2 Timothy 3:16-17
“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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Sometimes we neglect reading our Bibles because we do not see the value in it. There are times when we don’t understand what we are reading, or how it applies to the daily struggles we are facing. It is not uncommon when talking with a struggling Christian, to share a promise from the Word, only to see them stiffen up and comment on how they don’t think that will help. In this passage, Paul addresses the true value of the Word of God. He uses a word that all business men will appreciate; profitable. He is saying the Words of God are of great value for our lives and for our daily living; they provide doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction.
The word doctrine means teaching. Paul says one of the great benefits of the Word of God is that it reveals who God is, and what He is like. We live in a fallen world that has been greatly affected by sin. When we look at God through the filter of our circumstances, we develop a skewed view of what He is like. It is only through His Word that we can truly understand God, and begin to understand why we are experiencing the trials we face. The word “reproof” means to rebuke or reprimand. None of us likes to be reprimanded, but we all realize there are times when we get off track and need a little rebuke. Like road signs warning us the bridge is out, or the lane we are in is ending. The words of God will show us what we are doing wrong, in order to keep us from ruining our life, family, relationships and witness. The Bible goes a step further than reproof, and also promises to correct us. Did you ever receive a test in school that had been corrected, only to find it covered in red ink, showing you what you did wrong, but without giving any instruction on how to fix it? That is not correction. Instead of just showing us what we are doing wrong, the Bible will also reveal what things are pleasing to God, and instruct us in how to do them. Paul calls this, instruction in righteousness.
Our Christian growth and our effectiveness in ministering to others, is directly connected to the time we spend in the Word of God. A well-worn Bible is a good sign when it is accompanied with well-worn shoes from living out the teaching of the Word. Let’s commit ourselves to the daily reading of the Word, so we can become a people fit for our Master’s use.