II Timothy Chapters 1 through 3
This week’s reading is found in 2 Timothy 3:16. “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.” This is an all-inclusive statement. It means there is no exception. When Paul said “all” he meant all of the Bible. Every passage, every chapter, every book is inspired by God. There are no mistakes, there are no exaggerations. From Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 to the very end of the Book of Revelations we can trust the Bible to be God’s Word. It is inspired or God breathed. Reading it, becoming familiar with it, trusting it to guide us is the best way that I know to be complete and equipped for every good work. Too many Christians today are Bible illiterate. They don’t know what God’s Word has to say about the issues of the day and as a result, we have much confusion and ill-equipped churches. To deny any portion of God’s Word opens the door to a total breakdown of your faith. If you can’t believe one section of the Bible, or if one section is ‘outdated’ today, what is to stop you from declaring that about other sections of the Bible? This is what is at the root of much of the debate in churches today when it comes to the teaching of evolution, the leadership roles of women, spanking children, homosexuality, divorce, poverty, criminal justice, transgenders, and many other politically hot issues. Even though God’s Word speaks directly to these situations, many people feel that God’s Word is outdated, not culturally relevant anymore, full of mistakes, and as a result, Christians begin to make up their own rules. Maybe we should revise this passage to read, “Most of Scripture is inspired and some of it is profitable for teaching, except where it might be considered offensive. It really should never be used to rebuke someone, or correcting anyone, since everyone has a right to their own opinion. Some of it could be used for training in righteousness unless it concerns ethics which are now considered culturally prejudiced so that the man of God might be equipped to be a nice person who gets along with everyone.” Bible inerrancy is not an option if you intend to live a full and abundant Christian life. But you must be prepared to be mocked, looked at as uneducated, ignorant, and just foolish. But if that is all the persecution I have to endure for following Christ, bring it on!
Challenging the truth of God’s word is not a new thing. It started back in the garden with Eve and the serpent. Wrestling in doubt over what the Bible teaches is an unnecessary anguish and, in all likelihood, the voice of the enemy of God who inspired the first doubt in God’s Word with, “Did God really say…?” in Genesis 3:1. Make it a high priority to read the Bible regularly. Read it from cover to cover, then read it again. Meditate on it, memorize passages, and pray over what you read. If you want to hear God’s voice, reading His Word is the best way to recognize it. The Bible is still God’s voice to us today.