2 Timothy 3:16-17 Commentary



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The Power of God's Word - A Simple Inductive Study
Inductive Bible Study: Introduction
Inductive Bible Study: Application
2 Timothy 3:16-17 Study of the Authority of God's Word

2 Timothy Overview Guard the Treasure

2 Timothy Handle Accurately the Word of Truth
Life Hid and Not Hid by Alexander Maclaren


2 Timothy 3:16-17 Commentary
Updated March 15,2014

2Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof , for correction, for training in righteousness; (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: pasa graphe theopneustos kai opheliomos  pros didaskalian, pros elegmon, pros epanorthosin, pros paideian ten en dikaiosune,
Analyzed Literal: All Scripture [is] God-breathed and [is] beneficial for teaching [or, doctrine], for verification [or, reproof], for correcting faults, for instruction in righteousness [or, the behavior that God requires],
Amplified: Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),
 (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Phillips:  All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for re-setting the direction of a man's life and training him in good living.  (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Every scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for teaching, for conviction, for improvement, for training with respect to righteousness (
Young's Literal: every Writing is God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that is in righteousness,

Updated March 15,2014

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2 Timothy Study Guide; 2 Timothy - The Twelve Steps to a Fantastic Finish

2 Timothy 2 Passing the Torch of Leadership
2 Timothy 3 Commentary 
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:1-13 2Timothy 3:14-17
2 Timothy 3:14-17
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:16-17 Can You Trust the Bible?
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:1-5 A Biblical Description Of The Last Days
2 Timothy 3:14-17 The Perfection Of The Holy Scriptures
2 Timothy 3:14-17 The Purpose Of The Holy Scriptures
2 Timothy 3:14-17  The Profit In The Holy Scriptures

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:1-9 The Danger of Empty Religion

2 Timothy 3:10-15 Spiritual Faithfulness

2 Timothy 3:14-17 The Influence of Godly Mothers

2 Timothy 3:16 Why You Can Trust the Bible

2 Timothy 3:16-17 Why You Need the Bible  2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 3:16-17

2 Timothy 3 Expository Notes
2 Timothy 3 Commentary - Speaker's Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:1-13 Form and Godliness

2 Timothy 3:2  The Last Days of Dr. Truett's Ministry

2 Timothy 3:14-17 The Sacred Scriptures

2 Timothy 3:16 The Infallible Word of God

2 Timothy 3:16 Christ, the Word of God

2 Timothy 3:16 Revelation and Inspiration

2 Timothy 3:16 The Infallible, Inerrant Word of God

2 Timothy 3:1-15 2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy: Perseverance in Difficult Days

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Timothy 3:10-15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17- MP3
2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Bible Tells Me So

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
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2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Sermons - most Mp3s

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:14-17 The Use of Scripture
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:16-17 Sufficiency of Scripture and Modern Psychology
2 Timothy 3 Commentary

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Sermons - click NT, click 2 Timothy
2 Timothy 3 Commentary (Cambridge)
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2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy Commentary
2 Timothy 3:1-9 A Mirror of Last Days

2 Timothy 3:10-13 But - What A Difference!

2 Timothy 3:14-17 A Thorough-Going Bible Man
2 Timothy 3 Commentary

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3:1-4:4 Compelling Reasons for Biblical Preaching

2 Timothy 3:1-4:4 Compelling Reasons for Biblical Preaching - Part 2
2 Timothy 3:1-2 Danger in the Church 1
2 Timothy 3:2-4 Danger to the Church 2
2 Timothy 3:5-9 Danger in the Church 3
2 Timothy 3:10-13 Standing Against Apostasy 1

2 Timothy 3:14-17 Standing Against Apostasy 2
2 Timothy 3:16-17: Our God-Breathed Bible
2 Timothy 3:15-16: The Work of the Word 1

2 Timothy 3:16-17: The Work of the Word 2
2 Timothy 3 Sermons
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2 Timothy 3 Thru the Bible - Mp3s
2 Timothy 3:1-5, 14-17 What Is The Bible Good For?
2 Timothy 3:16 Entirely God-Breathed
2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Spiritual Food
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy Paul's Advice to Timothy
2 Timothy 3 & 4 Staying Sound in a Secular World
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
Profiting from the Word
Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures
2 Timothy 3:1-13: When a Lover of Good Thinks About Evil
2 Timothy 3:10-17: Honoring the Biblical Call of Motherhood
2 Timothy 3:14-17: All Scripture Is Breathed Out By God, Continue In It
2 Timothy 3:14-4:4: All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God and Profitable

2 Timothy 3:10-17: Building Our Lives on the Bible
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3: Perilous Times

2 Timothy 3:14-17 Every Home a Little Church

2 Timothy 3:16 Sola Scriptura: The Bible and Only the Bible
2 Timothy 3:16 What We Believe About The Bible
2 Timothy 3 Commentary - scroll down for homilies

2 Timothy 3 Greek Word Study
2 Timothy 3:16 Growing Spiritually: Disciplined in the Word
2 Timothy 3:16 Is the Bible still being written?
2 Timothy 3:16 What The Bible Is All About

2 Timothy 3:1-16 Perilous Times & Precious Truth
2 Timothy 3:14-17 The Work of the Word
2 Timothy 3 Commentary

2 Timothy 3 Sermons
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Exposition
2 Timothy 3:5: Form of Godliness Without the Power
2 Timothy 3 Exposition

2 Timothy 3 Sermon Notes
2 Timothy 3:16 Authority of God's Word
2 Timothy 3 Commentary

2 Timothy 3 Commentary
2 Timothy 3 Commentary

2 Timothy 3: Greek Word Studies
2 Timothy 3 Commentary

2 Timothy 3:12: Persecution: Every Christian's Lot
2 Timothy 3:14-17: God-Breathed
2 Timothy download lesson 1 of 13

ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD: pasa graphe theopneustos: (2Sa 23:2; Mt 21:42; 22:31, 32;22:43 Mt 26:54;26:56 Mk 12:24;12:36 Jn 10:35; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Ro 3:2; 15:4; Gal 3:8; Heb 3:7; 4:12; 2Pet 1:19, 20, 21) (See Torrey's extensive topic "Scriptures") (See TRACT on 2Ti 3:16 by J. C. Ryle entitled "Inspiration")

Illustrations -

2 Timothy 3:16: Let's Read It 

2 Ti 3:16: A Map & A Compass 

2 Ti 3:16: Eye Contact

2 Ti 3:16: A Heart For God

2 Ti 3:16-17: A Book For Every Need 

2 Ti 3:16: A Harmless Diversion? 

2Ti 3:16-17: God's Tool Kit

Other translations - God-breathed (YLT) breathed out by God (ESV) divinely inspired (Darby) For the whole Scripture is given by inspiration of God (Geneva)

Scripture (1124)(graphe from grapho = to write; English = graphite - the lead in a pencil!) means first a writing or thing written, a document. The majority of the NT uses refer to the Old Testament writings, in a general sense of the whole collection when the plural (= Scriptures - Matt. 21:42; 22:29; 26:54; Mk. 12:24; 14:49; Lk. 24:27, 32, 45; Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28; Rom. 15:4; 2Pe 3:16) is used and other times of a particular passage when the singular is used (= the Scripture - Mk. 12:10; 15:28; Lk. 4:21; Jn. 13:18; 19:24, 36f; Acts 1:16; 8:35; Ro 11:2; Jas. 2:8, 23) and is used in such a way that quoting Scripture is understood to be the same as quoting God!

NIDNTT notes that the root word of graphe is graph- which...

has the primary meaning of to scratch on, engrave, with reference to an ornament, reports, letters, lists, and instructions. From it are derived the English “graphic”, “graph” etc. The material can be various: stone, wood, metal, wax, or leather. The verb form grapho is found in its original sense in Homer, Il. 17, 599. In Herodotus., 4, 36 the word is used meaning to draw, of lines on maps; and scholars of the 3rd cent. B.C. used it of drawing of mathematical figures. In Homer grapho is already used in the sense of scratching signs on a tablet as a kind of letter (Il. 6, 169). From the time of Herodotus it is used generally in the normal sense of to write, and from the time of Pindar in the derived sense of to prescribe, to order. From the practice of handing in a written accusation, grapho came in judicial language to mean to accuse (Plato, Euthyphro 2b). 

The noun graphe originally carried the abstract verbal sense of the act of writing, drawing or painting; then the concrete sense of writing, inscription, letter (generally from 4th cent. B.C. onwards), indictment; in papyri of the 3rd cent. a list; in Plato the written law (Leg. 11, 934c).

