This past weekend, we began our What Does the Bible say series and started by looking at what the Bible has to say about itself. This is a crucial starting point, because as we move through the series, it’s imperative that we remember that: The Bible is the authoritative and binding Word of God to all of humanity. We looked at 2 Timothy 3 to give us wisdom and insight on the Word and it’s bearing on our lives.
1. God’s Warning to Those Who Oppose God’s Word: v.1-9
The passage begins with a warning for those that choose to oppose God’s Word. First, we see a warning that there will be difficulty for believers. It’s important for us to see these reminders because if we’re not careful, we can slip into a wrong thinking that assumes following Jesus makes my life easy or carefree. Then when difficulty comes, we find ourselves disillusioned or feeling that God has somehow failed! This is a gracious warning; that following Jesus will bring with it difficulty.
That warning is followed up with a warning about misplaced love and affection. In verses 2-5, the people have a love for just about everything except Jesus! Of course our love for Jesus should be supreme in our life, but it’s worth asking if there is anything that we love more than Christ at this moment?
Finally, we see a warning that opposing the Word determines that one will never arrive at the truth. This is a tragic conclusion. A legitimate pursuit, but never ultimately arriving because we rejected the only source of truth in the process.
God help us that we would hear these warnings and allow them to renew our desire to honor God’s Word.
2. God’s Call to Continue in His Word: v.10-14
As the passage continues, God calls His people to continue in the Word. This continuing is meant to happen in spite of persecution (v.11-12) and in spite of deception (v.13). There will be plenty of times where life will throw us a curveball, and we will be tempted to quit the journey. The exhortation here is to continue in the Word in spite of the various difficulties. I would encourage you to read biographies of fellow believers and allow their stories of perseverance to strengthen and encourage you to continue. In spite of the difficulties, we see a call to continue in what we have learned and believed. We talked specifically about some tangible ways that we can continue in the Word:
A. We read and study our Bible: It’s hard to continue what you haven’t started. We must be people of the Word and be committed to reading the Word.
B. We learn from others about the Bible: This is discipleship. We learn from others about the Bible. I’d encourage you to find someone to read the Bible together with.
C. We pray the Bible: Pray through passages of Scripture.
D. We implement the Bible into life: Don’t treat Bible reading like a task to be accomplished, instead treat it like you would a cup of coffee in the morning. While you drink it in the morning, it’s effect is meant to last long after you have taken your last sip. Let your Bible reading function the same way.
E. We treasure the Bible: Much like the Psalmist in 119, God help us that we would treasure the Bible because we treasure the author of the Bible.
3. God’s Declaration of the Bible’s Purpose: v.14-17
Finally, we see God declaring the purpose of the Bible. We could spend a significant amount of time discussing the various theological truths and their rich implications, but let me quickly highlight a few of them briefly. First, the Word makes us wise for salvation. This means the Bible is giving us wisdom about our salvation and wisdom about how to live in that. Second, the Bible is breathed out (literally exhaled) by God. The implications of this are far and wide, but in short, the Bible is the very Words of God. This means that it is binding and authoritative over us in every facet of our lives. Third, we see the Bible is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct and train in righteousness. The Bible is doing a work in and through us. Finally, we see that the Bible equips us for every good work.
As we move through this series we’re going to be confronted by God’s Word. We have to decide if we’re going to bow to our personal preferences or if we’re going to submit to what God says. By God’s grace, we will allow His Word to do His work by His Spirit.