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What? How? and Why?

by on May 1, 2013

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

What?

How?

and Why?

These verses address these three questions regarding the Scriptures.bible

First, what is Scripture? It is God’s breath, some translations use the word “inspired” here – which means basically the same thing: to breathe into. God has placed his breath, the same life-giving breath that brought a heap of dust to life, into these words of Scripture. In doing so, he has given them richness and depth and power.

And which parts of Scripture has he done this for? All of it. Not just the comfortable parts, but the strange, confusing, boring, unpopular, awkward bits as well. This is why we encourage you to work at reading through the entire Bible – God has breathed into it all, and all of it is useful.

How is it useful? Paul says, “for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Scripture is meant to be shape and form us toward living rightly. Some times that comes as rebuke – correcting and stripping away those parts that do not belong. Sometimes it’s teaching and training – adding things that have been missed.

And finally, why? So that we can be adequately prepared to do good in every situation. It is crucial that we don’t miss this last part. For Paul, the point of studying and learning and being shaped by Scripture is so that when decision moments come we choose well.

There are two sides to this. On the one hand, we need to know the Scriptures, so that we know what is true and good and noble and right, rather than relying on someone else’s definition for those things. On the other hand, it is not enough to just know the Scriptures. They are meant to influence and shape our actions towards doing good in our world.

What parts of Scripture have you tended to avoid or ignore because they are difficult? What are things in your life that need to be stripped away or added so that you can more effectively do “every good work” that God brings your way?

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