Gramma means: (a) the product of the action, especially where contrast with the spoken word is stressed; occasionally (b) the action itself; but then also (c) ability to write. It can mean the individual letters of the alphabet (Hdt., 5, 58 f.), but also papers, letters, documents. The plural grammata is used in the sense of elementary knowledge, then literature, learning. The concept of “holy writings” or “holy scriptures” becomes important in the Hellenistic period: temple records, magic books and hermetic literature; also imperial letters and decrees which are regarded as quasi-divine. The authority of the written word leads, even in the classical period, to the composition of explanatory commentaries, especially on the writings of Homer.  (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan

All (3956) (pas) is an important adjective in this verse as this word includes the idea of oneness, a totality or the whole, thus referring to every passage of Scripture and every word in every passage. No exceptions.

The Net Bible renders the Greek with the phrase every Scripture and then notes that...

There is very little difference in sense between every scripture (emphasizing the individual portions) and “all scripture” (emphasizing the composite whole). The former option is preferred, because it fits the normal use of the word “all/every” in Greek (pas) as well as Paul’s normal sense for the word “scripture” in the singular without the article, as here. So every scripture means “every individual portion of scripture.” (The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press)

Note that the 1901 Authorized Standard Version (ASV) as well as some other versions (e.g., the Bible in Basic English = BBE, Douay-Rheims = DRB) translate the Greek text as...

Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable

According to this rendering one might reasonably ask "Well, what about those Scriptures that are not inspired by God? Are they profitable also?" The more critical question is "Are they inspired by God?"

While this rendering is grammatically possible (since there is no verb "is" in the Greek), this translation to some degree leaves open the implication that there may be some Scripture not inspired by God, which of course is not true, for if any of the whole is not of God, then which part is it? Thus you can see how the integrity and unity of the whole Scripture is undermined. As an illustration take the human body, no part of which which is not useful in its place, and no part of which can be spared without notable loss of functionality of the entire body. So too all of Scripture is profitable for proper function of our spiritual body. Let me ask you - In your personal Bible study, do you focus all your attention on the NT? If you do you are missing a significant portion of the whole counsel of God's Word. How many conservative churches preach almost entirely out of the New Testament, to the virtual exclusion of the Old Testament? Remember that the Old is the New concealed and the New is the Old revealed. Our goal should be that both the Old and New Testaments would be "comfortably" at home in our heart and mind, for every Word of God is profitable (eg, see the Old Testament shadows of Messiah our Kinsman Redeemer in Ruth, and the shadow of Messiah as the Passover Lamb in Exodus, both fulfilled in the New - cp Col 2:17-note, Heb 10:1-note). As an aside, there are excellent Bible study programs dealing with the Old Testament, including Bible Study Fellowship (Genesis and the Life of Moses, both 9 month programs and Precept Ministries International with multiple OT studies (Click here for list of over 150 separate in depth inductive lessons covering a significant portion of the entire OT -- with more to come!).

M F Unger wrote that...

Divine inspiration makes the Bible uniquely the Word of God and not merely a book containing the Word of God, and as such is different from any other book sacred or secular.

John MacArthur has a helpful note

"In addition to the many other specific biblical references to the inspiration and authority of Scripture...it is important to note that similar Greek constructions in other parts of the New Testament argue strongly from a grammatical perspective that all Scripture is inspired is the proper translation. Scripture is the revelation conveyed, inspiration is the means of that conveyance. In the words originally revealed and recorded, all Scripture is God’s inerrant Word."

Francis Schaeffer asks and then answers a pertinent question...

Does inerrancy make a difference? Overwhelmingly; the difference is that with the Bible being what it is, God’s Word and so absolute, God’s objective truth, we do not need to be, and we should not be, caught in the ever-changing fallen cultures which surround us.

Scripture (1124) (graphe from grapho = to write; English = graphite - the lead in a pencil!) means first  a writing or thing written, a document. The majority of the NT uses refer to the Old Testament writings, in a general sense of the whole collection when the plural (= Scriptures - Matt. 21:42; 22:29; 26:54; Mk. 12:24; 14:49; Lk. 24:27, 32, 45; Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28; Ro 15:4-note; 2Pe 3:16-note) is used and other times of a particular passage when the singular is used (= the Scripture - Mk. 12:10; 15:28; Lk. 4:21; Jn. 13:18; 19:24, 36, 37; Acts 1:16; 8:35; Ro 11:2-note; Jas. 2:8, 23) and is used in such a way that quoting Scripture is understood to be the same as quoting God!

Graphe - 51v in NT - Matt. 21:42; 22:29; 26:54, 56; Mk. 12:10, 24; 14:49; 15:28; Lk. 4:21; 24:27, 32, 45; Jn. 2:22; 5:39; 7:38, 42; 10:35; 13:18; 17:12; 19:24, 28, 36f; 20:9; Acts 1:16; 8:32, 35; 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28; Rom. 1:2; 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; 11:2; 15:4; 16:26; 1 Co. 15:3f; Gal. 3:8, 22; 4:30; 1 Tim. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16; Jas. 2:8, 23; 4:5; 1 Pet. 2:6; 2 Pet. 1:20; 3:16

It is worth noting that the majority of the OT passages quoted in the NT Scriptures are not from the original Hebrew but are from the Greek translation of the Hebrew, the Septuagint (LXX). The full title, the Holy Scriptures is found only in Ro 1:2 (see note).

Inspired by God (2315) (theopneustos from Theos = God + pneo = to breathe or blow) means divinely breathed or given by inspiration of God and it nicely sums up Peter's parallel teaching in 2Pe 1:21-note. (See J C Ryle Inspiration; A W Pink's Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures)

The Latin Vulgate renders it "divinitus inspirata".

Every single word of Scripture is God breathed. The rabbis taught  that the Spirit of God rested on and in the prophets and spoke through them so that their words did not come from themselves, but from the very mouth of God which is in accord with Peter's declaration that...

"no (absolute negation = absolutely none - and placed first in the Greek for emphasis) prophecy was ever made by an act of human will (no prophet starts a prophecy by himself because he wanted to - the Scriptures are not the product of human effort), but (on the contrary which presents a strong antithesis to the idea that prophecy originated from the mind & will of men) men (the human instruments who "transcribed" as it were the the Words of God) moved by the Holy Spirit (were continually carried or borne along by the Spirit a beautiful figurative use of the verb Luke uses to describe a sailing vessel being carried along by the wind) spoke from God" (2Pe 1:21-note)

It is not surprising then that in the OT alone, the human writers refer to their writings as the words of God over 3800 times!

The early church was in entire agreement with this view. As discussed above the ASV rendering of 2Timothy 3:16 (“All Scripture inspired by God is...”) leaves open the possibility that some Scripture is not inspired by Him and ultimately would make the Bible worthless as a reliable guide to divine truth. Who would determine which part of it is inspired by God and which is not? And so we see that the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is not optional but is vitally important, and thus not surprisingly is a doctrine Satan has attacked from the beginning asking Eve...

“Indeed, has God said?” (Ge 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

The Scriptures are the voice of God to the soul of man. It is inconceivable that God would give His people a book they could not trust. He is the God of truth (KJV Dt 32:4); Jesus is “the truth” (Jn 14:6); and the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit is truth” (1Jn 5:7). Jesus said of the Scriptures,

“Thy Word is truth” (Jn 17:17). “

The greater Presbyterian preacher Donald Grey Barnhouse explained inspiration this way...

Just as the Holy Spirit came upon the womb of Mary, so He came upon the brain of a Moses, a David, an Isaiah, a Paul, a John and the rest of the writers of the divine library. The power of the Highest overshadowed them, therefore that holy thing which was born of their minds is called the Holy Bible, the word of God. The writing of Luke will, of course, have the vocabulary of Luke and the work of Paul will bear the stamp of Paul’s mind. However, this is only in the same manner that the Lord Jesus might have had eyes like his mother’s or hair that was the same color and texture as hers. He did not inherit her sins because the Holy Spirit has come upon her. If we ask, how could this be, the answer is God says so. And the writings of men of the Book did not inherit the errors of their carnal minds because their writings were conceived by the Holy Spirit and born out of their personalities without partaking of their fallen nature. If we ask, how could this be, again the answer is God says so.

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The Real "Three R's"

The Bible is relevant because it is revealed. It is always a return to reality.

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Richard DeHaan writes the following devotional that humorously illustrates "divine inspiration":

The story is told about a young boy named Timothy who was planning to give his grandmother a Bible for Christmas. He wanted to write something special on the flyleaf but wasn't sure what to say. So he decided to copy what he had seen in a book his father had received from a friend. Christmas morning came and Grandmother opened her gift. She was not only pleased to receive the Bible, but she was amused by the inscription Timothy had put in it. It read:

"To Grandma, with compliments of the author."

