II Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In verse 14, Paul encouraged Timothy to continue in the things that he had learned and had been assured of. Even though the last days would be perilous days and evil men would increase in their evil ways, true saints do not draw back. True saints know they have the truth and they know that evil men need to be reminded of the truth. Not only they, but those who are deceived by them need to be reminded of the truth.
Timothy had some good teachers in his life. In chapter 1:5 we noted that both his mother and his grandmother were godly women. Timothy had years to examine how they lived. He knew they were not hypocrites. They knew the Lord and they taught Timothy the truth. Then God led Paul into Timothy’s life and he took him under his care and taught him further the things of the Lord. Timothy could also see that Paul was not an imposter. He was bold in his preaching. He advanced into enemy territory and boldly preached Christ to all that he met. He suffered for preaching Christ, but he did not back down. Even now, he was in a prison in Rome and yet he was writing to Timothy and encouraging Timothy to continue in the truth. Paul was not plagued with doubts because he was in prison. He knew he was believing the truth and he also knew he was teaching the truth.
You may recall that John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to Jesus after he was imprisoned for rebuking king Herod. John wanted to know if Jesus was the Messiah or should they be looking for some one else to come? John was facing death at that time. He wanted the assurance that he had been believing and preaching the truth. Jesus had not yet gone to the cross at that time. In Timothy’s day, Jesus had gone to the cross, was buried and rose again and ascended back up to glory. The Holy Spirit had been given as the Comforter to indwell every true believer. He was dwelling inside Timothy. Timothy could stand upon the truth. The message he received from his mother and grandmother and from the apostle Paul was true. He knew that and he needed to hold to that in spite of the evil men and seducers.
In verse 15 we see again that Timothy had a godly heritage. It is such a blessing to have a mother who would be praying for her son and would be talking to him of the Lord and helping him to see the importance of the truth and then was able to see her young son turn to the Lord and be saved. It was also such a blessing to be able to visit grandma and hear the same truths from her as he had heard from his mother. What a blessed heritage Timothy had. Timothy had listened intently and he had been made wise unto salvation. His mother and grandmother made sure they gave young Timothy every opportunity to hear the truth and to identify the work of God in his heart. He yielded to that work. He did not despise that work. That is so important.
In verse 16 Paul taught that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. None of it was mythology. The Greek word translated as “inspiration” means “God-breathed.” What Paul was writing was the exact word of God. Paul did not put his flavour to it. It was exactly what God said. We have the privilege of having the completed Scriptures and we can study them and we can see that there are no contradictions in God’s Word. That is because there is one author for the entire Bible. More importantly, that is because that One Author is God. God never forgets what He says in one place, and says something different in another place. We as people are not always consistent in what we say. We are fallible. It is important that we acknowledge that and where we have said something in error, we need to correct it. If we have lied, we need to confess that as sin and correct that as well. God is not guilty of that. He never lies and He never makes a mistake.
Even though the writers of the Scripture were not infallible, God chose holy men who could be trusted to say exactly what He told them to say. Holy men are not forced to say the right things. Holy men are saved men. Holy men want to say the right thing. Holy men understand the necessity of functioning in the fear of the Lord. Holy men have a high regard for God. They want to honour Him. In the case of the Scriptures, they yielded to God’s guidance so that they wrote exactly what He told them to write.
I read of a politician who is being accused of demanding perfection from her staff. Some of them are complaining because she was even fussy about what they called small things. I have no idea what kind of a person that politician truly is. I do know that God is very particular about His Word. He warns several times in the Scripture of those who would add to or take away from His Word. They will face His wrath. It is important for you and I to know exactly what God said. There are so many evil men and seducers today who are twisting God’s Word. Far more people are believing the twisted words, than those who are believing the truth. That does not please God.
II Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Godly men do not know everything. They are saved men who have a high regard for God and also have true humility in their own lives. They want people to know the truth and they are willing to be slandered by those who oppose themselves and the truth.
Paul was directed to remind Timothy and us that because God’s Word is inspired by Him, it is profitable. Many people spend hours reading fiction. They are allowing some secular author to train their mind to think along a certain way. However, few are willing to allow God to train their minds in the right way. The blessing is in following God’s way.
God Word is profitable for doctrine. Doctrine is teaching. In today’s world, doctrine is being dismissed as unnecessary. Since doctrine is teaching and true doctrine is right teaching, it will divide. God’s word will only unite those who humble themselves before the God of the Word. Others will be united, but they will be united in their opposition against the truth. The ecumenical movement is made up of many false religions. They all have their idiosyncrasies. However, they are willing to unite for the common cause of trying to shut down the truth. We talked of the evil plans of our politicians yesterday. Many religions are in full agreement with those evil plans. They will give support to those plans against the truth of God’s Word.
The faithful study of God’s Word by true saints will give understanding of the doctrines. It will also bring conviction to the lost. God’s Word is quick and powerful.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God knows exactly what is going on in each person’s life. He wants to bring each person to know Him and to serve Him faithfully. His Word will do that for those who will yield to It.
God word is also profitable for reproof. Reproof is conviction. God’s Word will bring conviction of sin. We see that in Hebrews 4:12. Sadly many people distort God’s Word to get away from the convicting power that is there.
God’s Word is also profitable for correction. Correction is “to straighten up again”. Not only does God point out sin. He also shows the only right answer to dealing with sin. We do not need psychiatrists and psychologists. We need godly men who will handle God’s Word with godly care and help others to walk in the truth. God’s Word will bring the true child of God into right fellowship with the Lord. The apostle Paul used God’s Word to help Peter to see the hypocrisy in his life in Galatians 2. God’s word is truth and everything the child of God thinks or does needs to be judged according to God’s truth. As we are corrected, we can be better equipped to help others to know the truth as well.
God’s Word is also profitable for instruction in righteousness. We mentioned before that there are those who waste their time reading fiction. They like to live in an imaginary world. Reality can be very difficult to deal with when a person does not know the Lord. There are things that a child of God will face that can be quite difficult as well.
Paul was sitting in prison while writing this letter. Prison is designed to isolate and restrict movement. That can be difficult. However, the true child of God is equipped to deal with that because he has been instructed in righteousness and he has trusted in that as well.
In our text, Paul has reminded Timothy that he had been instructed in righteousness and that was a blessing. It is important to know the Lord and to rest in Him.
We will finish up this passage next time.