Every Scripture Inspired

“… of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16f).

Here is the apostle’s claim for the inspiration of the scriptures, the writings. Paul had reminded Timothy of his familiarity, since infancy, with the sacred writings, a reference to Old Testament scriptures. Whether Timothy’s mother and grandmother had a personal copy of Old Testament scriptures is not known, such would have been an expensive item in any household, but his attendance and training in the synagogue would have contributed to his knowledge of the scriptures. Those scriptures pointed to Christ as stated in the Roman letter, “Apart from the law a righteousness of God had been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets” (3:21). Jesus said, “Ye search the scriptures because in them ye think ye have eternal life; and these are they that bear witness of me and ye will not come to me that ye may have life” (Jn. 5:39).

While Paul had mentioned the Old Testament scriptures with which Timothy was familiar, he then included all the scriptures as inspired in his statement, “Every Scripture is inspired of God.” Those writings inspired by God are profitable. The accuracy of the scripture are assured by the New Testament writers. Peter said, “No prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of men: but men spoke from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:20f). When Jesus promised that the Spirit would guide the twelve into all truth but would not speak from Himself but that whatsoever things He heard, that is what He would speak (Jn. 14:25; 16:13).

In the Corinthian letter brethren were assured that the apostles had the mind of Christ; that they spoke those things, not in words which man’s wisdom taught but which the Spirit taught “combining spiritual things with spiritual words” (1 Cor. 2:13).

Inspired scriptures provide man with greatly needed things. They are “profitable for teaching,” “doctrine” is the way the KJV puts it. To be a disciple of Christ man must abide in Christ’s teaching (Jn. 8:31f). In fact, if we go beyond the doctrine of Christ, we have not God. We are warned to neither receive nor bid God speed to those who do not bring the doctrine of Christ to us (2 John 9-11). Paul had reminded Timothy to abide in the things he had learned; the Corinthians were commanded not to “go beyond things that are written” (1 Cor. 4:6). Peter said, “If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). The scriptures are also profitable for reproof and correction. The objects of such efforts both err in the scriptures, but they differ in that one is deficient in knowledge and needs correct while the other has knowledge but has not acted consistent with the knowledge he has; he needs reproof. The scriptures prove both these things.

The scriptures provide “instruction which is in righteousness.” Paul has written extensively of righteousness, the state of being just. He told the Romans that the righteousness of God was revealed in the gospel (Rom. 1:16f). He reasoned of righteousness before Felix (Acts 24:25). He told the Galatians that if “righteousness is of the law, then Christ died for naught” (Gal. 2:21). Certainly the scriptures instruct us as to how we may attain righteousness before God. On the other hand, the scriptures equally instruct us in the kind of life we must live to please God. God’s grace has “appeared, instructing us to the intent that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present world” (Titus 2:11).

The scriptures equip the man of God completely. He lacks nothing which pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). The faith has once for all been delivered to the saints and we must contend earnestly for it (Jude 3). Let us be as David who wrote, “Oh, how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day!”

Jim McDonald

Bible Lectureship

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