Even though that boy was unaware of it, he had suggested a unique fact about the Bible. It came to us from its Author -- God. Knowing who wrote a book often determines whether we'll pick it up and read it. The Bible, with its divine origin, not only ought to be read, but it demands our respect, our trust, and our obedience. It comes "with compliments of the Author." (R De Haan)

(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Your thoughts are here, my God,
Expressed in words divine,
The utterance of heavenly lips
In every sacred line.--Bonar

The Bible is a gift from the Author -- God.

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A T Robertson once quipped that...

The greatest proof that the Bible is inspired is that it has stood so much bad preaching.

Augustine of Hippo said...

Let us therefore yield ourselves and bow to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, which can neither err nor deceive.

In the writing of the Jewish historian Josephus (Contra Apion, i.7) we find a statement that parallels 2Ti 3:16:

“The Scripture of the prophets who were taught according to the inspiration of God."

What the Bible says, God says. The Bible is the final authority, the veritable "Supreme Court" from which there is no appeal. It was on such a basis that Martin Luther took his historic stand. The moment of crisis came on April 18, 1521, at the Diet of Worms, when he was called on by Johann von Eck, Official General of the Archbishop of Trier to renounce his errors. Luther replied,

"Unless I am convinced by testimonies of Scripture or by evident reason-for I believe neither the Pope nor Councils alone, since it is established that they have often erred and contradicted themselves-I am the prisoner of the Scriptures cited by me, and my conscience has been taken captive by the Word of God. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." (Bolding added)

The Greek word for "inspired" describes ships sails filled, being carried along over the seas. Paul says every Scripture is the product of the Spirit’s work. He filled the writers and carried them along producing His Words. And even though God's Word bears the mark or style of the writer’s personality, every Word is the true and sure word of God Himself. Next time you read the Word, stop for a moment and contemplate that the eternal, all knowing and all loving God is speaking to your heart and mind and soul and spirit and be amazed as such condescending mercy and grace.

David affirms divine inspiration writing

"The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue." (2Sa 23:2)

And Jesus Himself reaffirms that the Spirit spoke through David stating that

"David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT THINE ENEMIES BENEATH THY FEET." (Quoting from Psalm 110) (Mt 12:36)

The author of  Hebrews directly attributes Scripture to the Spirit of God

"Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE." (Heb 3:7-note)

Clearly, the Spirit of God used men of God to write the Word of God. The Spirit did not erase the natural characteristics of the writers. In fact, God in His providence prepared the writers for the task of writing the Scriptures. Each writer has his own distinctive style and vocabulary. Each book of the Bible grew out of a special set of circumstances. In His preparation of men, in His guiding of history, and in His working through the Spirit, God brought about the miracle of the Scriptures.

The Westminster Confession states that...

The authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.
Westminster Confession

Wiersbe has a cautionary explanation adding that...

"We must not think of “inspiration” the way the world thinks when it says, “Shakespeare was certainly an inspired writer.” What we mean by biblical inspiration is the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit on the Bible’s writers, which guaranteed that what they wrote was accurate and trustworthy. Revelation means the communicating of truth to man by God; inspiration has to do with the recording of this communication in a way that is dependable. Whatever the Bible says about itself, man, God, life, death, history, science, and every other subject is true. This does not mean that every statement in the Bible is true, because the Bible records the lies of men and of Satan. But the record is true." (Bolding added)

Hiebert comments that

"inspiration is here not asserted of the authors of Scripture but of the writings themselves. But inspiration was not mechanical. The Holy Spirit did not destroy the personality and individual characteristics of the individual writers but rather so worked through the entire being of the writer that the very words used, although truly the words of the human author, were yet the very words the Spirit intended to be employed to express the divine truths being recorded."

“Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself,
but because it contradicts them.” 

The more you read the Bible, the more you love it; the more you love it, the more you read it. Read the Bible as if God were speaking to you. He is!

Scripture is profitable for teaching (what is right), for reproof (what is not right), for correction (how to get right), and for training in righteousness (how to stay right).

A common phrase used to describe "all Scripture" is that it is characterized by "VERBAL PLENARY INSPIRATION".

Inspiration means that the text of Holy Scripture was "breathed-out" by the Holy Spirit and written down by holy men using their own gifts, words and personal style.

Plenary means that inspiration extends to every part of the Bible. Webster defines "plenary" as "complete in every respect". In simple terms, this word conveys the idea that all the words of Scripture are God’s words.

Verbal means that inspiration extends to the very words of the text. When the Bible speaks, God speaks.

Regarding "verbal plenary inspiration", The Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms states that...

God is the ultimate author of the Bible in its entirety. That is, God’s superintending work in inspiration extends to the whole Bible and to each part of the Bible. Plenary inspiration guarantees that all that the church has come to affirm as Scripture is both authoritative and helpful for Christian belief and practice. (Grenz, S., Guretzki, D., & Nordling, C. F. Pocket dictionary of theological terms. Page 91 . Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press)

How important is a proper understanding
of the truth of this verse for you?

The question of the supreme authority of the Word of God is not just some ethereal debate but is the supreme issue. Until you've decided this issue and honestly answered this questions, you're going to be tossed to and fro. Nothing is "of equal value" with the Word of God. It stands supreme. It is the "Supreme Court" of the Christian faith. Tradition may be likened to a lower court, statements of faith to a higher court, councils to a court of appeal. But the Bible itself is the Supreme Court from which there is and can be no appeal.


AN ANCIENT CONFESSION: The Belgic Confession of Faith (1561):

Article 7: We believe that [the] Holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and that whatsoever man ought to believe unto salvation is sufficiently taught therein ... Neither do we consider of equal value any writings of men, however holy these men may have been, with those divine Scriptures nor ought we to consider custom or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God ... Therefore, we reject with all our hearts whatsoever doth not agree with this infallible rule  which the apostles have taught us, saying, Try the spirits whether they are of God. Likewise, if there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house. (Click full confession)

A MODERN CONFESSION: Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978)  

Article 1: We affirm that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God. We deny that the Scriptures receive their authority from the Church, tradition, or any other human source.

Article 2: We affirm that the Scriptures are the Supreme Written Norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture. We deny that Church Creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.

Article 3: We affirm that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God. We deny that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the responses of men for its validity.

Article 6: We affirm that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration. We deny that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but not the whole.

Article 7: We affirm that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us. We deny that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.

Article 8: We affirm that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared. We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.

(Click to read all 19 Articles of the Confession followed by an exposition of how the articles were derived: The subtopics include: A. Creation, Revelation and Inspiration B. Authority: Christ and the Bible C. Infallibility, Inerrancy, Interpretation D. Skepticism and Criticism E. Transmission and Translation F. Inerrancy and Authority- This is meaty reading but needful in these "PERILOUS" "LAST DAYS" when the fear of the LORD seems to be far removed from the thoughts of most of mankind including many in the "church".) This confession ends prayerfully with these wonderful words

"We affirm that what Scripture says, God says.
May He be glorified. Amen and Amen
And all God's children cry "Amen!"

AND IS PROFITABLE: kai ophelimos: (Ps 19:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 119:97, 98, 99;119:100, 101, 102 Ps 119:103, 104, 119:130 Mic 2:7; Acts 20:20; 20:27 1Co 12:7; Ep 4:11, 12, 4:13, 4:14, 4:15, 4:16)

beneficial (ALT)

useful" (Barclay)

Profitable (5624) (ophelimos) means useful, profitable, serviceable, helpful, beneficial and refers to that which yields advantageous returns or results. It provides something that one needs to attain a certain goal -- in context to be a "man of God". Every Scripture serves to meet the moral and spiritual needs of man. Unfortunately as Charles Colson says “The family Bible is more often used to adorn coffee tables or press flowers than it is to feed souls and discipline lives.”

Ophelimos is used 3 times in the NAS 1 Tim. 4:8; 2 Tim. 3:16; Titus 3:8. There are no uses in the Septuagint.

In his first epistle Paul uses ophelimos twice to emphasize the temporal and eternal value of godliness reminding Timothy that..

bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.  (1Ti 4:8-note, cp 1Ti 4:7-note, 1Ti 4:9, 10-note)

Writing to Titus Paul tells that good deeds are profitable..

This is a trustworthy statement (that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life); and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. (Titus 3:8-note)

Just as milk nourishes a baby in ways it does not understand, so God’s Word nourishes us in ways we often do not understand.  No matter how deep our understanding of Scripture may be, we still should be able to affirm with the psalmist,

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God” My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? (Ps 42:1-note, Ps 42:2-note).

We should rejoice with Paul that

“we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2Cor 3:18)

The profit of Scripture attests to its divine inspiration. Although one might wonder about some of the genealogies or obscure passages, the Spirit-taught mind will realize that there is spiritual nourishment in every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  

John Calvin wrote that...

