“ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD AND PROFITABLE FOR TEACHING, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS” (2 TIM. 3:16).
Scripture is a manual of divine truth.
This month we’ve considered many benefits of Scripture. Second Timothy 3:16 lists four more that will be the focus of our studies as we draw this month to a close: teaching truth, reproving sin and error, correcting behavior, and training in righteousness. We’ve touched on each of those to some extent in our past studies, but they warrant additional discussion from this verse, which is Scripture’s most concise statement on its own power and purpose.
First, the Bible is profitable for teaching. The Greek word translated “teaching” refers more to content than to the process of teaching. Scripture is God’s manual of divine truth for patterning your thoughts and actions.
As a believer, you have the capacity to understand and respond to Scripture. That’s because the Holy Spirit indwells you and imparts spiritual discernment, wisdom, and understanding (1 John 2:27). You have “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).
But having the ability to understand spiritual truth doesn’t guarantee you’ll exercise that ability. God said to the Israelites through the prophet Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (4:6). His truth was available to them, but they ignored it and lived in disobedience.
I’ve heard many people lament that they could have avoided much grief if only they had known the Bible more thoroughly—if only they had taken the time to learn what God expected of them in a particular situation. Perhaps you’ve felt that way. The best way to avoid making that mistake in the future is to faithfully, prayerfully, patiently, and thoroughly saturate your mind with biblical truth, then discipline yourself to live according to its principles. Now that’s the challenge of a lifetime, but it’s the only way to profit from biblical teaching and avoid unnecessary heartaches.
I pray you will be encouraged today as you study God’s Word and diligently apply it to your life.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Ask God to use the circumstances you face today to draw you closer to Him and motivate you to dig deeper into His Word.
For Further Study
- Read Exodus 24:1-8. What was the Israelites’ response to God’s Word? What is yours?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, http://www.crossway.com.