observed this feast, so that the father then could recite the deliverance from Egypt of which this feast was a remembrance. If believing is the requirement for resurrection, as John 3:16 indicates, then it was necessary for parents who loved their little ones and wished that they live again, to give them the Word as soon as they could repeat it and grasp it. The Word of God was to be a common topic of conversation in the home. Many of the Hebrew children memorized long passages and some even learned all the OT from memory. It was only natural that the children should grow up as believers. And there is a profitable lesson for today too.
LET THE WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN YOU RICHLY IN ALL WISDOM; TEACHING AND ADMONISHING ONE ANOTHER IN PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS, SINGING WITH GRACE IN YOUR HEARTS TO THE LORD. Colossians 3:16.
Our Lord has said that heaven and earth shall pass away, but that His words shall not pass away. Being indestructible, they are profitable.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. No doubt Paul had in mind all Scripture written up to this time. That then would include the Bible as we have it today except Second Timothy, which he was writing. We have no doubt about it also being inspired..We do not include the Apocrypha, for it was introduced along with the LXX, not in the Hebrew Scriptures.
We note in the verse before that Paul says, And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. No doubt Timothy up to this point had access to all Scriptures except this one last epistle, and now he has that.
All the Scriptures then were God-breathed. And because they are the inspired Word of God, we have the words added, And is profitable. We are always interested in that which is profitable, and we should be. And what can be more profitable than the Scriptures which speak of the unsearchable riches of Christ?
The Scriptures are profitable;
1. For Doctrine. This refers to teaching. Our teaching concerning the dispensation of the mystery is found in Ephesians 1-3 especially. Also much doctrine is set forth in Colossians.
2. For Reproof. If we have proof, then we should have. conviction. And this is the meaning of the word. But the Word can only reprove when believed. Reproof then comes from being convinced of the truth.
3. For Correction. This is the only place this word is used. It means to right up again, set to rights, to restore. With rudder and compass one can set right the course of the ship. So is the inspired Word.
4. For Instruction in Righteousness. The word here is sometimes translated discipline. Also it can mean to teach. But the goal of the instruction or teaching is to go on unto righteousness. To Israel the righteousness of God was revealed by the law. Now He deals with mankind righteously in grace because of the work of the Son. We have an imputed righteousness, the righteousness of Christ. But there is a righteousness to be put in practice in the daily walk of the Christian.
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. This is the goal. It has to do with both walk and the ministry of the saints.
The walk of the member of the body of Christ is outlined in Ephesians 4-6. It is to walk worthy of the calling. Perfect means to be fitted. And furnished means equipped. So one is to be fitted and equipped for every good work.
To make the message a bit plainer, let us join the first and the last in this manner, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
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