We cannot rely on the doctrine of Scripture until we are absolutely convinced that God is its author.
John Calvin

John Wesley on the "profitability" of "The Book":

"I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit, coming from God, and returning to God: just hovering over the great gulf; a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing — the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the way. He hath written it down in a book. Oh, give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri: “A man of one book.” Here, then, I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His book; for this end — to find the way to heaven." (John Wesley - The Biblical Illustrator)


Thomas Brooks

The Scriptures are sufficient...

  to inform the ignorant,
  to confute the erroneous,
  to reform the wicked, and
  to guide and direct, support and comfort--the godly.

Here a lamb may wade--and here an elephant may swim!

Here is milk for babes--and meat for strong men!

Here is . . .
  comfort for the afflicted, and
  support for the tempted, and
  ease for the troubled, and
  light for the clouded, and
  enlargement for the straitened, etc.

  how full of light,
  how full of life,
  how full of love,
  how full of sweetness,
  how full of goodness,
  how full of righteousness,
  how full of holiness, etc.,
is every chapter, and every verse in every chapter, yes, and every line in every verse!

No human writings are comparable to Scripture:
  1. for antiquity;
  2. for rarity;
  3. for variety;
  4. for brevity;
  5. for plainness;
  6. for harmony;
  7. for verity.
All which should greatly encourage Christians, to a serious perusal of them.

"Oh, how I love your Law. I meditate on it all day long!" Ps 119:97-note


FOR TEACHING: pros didaskalian:

"teach us what is true" (NLT).

Teaching (1319)  (didaskalía from didasko from dáo = to know or teach) is either the act of teaching or the thing taught and in this use denotes doctrine or what is taught. Doctrine is from Latin doctrina in turn from doceo = to teach. It refers primarily to that which is taught, not the method of teaching, and doctrine.

Didaskalia - 13v in the NT (see below) and 2 in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Pr 2:17, Isa 29:13).

The NAS translates didaskalia as doctrine(9), doctrines(3), instruction(1), teaching(7), teachings(1). Note the clear predominance of uses in the "Pastoral Epistles" (I wonder why?)...

Matthew 15:9 'But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'"

Mark 7:7 'But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'

Romans 12:7-
note if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;

Romans 15:4-
note For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Ephesians 4:14-
note As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

Colossians 2:22-
note (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using)-- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

1 Timothy 1:10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

1 Timothy 4:1  But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

1 Timothy 4:6  In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.

1 Timothy 4:13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.

1 Timothy 4:16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

1 Timothy 5:17  Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.

1 Timothy 6:1  Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine may not be spoken against.

1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,

2 Timothy 3:10-note  But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,

2 Timothy 3:16-note All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

2 Timothy 4:3-note For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;

Titus 1:9-note holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

Titus 2:1-note But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.

Titus 2:7-note in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,

Titus 2:10-note not pilfering, but showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

The term doctrine in Scripture

is broader than a simple reference to information passed on from one person to another or from one generation to the next. Christianity is a religion founded on a message of good news rooted in the significance of the life of Jesus Christ. In Scripture, then, doctrine refers to the entire body of essential theological truths that define and describe that message (1Ti 1:10; 4:16; 6:3; Titus 1:9-note). The message includes historical facts, such as those regarding the events of the life of Jesus Christ (1Cor 11:23). But it is deeper than biographical facts alone. As J. Gresham Machen pointed out years ago, Jesus’ death is an integral historical fact but it is not doctrine. Jesus’ death for sins (1Co 15:3) is doctrine. (Sound) Doctrine, then, is scriptural teaching on theological truths. (parenthesis added) (Elwell, W. A., & Elwell, W. A. The Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology . Baker Book House)

Doctrine is emphasized in the Pastoral Epistles (19/21 occurrences of doctrine in the NT are found in Paul’s writings and 15/19 are in the Pastoral Epistles) Doctrine structures our thinking and so determines what and how we believe which in turn is reflected in how we behave.  Too often new converts are throw immediately into some ''work'' instead of placing them in the firm footing of vital Biblical doctrine. Sound doctrine is mandatory in order to structure sound thinking and wise living.  If you are not thinking correctly, you cannot be living correctly. The Bible is our source for knowledge concerning God's revelation in Christ.

J C Ryle said..

Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.

Puritan Thomas Watson wrote that...

The Scripture is both the breeder and feeder of grace. How is the convert born, but by “the word of truth”? (James 1:18). How doth he grow, but by “the sincere milk of the Word”? (see note 1 Peter 2:2)

Warren Wiersbe - Far too many songs not only teach no doctrine, but many even teach false doctrines. A singer has no more right to sing a lie than a teacher has to teach a lie. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

Are the pulpit messages from the heart of God or are they geared to tickle the ears? Do the video series the church uses in Sunday School actually use Scripture as the foundational doctrine or do they only give token acquiescence to the Word of Truth? Is their emphasis on God's psychology and His Words of Life or is the emphasis on humanistic psychology?

Don't be judgmental (see Jesus' advice - Mt 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, - see notes Mt 7:1; 2, 3; 4; 5) but at least be willing to drop the plumbline of God's inspired Word and "measure" what is being sung, preached and taught in your church against the plumbline of Biblically sound doctrine. The vitally and integrity of the church of Jesus Christ depends on a continual "intravenous infusion" of sound doctrine.

Paul's dictum is applicable...

Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good abstain from every form of evil. (1Th 5:21, 22-see notes 1Th 5:21;  22)

Be a Berean using Scripture as your plumbline...

Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11, 12 -see notes)

FOR REPROOF: pros elegmon: (2Ti 4:2; Pr 6:23; 15:10;15:31 Jn 3:20; Ep 5:11-12; 5:13 Heb 11:1) (Torrey's Topic Reproof)

refutation (NAB)
for convincing (Weymouth)
make us realize what is wrong in our lives (TLB),
refuting error (NJB),
reproof and conviction of sin (Amp),
to make us realize what is wrong (NLT),
pointing out errors (GWT),
rebuking error (TEV),
convicting of sin (JNT),
conviction of error (Barclay)

Eye of God's Word! Where'er we turn
Ever upon us! Thy keen gaze
Can all the depths of sin discern,
Unravel every bosom's maze.

Reproof (1650)(elegchos from elegcho {word study} = bringing to light) describes the process or the action which brings something to the light, and so which scrutinizes or examines carefully, exposing and setting forth. In its purest form, reproof is an expression of strong disapproval.

Elegchos is used only here in the NT, but has 12 uses in the non-apocryphal  - Lev. 19:17; Num. 5:18, 19, 23, 24, 27; 2Ki. 19:3; Ps. 38:14; 39:11; 149:7; Isa. 37:3

Hiebert adds that the Scripture

detects and exposes all that is false. It convicts all that is unholy and all ungodly men, exposing and refuting every religious error and falsehood.

The idea is to convict or bring a person to the point of recognizing wrongdoing, to convince (and convict) them of their sins. It includes the idea of a rebuke which compels one to see their fault and to admit their error.

Trench says that elegchos

implies not merely the charge, but the truth of the charge, and further the manifestation of the truth of the charge; nay, more than all this, very often also the acknowledgment, if not outward, yet inward, of its truth on the part of the accused; it being the glorious prerogative of the truth in its highest operation not merely to assert itself, and to silence the adversary, but to silence him by convincing him of his error.

Aristotle defined elegchos as

the proof that a thing cannot be otherwise than we say.

Bishop Trench said that the verb form (elegcho) means

to rebuke another with such effectual wielding of the victorious arms of the truth, as to bring him, if not always to a confession, yet at least to a conviction of his sin”.

The most vivid example of this kind of rebuke is the way in which God's prophet Nathan opened David's eyes to his horrible sin (All male readers - men are under attack especially with the internet, so consider taking a moment and reading slowly and prayerfully through this chapter [1Co 10:6, 11] remembering David is a man [Acts 13:22] after God's own heart > 2Sa 12:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14).

Reproof will tell you where you are out-of-bounds. It’s like an umpire who cries, “Out!” or “Safe!” It tells you what is sin. It tells you what God wants for your life. He provides standards. Reproof is the light that shines in the dark closets of your heart, but unlike the light in the closet, the light of God's Word enables one to CORRECT or set straight that which is broken. Reproof was especially important in Judaism, where it had to be done privately and gently first. Paul does not mean to say that the Scriptures are valuable for finding fault but instead means that Scripture is valuable for convincing a man of the error of his ways and for pointing him on the right path. A Christian who studies the Bible and applies what he learns will grow in holiness (Heb 5:14-note, 1Pe 2:2-note, 1Ti 4:7,8-note, Ps 119:11-note) and avoid many pitfalls in this world.

