16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.2 Timothy chapter 3, verse 16; from the New Living Translation
The most popular and familiar verse of the Bible is easily John 3:16. Right? But what about the most unpopular verse of the Bible? That’s easy, too. It’s another 3:16, but so many just don’t like it because they choose to ignore it: 2 Timothy 3:16! Speaking for my Tribe (and I see it a lot in other Tribes, too), someone needs to be holding a sign at their gatherings which reads: 2 Timothy 3:16! You know, like they do at ballgames! If I understand Paul, and I do have a depth of understanding of him, when Paul wrote ALL that’s exactly what he meant. But gee whiz, so many today think of the Bible as a Cafeteria Of Suggestions. To reject any of it is to declare that the rest of it is Uninspired By God! And thus, it’s meant for the dung hill of life.
And as Paul prepares to pass the mantle on to young Timothy, he reminds Timothy of the importance of the Scriptures–that inspired, God-breathed word! The Greek word that Paul used was graphē which means a writing, thing written. And notice–carefully and with deep intentionality–why exactly The Written Word, A.K.A. The Bible, cannot be treatly lightly–nor is it up to us to decide what works for us and what doesn’t work for us!
- to teach us what is true–not beliefs or opinions, but what is TRUE! About God and about us!
- to make us realize what is wrong in our lives–and yes, there is much wrong in our lives; the Bible is the standard and measure when it comes to living a life that God desires and demands from us!
- It corrects us when we are wrong–no one like to admit it, but sometimes we are wrong! Remember Leroy Jethro Gibbs Rule 51!
- teaches us to do what is right–Like it or not, believe it or not, but we are all tainted somewhere by sin. Our views and opinions really don’t matter when it comes to what is right!
Now, I’m not a fundamentalist who thinks that God treated Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the rest like stenographers. “Write this down word for word. Type it up and let me review it before you mail it out!” But I do believe that God inspired them because He knew not only what the people at the time needed to know, but also for us today. And I know that a bunch of men with a lot of different viewpoints got together, argued and debated before they produced what we know today as The Bible! And I am confident that God was present and overseeing that process so that WE can know God and what He expects from us! Whether those men realized it or not (and I hope they did), God was present in that process insuring that HIS Word would be both accurate and reliable for His Image Bearers! I once made this same statement to a person of the progressive persuasion, and they laughed at me.
The Bible is 100% accurate and reliable when it comes to God, us, and our relationship with God! THERE!!!! I SAID IT! And at the risk of sounding like Dr. Seuss’ character Horton the elephant: “I meant what I said and I said what I meant.” I close with the next line Paul wrote to Timothy:
God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.2 Timothy chapter 3, verse 7; from the NLT
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 16 and 17; from The Message