Although the following passages do not all use elegchos, they are speak to the subject of reproof (make a list of the advantages [if it is received with a teachable, tender heart] and disadvantages [if the reproof is refused]) - Job 20:3; Proverbs 1:23, 25, 30; 3:11; 5:12; 10:17; 12:1; 13:18; 15:5, 10, 31, 32; 29:1, 15; Ps 39:11, Hos. 4:4 How important is godly reproof? see Pr 6:23

Jesus taught the parallel truth about the Holy Spirit

And He, when He comes, will convict (elegcho) the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment (Jn 16:8)

So the effect of the Holy Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God is to “reprove” which in secular use meant to demonstrate by argument, to prove, to persuade anyone to do a thing by presenting reasons and hence to convince of anything, particularly to convince of crime. The Holy Spirit will convince or convict men in the world of sin by applying the truth of Scripture to their minds so as to convince them by fair and sufficient arguments that they are sinners, and cause them to feel the pangs and guilt of conviction.

The Puritan Thomas Watson asks

"How shall we know that we love the reproofs of the Word?"

Answer 1: When we desire to sit under a heart-searching ministry. Who cares for medicines that will not work? A godly man does not choose to sit under a ministry that will not work upon his conscience.

Answer 2: When we pray that the Word may meet with our sins. If there is any traitorous lust in our heart, we would have it found out and executed. We do not want sin covered, but cured. We can open our breast to the “sword” of the Word and say, “Lord, smite this sin.”

Donald Hubbard summed this verse up as follows...

1. Doctrine—Keeps us from Error
2. Reproof—Keeps us from Sin
3. Correction—Keeps us from Failure
4. Training in Righteousness—Keeps us from Foolishness

FOR CORRECTION: pros epanorthosin

for setting aright (YLT),
correcting faults (TEV),
for improvement (Wuest),
for correction of error (Amp),
it straightens us out (TLB),
for guiding (BBE),
for guiding people's lives (NJB)

Correction (1882) (epanorthosis from epi = upon + anorthoo = make straight again which in turn is from ana = again + orthoo = make straight) literally means a straightening up again and thus a restoration of something to its original and proper condition.

In secular Greek literature it was used of setting upright an object that had fallen down and of helping a person back on his feet after stumbling. It also referred to repairing a broken arm, thus making it straight again. After exposing and condemning false belief and sinful conduct, Scripture then sets straight and builds up through its divine correction...putting us back on our feet so to speak so that we can continue on the pilgrim path of growth in Christ likeness, holiness, sanctification.

Correction is Scripture’s positive provision for those who accept its negative reproof.

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1Pe 2:1,2-see notes 1P2:1, 2:2)

Paul emphasized the restorative power of God's Word in his parting words to the Ephesian elders

And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32)

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines correction as the act of

bringing back, from error or deviation, into conformity with a just standard...In scriptural language, whatever tends to correct the moral conduct, and bring back from error or sin.

And of course as Albert Barnes says

No reformation can be permanent which is not based on the principles of the word of God.

The Word of God restores the fallen sinner to an upright position and sets the erring one again on the right path.

FOR TRAINING (child rearing) IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: pros paideian ten en dikaiosune: (2Ti 2:25; Dt 4:36; Neh 9:20; Ps 119:9, 10;119:11 Mt 13:52; Acts 18:25; Ro 2:20)

for instruction (KJV)
instruction in righteousness [or, the behavior that God requires] (Analyzed Literal)

giving instruction for right living (GNB)
training them for a life that has God's approval (GWT)
showing them how to live (CEV)
for education in righteousness (BBE)
discipline in obedience and for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action) (Amp)
training in right living (JNT)

Training  (3809) (paideia from paideuo = instruct in turn from país = child) means to provide instruction, with the intent of forming proper habits of behavior, of providing guidance for responsible living, of rearing and guiding a child toward maturity. Paideia is a broad term, signifying whatever parents and teachers do to train, correct, cultivate, and educate children in order to help them develop and mature as they ought

Paideia has particular reference to child-training, carried out with both firmness and gentleness as needed in each particular case. Paideia later evolved to mean chastening (discipline) because all effectual instruction for the sinful children of men includes and implies chastening or discipline.

Discipline is any training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character. Thayer defines paideia as "the whole training and education of children which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose, now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment; whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, especially by correcting mistakes and curbing passions, hence, instruction which aims at the increase of virtue; in biblical usage, chastisement, chastening”. It does not have a punitive connotation.

Training in context is the upbringing and handling of the "spiritual child" who is growing into maturity and who needs direction, teaching, instruction and a certain measure of compulsion in the form of discipline or chastisement. This upbringing refers to the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose commands and admonitions, reproof and punishment).

Teaching can be done is a classroom in an hour, but training takes years so that your senses respond correctly. Training involves repeatedly hearing and studying the Word so that eventually your 'spiritual 'reflexes'' begin to respond properly to what the Word teaches. Then you are not just TAUGHT but you've been TRAINED! Paul used the verb form (paideuo) in the preceding chapter exhorting the bondservant of the Lord when wronged to deal "with gentleness correcting (paideuo) those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth" (2Ti 2:25-note)

Detzler writes that paideia (and paideuo)...

moves from education to correction and finally embraces the concept of punishment. This idea is quite unpopular, because many Christians confuse salvation with sentimentality. God does not tolerate sin among Christians, but rather disciplines them as a good father would (Heb 12:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-note). In fact, if a Christian is comfortable and undisciplined, there is cause to doubt that he truly is a believer. (Detzler, Wayne E: New Testament Words in Today's Language. Victor. 1986)

TDNT writes that...

Paideia from pais a child. In classical usage, that which is applied to train and educate a child. So Plato:

“Education (Paideia) is the constraining and directing of youth toward that right reason which the law affirms, and which the experience of the best of our elders has agreed to be truly right” (“Laws,” 659).(Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W.  Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)

Vincent - In scriptural usage another meaning has come into it and its kindred verb paideuein, which recognizes the necessity of correction or chastisement to thorough discipline. So Lev. 26:18; Ps. 6:1; Isa. 53:5; Heb. 12:5, 7, 7, 8. In Acts 7:22 paideuo occurs in the original classical sense: “Moses was instructed (epaideuthe) in all the wisdom,” etc. The term here covers all the agencies which contribute to moral and spiritual training. (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in the New Testament 3:404).

John MacArthur has a helpful note on paideia writing that it refers to...

the systematic training of children. It includes the idea of correction for wrongdoing, as seen in the well–known proverb,

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently” (Pr. 13:24).

In the several uses of the term in Hebrews 12:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-note, the translators of the Authorized Version rendered it “chastening,” which is clearly the emphasis of that context. Paul’s meaning here is expressed even more fully, however, in the proverb

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it (Pr 22:6).

Discipline has to do with the overall training of children, including punishment.

Susannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, raised seventeen children and had these words to say about raising children:

The parent who studies to subdue [self–will] in his child works together with God in the renewing and saving a soul. The parent who indulges it does the devil’s work, makes religion impracticable, salvation unattainable, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul and body forever (cited in The Journal of John Wesley [Chicago: Moody, n.d.], p. 106).

Righteousness (1343) (dikaiosune - see word study dikaios) is that which conforms to a standard or norm and in Scripture is that which is itself in keeping with what God is in His holy character. It's the behavior that God requires. 

Righteousness is rightness of a man's character before God and rightness of actions before men. Both of these qualities are based on truth, which is conformity to the Word and will of God. The English word “righteousness” comes from a root word that means “straightness” and as noted above refers to a state that conforms to an authoritative standard, God of course being that standard. God is totally righteous because He is totally as He should be. The righteousness of God could be succinctly stated as that which is all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves, all that He provides (thru Christ). Every believer like a child needs to be educated, trained and disciplined in righteousness, so that he may prosper in this sphere where righteousness is the norm of life.

Training in righteousness - "In" identifies this training as in the environment or atmosphere of righteousness (and certainly with the ultimate intent that the one so trained to be pressing on toward this same righteousness). This phrase in a sense therefore equates with progressive sanctification which Jesus also associated with the Word of God when He prayed to His Father for His disciples asking that God "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth." (Jn 17:17)

D L Moody once said that

The Scriptures were not given for our information, but for our transformation.

F B Meyer (Our Daily Homily) commented that...

Literally the words stand, "All Scripture, God-breathed and profitable". It is a remarkable expression, reminding of the early record, “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul.” The breath of God has entered these holy words, and they live.

This makes Scripture fragrant. — I write these words beneath the leafy shadow of an oak-tree, on a ridge of hill commanding the Weald of Kent. The summer breeze is hurrying past. Since it left the southern sea it has passed over miles of fragrant country, imbibing the sweet scents of flower gardens, orchards, and hop-gardens; lading it with perfume, which makes it an ecstasy to inhale. Ah, fragrant breeze, how thou remindest me of those holy thoughts which are wafted to me from the orchards of Paradise, whensoever I open the sacred Word!

This makes it refreshing. — On this hot summer day the heat would be overpowering but for this delightful breeze, which fans the cheek and cools the atmosphere. The current is always changing, hence the refreshment. And the Word of God is always fresh and interesting, because the Spirit of God is perpetually passing into and through it, bringing his own life to us, and through us to the world.

This makes it beautiful. — The effect of the wind, in the music of the leaves above, the swaying of the grasses at my feet, the rustling of yonder golden corn across the beaten foot-path, adds an element of incomparable delight. There is new meaning, movement, music, in it all. And it is only as the Divine breath breathes through apostles and prophets, that, like great organ-pipes, they become resonant with heavenly music." (Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily)

J C Philpot - Devotional - January 20 - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

On all subjects connected with our most holy faith, it is most desirable to have clear views. Every point of divine truth is laid down with the greatest clearness and precision in the word of God. The darkness, the ignorance, the confusion which prevent us from seeing it are all in us. But as we search the Scriptures, as we meditate upon them, as we by prayer and supplication draw light, life, and wisdom out of Him "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;" and, above all, as we mix faith with what we read, there is often, if not usually, a gradual breaking-in of light; and as we follow up its heavenly rays, it shines more clearly and broadly, and the truth stands out more fully and prominently before our eyes. This is the only way in which we can be "filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding," and thus be established in the faith, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

To understand the scripture, to see in it the mind of the Holy Spirit, to be deeply penetrated with, and inwardly possessed of the heavenly wisdom, holy instruction, and gracious revelation of the counsels and will of God unfolded therein, demands much and continual patient and prayerful study. As in business, diligence and industry lead on to prosperity and success, and sloth and idleness are the sure road to ruin; so in the greatest, most serious, and important of all business, the concerns of the soul, there is a holy diligence, a heavenly industry, whereby it thrives and grows, and there is a slothful indolence whereby it becomes clothed with rags (Proverbs 23:21).

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The Importance of Studying ALL of the Scripture...

Researchers studying eye movement during normal conversation have found that sustaining eye contact for any length of time is difficult, if not impossible. Special cameras reveal that what appears to be a steady gaze at someone is actually a series of rapid scans of the face. Eye movement is essential because the nerves in the eye need a constant change of stimulation if we are to see properly. Studies show that if we look at the same spot continuously, the rest of our visual field will go blank. We can experience a similar problem in our study of the Word of God. If we "stare" exclusively at certain biblical truths while excluding other important doctrines, our spiritual vision will begin to blur out. Some people, for instance, tend to look only at the love of God, or the wrath of God, or evangelism, or church growth, or the end times, or the devil, or sin. No matter what particular truth we are interested in, we need to be careful lest we lose our perspective.  The Bible tells us that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2Tim. 3:16) and is profitable for our spiritual development. Only as we see the big picture—how the many biblical doctrines fit together—will we avoid staring at some truths and becoming blind to others. —M R De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

God's Word was given for our good
And we are to obey;
Not choose the parts that we like best,
Then live in our own way. —Hess

You can't enjoy the harmony of Scripture
if you play just one note of truth.


2Timothy 3:17  so that the man of God may be (3SPAS) adequate, equipped (RPPMSN) for every good work. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: hina artios e (3SPAS) o tou theou anthropos, pros pan ergon agathon exertismenos. (RPPMSN)
Amplified: So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
 (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Phillips: The scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God and fit him fully for all branches of his work (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest:   in order that the man of God may be complete, fitted out for every good work. (
Young's Literal:  that the man of God may be fitted -- for every good work having been completed.

SO THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE ADEQUATE: hina artios e (3SPAS) ho tou theou anthropos: (Ps 119:97, 98, 99, 119:100; 1Ti 6:11)

Other translations - fully qualified (ALT), fitted (YLT), perfect (KJV), complete (Wuest), preparing us in every way (NLT), competent (NAB), fully qualified (TEV), capable (NET) complete and proficient (Amp)

Note that many of the Bible versions use vocabulary that emphasizes the thoroughness or completeness of the equipping; thoroughly (NIV), fully (NJB), complete (ASV, RSV, NKJV, Wuest), perfect (KJV)

So that (2443) (hina) is a preposition expressing purpose (study term of conclusion) when used with the subjunctive mood as in this verse. The fact that "all Scripture is profitable" is now shown by its effect to on the "man of God". Every time you encounter a "so that" (or sometimes simply a clause beginning with "that") ask yourself what the writer is explaining or what had to transpire for him to come to this conclusion (always practice interrogating the passage with the 5W'S & H)

Adequate (739) (artios from root ar- which indicates appropriateness, suitability, usefulness, aptitude) means to be fit, complete, qualified for a function, sufficient, completely qualified and thus proficient in the sense of being able to meet all demands and to perform some function. Artios has reference to special aptitude for given uses. The man of God who is taught, reproved, corrected and trained by the Word of God is capable of doing everything he (or she) is called to do (cf. notes on Colossians 2:10). 

NIDNTT notes that...

artios and its derivatives come from the root ar- which indicates appropriateness, suitability, usefulness, aptitude (cf. artyo, to arrange, season; artyno, to put in order; Lat. aptare, adaptare, congruere). Artios accordingly means suitable, appropriate, fitting a situation or requirements; hence also respectively, normal, perfect, sound in physical, intellectual, moral and religious respects. In mathematics it is used to describe what is straight and to denote even numbers (as opposed to perissos, odd numbers).

Of particular importance are those passages in which artios and its derivatives are used in connexion with the preparation and equipment of the believer and the church, for the service of God and their fellow-men. The adj. artios occurs only at 2Ti 3:17, together with the perfect pass. participle exertismenos. In the OT scriptures the church of the New Testament has an indispensable, God-given guide to living, through which the man of God may achieve an appropriate state, viz. be equipped for every work of love: “so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind” (NEB). Artios here does not imply perfection, as was originally thought, doubtless because of the variant reading teleios, perfect, in Codex D. Rather it refers to the state of being equipped for a delegated task... The terms artios and katartismos thus have not so much a qualitative meaning as a functional one. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

The TDNT adds that artios in secular Greek meant

Elsewhere it means a. “suitable” or “adapted” for something; b. “right,” “faultless,” “normal,” “meeting demands" c. “evenness” in mathematics"...At 2Ti 3:17 artios is used in sense b. to denote what is right or proper, and more particularly what is becoming to a Christian, obviously with a moral accent, as shown by what follows. At 2Ti 3:17 exartizo means to bring to a suitable state for Christian moral action. It is used in Acts 21:5 in the secular sense of “to end as prescribed. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W.  Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)

Vincent adds that artios speaks of

a mutual, symmetrical adjustment of all that goes to make a man: a harmonious combination of different qualities and powers

Artios properly signifies an integer or whole number in arithmetic, to which nothing needs to be added to make it complete. This word describes those persons who are complete, capable and proficient in everything they are called to be or do. When you're packing to go on a trip you have everything you need for the journey and you're ready to go! You are ready for the WORK of God once you have been trained by WORD of God! 

Trench adds that...

If we ask ourselves under what special aspects completeness is contemplated in artios, it would be safe to answer that it is not as the presence only of all the parts which are necessary for that completeness, but involves further the adaptation and aptitude of these parts for the ends which they were designed to serve. The man of God, St. Paul would say (2Ti 3:17), should be furnished and accomplished with all which is necessary for the carrying out of the work to which he is appointed. (Trench, R. C. Synonyms of the New Testament. Hendrickson Publishers. 2000)

Theological Lexicon of the New Testament...

 The biblical hapax (single use) of artios, rather rare in the Koine Greek and unknown in the papyri, literally means “adapted” or “well equipped, in proportion, fitting together perfectly.” It is also used for intact faculties as well as for speech that is appropriate for a given situation. In medicine, artios is used for the newborn whose whole body is well put-together and for vertebrae that are well aligned. Ambidextrous athletes have equal force and aptitude to strike with each arm (Philostratus, Gym. 41). This adjective is also known to signify “even” (Epictetus 1.28.3); as Philo comments, “four is a number that is even, complete, full.” The ensemble of external goods, body, and soul constitutes “a good that is balanced and truly complete” (Philo, Worse Attacks Better 7; cf. Marcus Aurelius 1.16.31: artion kai aēttēton psychēn). So artios in 2Ti 3:17 means that the minister of the gospel has “all that is necessary,” an adequate equipping, after digesting the word of God—as the end of the verse makes clear. (Spicq, C., & Ernest, J. D. 1994. Theological lexicon of the New Testament Volume 2:18. Peabody, MA.: Hendrickson.)

Comment: Note that Spicq says the man of God is adequately equipped "after digesting the Word of God." Don't read over that statement too quickly! What is the verb Spicq uses? Is it "reads" the Word? No, it's digests the Word. What a great word picture for Webster says to digest means to " to convert (food) into absorbable form; to take into the mind or memory; especially : to assimilate mentally." Beloved, this begs the question applicable to all of us -- am I truly eating the Word or am I just snacking on it? Am I really "chewing" the Word (meditation) that I might be able to absorb (spiritually) the Word, so that the Holy Spirit might be enabled to use to to renew my mind, change my thinking, empower my decisions and choice, etc? Now take a moment and ponder Jesus' words in Mt 4:4.

How is it that the godly man or woman can be made full adequate and equipped? One answer is seen in 2Pe 1:3 - Do you really believe this statement by Peter? Even more practical -- does your life show it... in the time you devote to devouring the Word of Truth, the Word of Life?... in your Spirit controlled/empowered obedience to the Word?

EQUIPPED: exertismenos (RPPMSN): (2Ti 2:21; Neh 2:18; Acts 9:36; 2Cor 9:8; Ep 2:10; Titus 2:14; 3:1; Heb 10:24)

Other translations - furnished completely (ASV), trained and made ready (BBE), fully fitted (Darby), completely prepared (GWT), thoroughly furnished (KJV), perfectly equipped (WNT), thoroughly equipped (ISV), well fitted and thoroughly equipped (Amp).

Equipped (1822) (exartizo from ek = out or used to intensive meaning + artios =  fit, complete, capable from root ar- which indicates appropriateness, suitability, usefulness, aptitude) means to completely outfit, fully furnish, fully equip or supply.

Exartizo was used of a wagon or rescue boat which was completely outfitted or of a machine sold in good condition and capable of performing the service expected of it.

Exartizo was used in secular Greek writings to describe documents, a wagon or  a rescue boat, all of which were completely outfitted and needing nothing. Exartizo in one secular Greek described a machine that was sold in good condition or in other words was capable of performing the service expected of it! Now think of the man or woman of God as that "machine", made capable of performing the work it was created to carry out (Ep 2:10-note) and which is the perfect fulfillment of Jesus' exhortation to...

Let your light shine (aorist imperative = Command to carry this out effectively. Do it now. Don't delay!) before men in such a way that they may see your good works (God works = supernatural works, Jn 15:5 works), and glorify (give a proper opinion of) your Father who is in heaven. (Mt 5:16-note)

Comment: How will His works in and through you give a proper opinion? Because His works are supernatural works which give testimony to the supernatural God. Remember lighthouses work better when they shine brightly than when they sound off loudly. How is your "lighthouse" shining lately?

The famous missionary Hudson Taylor who was equipped and used by God in His "good (God) work" of opening inland China to the gospel echoed Paul's words in his declaration...

Depend upon it.
God's work,
done in God's way,
will never lack God's supply.

The only other use of  exartizo is in Acts 21:5 where it conveys the sense of accomplishing the days, finishing the time (the seven days) during which they had to remain for the cargo to be unloaded and for other business. Thus Luke writes...

And when it came about that our days there were ended, we departed and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. And after kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another.

Exartizo and its root, ártios, appears redundant but actually convey a subtle nuance. Paul states that inspired Scripture can make the man of God ártios, competent, proficient, adept or capable. This is followed by a subordinate clause containing the perfect passive participle of exartízo which is not simply an intensive form of ártios, as though Paul were saying,

that the man of God may be competent having been made very competent.

Rather exartízo means to equip, outfit, furnish. The sentence therefore can be read

“that the man of God may be competent because he has been equipped [outfitted, furnished]”.

The perfect tense speaks of the abiding condition. There is to be no lack of proportion and balance in any area of the "man of God." The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit taking His Holy Word and applying it to our hearts, transforming and renewing our minds will make us holy and wholly fit and furnished for this relatively brief sojourn in this present evil age.

Have you ever said, “I wish my life were more effective for Jesus Christ”? If so, what have you done to prepare yourself? Bible study is a primary means to becoming an effective servant of Jesus Christ. (1Pe 2:1, 2-see notes
1P 2:1; 2:2)  

Matthew Henry...

If we consult the Scripture, which was given by inspiration of God, and follow its directions, we shall be made men of God, perfect, and thoroughly furnished to every good work.

Dr. Howard Hendricks once asked a group of businessmen,

If you didn’t know any more about your business or profession than you know about Christianity after the same number of years of exposure, what would happen?

One man replied

“They’d ship me!”

He was right. The reason God can’t use you more than He wants to may well be that you are not prepared. Maybe you’ve attended church for years, but you’ve never really got into the Bible so that it could get into you. You were not yet a

a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. (2Ti 2:21-note). 

You must not just be under the Word (sound Biblical preaching and teaching) but not in the Word that you can than be trained in righteousness.

What does it mean to be adequate, equipped?...think of a painter going to job without tools, paint, ladder, etc. Or think of trying to put together a bicycle, a swing set, etc. without having all of the parts!

FOR EVERY GOOD WORK: pros pan ergon agathon: (Titus 2:7; 3:8; Numbers 25:13; Acts 9:36; Ephesians 2:10; 1Timothy 2:10; 6:18; Hebrews 10:24; 1Peter 2:12)

Every good work - AKA "every God work"! See related study on good deeds - see also Scriptures on good deeds) Neh. 2:18; Jn. 10:33; Phil 1:6; Col. 1:10; 2Thess. 2:17; 1Ti 5:10; 2Ti 2:21; 3:17, Mt. 5:16; Jn 10:32; Ep 2:10; 1Ti 2:10; 5:10; 6:18, Neh. 6:19; Jn. 5:29; Titus 2:7, 14; 3:8, 14; He 10:24; 1Pe 2:12

Good (18) (agathos [word study]) is used to describe any quality, thing, or person that may be approved as useful, profitable or benefiting others.  Think about a fruit tree -- It is not even conscious of the bearing process. Believers are to be like fruit trees, yielding to the Spirit, allowing Him to bear His supernatural fruit (eg, love, joy, etc - Ga 5:22-note, Ga 5:23-note) in the good works. This supernatural fruit bearing happens when we are obedient to His will (disclosed in His Word), walking in a manner worthy of our calling (see related topic - Ro 16:26= Obedience of Faith discussed in Romans 16:26).

Agathos refers to that which has the proper characteristics or performing the expected function in a fully satisfactory way. The only works that are acceptable by God as agathos works are those initiated by and energized by God Himself (Php 2:13NLT-note) in vessels of "honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." (2Ti 2:21-note) These works are built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and so remain after testing their quality with fire, This man or woman of God "shall receive a reward" (1Co 3:11, 12, 13, 14, cf Jn 15:5, 1Co 4:5, 2Cor 5:10; Col 3:10, 11, 12, 13,1 4, 15, 16-notes on Col 3:10, 11, 12-16,  Torrey's Topic Good Works ). In other words, the Word of God furnishes and equips a believer so that he can live a life that pleases God and do the work God wants him to do (Eph 2:10-note). The better we know the Word, the better we are able to live and work for God.

Vincent adds

Any writing which can produce such profitable results ("good works") vindicates itself as inspired of God. It is to be noted that the test of the divine inspiration of Scripture is here placed in its practical usefulness

Lenski writes:

The Scripture is thus absolutely incomparable; no other book, library, or anything else in the world is able to make a lost sinner wise for salvation; no other scripture, since it lacks inspiration of God, whatever profit it may otherwise afford, is profitable for these ends: teaching us the true saving facts—refuting the lies and the delusions that deny these facts —restoring the sinner or fallen Christian to an upright position—educating, training, disciplining one in genuine righteousness.

Matthew Henry exhorts all men and women of God -

O that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them than ever! and then shall we find the benefit and advantage designed thereby, and shall at last attain the happiness therein promised and assured to us.

It is interesting to compare the uses of the Bible with the order of the epistles:

Doctrine— Romans

Reproof— First and Second Corinthians

Correction— Galatians

Instruction in righteousness— Ephesians and Colossians

John MacArthur has these wise words

One cannot help wondering why so many evangelical pastors of our day, like many Christians throughout history, have lost sight of that foundational truth. Every church, everywhere and in every time, should be totally committed to preaching, teaching, and implementing the Word, thereby pleasing and exalting the gracious and sovereign God who has revealed it. Through the convincing and convicting power of the Holy Spirit, Scripture is God’s own provision for every spiritual truth and moral principle that men need to be saved, to be equipped to live righteously in this present life and to hear one day in the life to come “Well done, good and faithful servant...enter into the joy of your Master?” (Mt 25:21)

Application of God's Word to our life takes place as you are confronted with the truth and you respond to that truth in obedience. Ultimately, the goal of personal Bible study is a transformed life and a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. Once you know what the passage means, you are responsible to put it into practice in your own life. Application begins with belief which then results in being and doing. In fact if we say we "believe" and yet we never "do", this faith is dead faith (Jas 2:14, 2:17)

The purpose of Bible study is not just to understand doctrines or to be able to defend the faith, as important as these things are. The ultimate purpose is the equipping of the believers who read it. It is the Word of God that equips God’s people to do the work of God.

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Our Daily Bread - One spring day, Jordan began asking questions about Jesus' resurrection as his mom was taking him to preschool. Realizing he thought Jesus was rising from the dead for the first time this Easter, she tried to correct him. She pulled the car over and told him all about Jesus' death and resurrection. She concluded, "Jesus rose from the dead a long time ago, and now He wants to live in our hearts." But Jordan still didn't understand.

Unsure how she could make it any clearer, she said, "How about if we stop by the bookstore? I saw some books about Easter when I was there last week. We'll get one and read through it together." With a wisdom beyond his years, Jordan responded, "Can't we just read the Bible?"

Jordan's idea was right. Commentaries and books about the Bible are helpful tools. But they should never be used as a substitute for God's revelation of Himself—His Word. No other book has been given to us "by inspiration of God" (2Timothy 3:16). As author Eugene Peterson says, "God's voice [is] speaking to us, inviting, promising, blessing, confronting, commanding, healing."

Let's follow Jordan's idea and go first to the ultimate source of truth—the Bible. —Anne Cetas
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Exhaustless store of treasured gems
Within this Book I hold;
And as I read, it comes alive,
New treasures to unfold. —Mortenson

Go to the Bible for your protection, correction, and direction.

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Melvin Worthington gives us a wonderful lesson entitled "The Wonderful Word" based on 2 Timothy 3:14, 15, 16, 17...

The Bible is an amazing book, a living book. It provides information which can be found in no other book.

1. The Nature of the Bible (2Ti 3:16; Ps 119:9, 10, 11; 1Pe 1:20, 21). The attributes which make the Bible a unique book include its author, authority, accuracy, adequacy, appeal, and agenda.

2. The Need for the Bible (1Pe 1:23, 24, 25; Jas 1:18; Jn 5:24). The Bible addresses all the needs of the human being. It is essential for life, likeness, liberty, light, and labor.

3. The Nourishment from the Bible (1Pe 2:2). The Bible reveals and regulates the development God planned, the diet God provided, the disposition God prescribed, and the diadem God promised.

4. The Neglect of the Bible (1Co 3:1, 2). Neglect of the Bible leads to dullness, drifting, disobedience, despising, denouncing, and departing from the Lord.

Christians need to peruse, ponder, and pray over the Scriptures. This takes time, thought, toil, and tenacity. We need to pray—Father help me hear, heed, hold, honor, and herald the Word of God.


Christ, an example of -John 10:32; Acts 10:38

Good fruits -James 3:17
Fruits meet for repentance -Matthew 3:8
Fruits of righteousness -Philippians 1:11
Works and labors of love -Hebrews 6:10

Are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God -Php 1:11

They alone, who abide in Christ can perform -Jn 15:4,5

Wrought by God in us -Isaiah 26:12; Philippians 2:13

The Scripture designed to lead us to -2Ti 3:16,17; James 1:25

To be performed in Christ’s name -Col 3:17

Heavenly wisdom is full of -Jas 3:17

Justification unattainable by -Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16

Salvation unattainable by -Ephesians 2:8,9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5

Created in Christ to -Ephesians 2:10
Exhorted to put on -Colossians 3:12, 13, 14
Are full of -Acts 9:36
Are zealous of -Titus 2:14
Should be furnished to all -2Timothy 3:17
Should be rich in -1 Timothy 6:18
Should be careful to maintain -Titus 3:8,14
Should be established in -2Thessalonians 2:17
Should be fruitful in -Colossians 1:10
Should be perfect in -Hebrews 13:21
Should be prepared to all -2 Timothy 2:21
Should abound to all -2 Corinthians 9:8
Should be ready to all -Titus 3:1
Should manifest, with meekness -James 3:13
Should provoke each other -Hebrews 10:24
Should avoid ostentation in -Matthew 6:1-18
Bring to the light their -John 3:21
Followed into rest by their -Revelation 14:13

Holy women should manifest -1 Timothy 2:10; 5:10

God remembers -Nehemiah 13:14; Hebrews 6:9,10

Shall be brought into the judgment -Eccl 12:14; 2Corinthians 5:10

In the judgment, will be an evidence of faith -Mt 25:34-40; Jas 2:14-20

Be patterns of -Titus 2:7
Exhort to -1 Timothy 6:17,18; Titus 3:1,8,14
God is glorified by -John 15:8
Designed to lead others to glorify God -Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12
A blessing attends -James 1:25
The wicked reprobate to -Titus 1:16
Illustrated -John 15:5


(adapted from a sermon by Dr. Ray Pritchard)

It was around the time of World War II.

A young man had gone down to Florida to study at a small Bible college. After graduating, he came up to Wheaton College.

He was in Wheaton during most of the World War II years. Everyone recognized his gifts as a preacher of the gospel. As his fame spread across the Midwest, thousands gathered to hear this dynamic young man speak. During those years the young man met Torrey Johnson, the founder of Youth for Christ. He and Torrey Johnson toured the United States in 1944 and 1945 speaking in great Youth for Christ rallies. He saw thousands and thousands of people come to Christ. In 1946 this young man left on a tour of Great Britain and Scotland preaching the gospel all over the United Kingdom. Hundreds and thousands of people came to Christ. He wasn't even 30 years old. Another year passed and another year passed. He formed an evangelistic team and it looked like his star was on the rise, and indeed it was.

Then came 1949.

In the early part of the year this young man was beset with inner doubts about the truth of the Bible.

He wrestled with questions he could not entirely answer. One of his close friends was a powerful speaker who began to drink deeply at the fountain of higher criticism and liberal unbelief. This friend went to a liberal seminary. There he had his faith in the Bible as the Word of God taken away from him. He came back and told the young man, "You need to give up this fundamentalist view of the Bible. This is the twentieth century. You can't preach the Bible that way anymore. If you keep preaching the Bible this way, your ministry is going to come to nothing."

That young man was torn in his heart and by his own testimony, the turning point came early in l949 when he and a group of men and women met at a place called Forest Home, a Christian conference center in southern California. He was there, deeply troubled over the raging battle in his soul: Is the Bible the word of God or is it not? Can I believe it or not? His friend was telling him, "Don't be a fool. If you follow that fundamentalist path your ministry will come to nothing and nobody will ever hear you."

Finally the night came when he knew he had to make a decision.

He skipped the evening meeting to pray by himself.

He talked to his friend J. Edwin Orr early that evening and laid out the great dilemma of his heart. Orr said, "You'd better go off and pray and get the matter settled." So off he went into the woods to settle the matter once and for all. Finally, he realized that he would never have all the answers. And so he knelt down and began to pray. These are his own words:

I dueled with my doubts, and my soul seemed to be caught in the crossfire. Finally, in desperation, I surrendered my will to the living God revealed in Scripture. I knelt before the open Bible, and said, "Lord, many things in this Book I do not understand. But Thou hast said, 'The just shall live by faith.' All I have received from Thee, I have taken by faith. Here and now, by faith, I accept the Bible as Thy Word. That which I cannot understand I will reserve judgment on until I receive more light. If this pleases Thee, give me authority as I proclaim Thy Word, and through that authority convict men of sin and turn sinners to the Savior."

That was the turning point for Billy Graham.

Six weeks later was the great crusade in downtown Los Angeles, a meeting which would change the course of American history.

The crusade was extended and extended and extended because so many thousands of people were coming to Christ. You remember the story of how William Randolph Hearst instructed all the newspapers in his chain to "Puff Graham." And the word about Billy Graham was spread from coast to coast. And his fame was assured. The rest is history. By his own admission, everything that has happened in Billy Graham's life goes back to that night at Forest Home when he put the Bible down and knelt before God and said, "Oh, God, I do not understand it all, but I am willing to believe it and willing to obey it." Billy Graham later wrote:

During that crusade I discovered the secret that changed my ministry. I stopped trying to prove that the Bible was true. I had settled in my own mind that it was, and this faith was conveyed to the audience. Over and over again I found myself saying, "The Bible says." I felt as though I were merely a voice through which the Holy Spirit was speaking … I found that the Bible became a flame in my hands. That flame melted away unbelief in the hearts of people and moved them to decide for Christ. The Word became like a hammer breaking up stony hearts and shaping them into the likeness of God …I found that I did not have to rely upon cleverness, oratory, psychological manipulation of crowds or apt illustrations or striking quotations from famous men. I began to rely more and more upon Scripture itself, and God blessed. (All quotes from "Give Me That Book" by Robert Coleman in The Alliance Witness, January 7, 1987)



OBSERVATION: What does it say?

INTERPRETATION: What does it mean?

APPLICATION: How do I respond?

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