2 Timothy 3:14-17
In our text, Timothy is challenged to maintain a close relationship with the Word of God. Paul tells him of the benefits that come from such a relationship. He is reminded that the Scriptures have taught him what he knows about God. It is the Word of God that has fed him and led him to this point in his life. The Bible has been foundational in making him the man of God he is (verses 14, 15). He is to continue in them so that he might continue to progress as a believer and as a man of God.
Why did God feel the need to give His revelation to the original authors of the Bible? Why did God feel the need to exert supernatural power to inspire His Word? Why has He demonstrated the same supernatural power in preserving that same Word? Let’s examine the purpose of the Holy Scriptures.
I. THEY SERVE THE PURPOSE OF REVELATION
Revelation is the process of God telling the Bible writters exactly what He wanted to say. Of course, just as God revealed His mind to the Bible writters, His inspired Word continues to reveal Him and His mind to all those who open the Book and read. This is illumination, and it is what Timothy had already experienced, according to Paul (verses 14, 15). Notice what the Bible reveals about God.
A. It reveals God’s person. The only way God can be known by us, at least now, is through His Word. The Scriptures reveal God to be holy, loving, just, eternal, glorious, exalted, loving, gracious, merciful, and infinitely good. They teach us that He is Lord, He is Sovereign, and He is a consuming fire. In the Bible, we learn truth that man could never have come to by himself. In the pages of the Bible, we meet God Himself! We could never know Him as well any other way.
B. It reveals God’s power. In the pages of Scripture, we can read of the awesome power of God. We can read of His power to create (Gen. 1–2; Isa. 40:12); of His power in impossible situations (John 6; 11); of His power to heal; of His power to do anything that He desires to do (Luke 1:38; Job 42:4; Eph. 3:20).
C. It reveals God’s promises. Thousands of promises fill the pages of the Word of God, and every single one will be kept (Rom. 4:21)! The saints of God need never fear that any of God’s promises will fail!
D. It reveals God’s plan. It is in the pages of the Bible—God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant book—that we can read of God’s plan to save the sinner (Rom. 5:8; 10:13); satisfy the saint (Ps. 103:5); secure the saved (John 10:28; 6:37-40); and supply His sons (Phil. 4:19; Ps. 37:25).
II. THEY SERVE THE PURPOSE OF REDEMPTION
The Bible is the unfolding of the story of
redemption. Verse 15 reminds us that the
Scriptures are “able to make thee wise unto
salvation.” From the moment man sinned in
the Garden of Eden, there is a continuous red
thread that can be traced through the pages of
A. They demonstrate the wickedness of the
sinner. The Bible teaches us that we are sinners
in need of a Savior (Rom. 3:10; 3:23; Gal. 3:22).
B. They demonstrate the wrath of the Sovereign
(Rom. 6:23; John 3:18, 36; Ps. 9:17).
C. They demonstrate the worth of the soul
(2 Pet. 3:9; John 3:16).
D. They demonstrate the way of salvation (John 3:16; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 2:8, 9; Acts 16:31; 4:12).
III. THEY SERVE THE PURPOSE OF REINFORCEMENT
Verses 16 and 17 speak of the benefits that
can be derived from a careful and close study
of the Bible. After we have received God’s revelation
and are part of His redemptive plan, the
Bible serves as a reinforcement tool, helping
us to grow and develop into all God wants His
children to be. I want to point out two ways in
which the Scriptures can help us to develop as
A. They build us up through their standards.
The Bible is sometimes criticized as a
rule book. People do not like the idea that the
Word of God tells them how to live their lives.
But, the guidelines for living found in the Bible
enable us to live lives that bring honor and glory
to the name of God. Jesus said that keeping the
commandments was the tangible evidence that
we really love Him (John 14:15). John says
that the commandments of the Lord will not be
harsh to the believer, but they will delight the
soul (1 John 5:3). Those who determine to live
out the commands and teachings of the Bible
B. They build us up through the symbols.
The Bible identifies itself through several clear
metaphors and similes; these symbols serve the
purpose of helping us understand what the Bible
is and what it can do in our lives. Let’s examine
a few of those symbols today.
1. A mirror (James 1:23-25). As a mirror, the Word of God perfectly reflects the mind of God and the condition of man.
2. A seed (1 Pet. 1:23). When the Word is properly planted in the human heart, it will bring forth life, growth, and fruit.
3. Water (Eph. 5:25-27). As water, the Word has the power to cleanse, quench, and refresh.
4. A lamp (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23). The Word is a lamp because it shows us where we are, guides us into the future, and keeps us from falling.
5. A sword (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17). The Bible is called a sword because it has the ability to pierce the heart. It is equally effective on sinners, saints, and Satan.
6. Precious metals: gold (Ps. 19:10; 119:27) and silver (Ps. 119:127; 12:6). The Bible is referred to as gold and silver because of its desirability, preciousness, and value.
7. Food (Job 23:12). The Word of God is called food because it strengthens those who partake of it. The verb “furnish” (verse 17) means to be “finished, complete.” It is used in the passive voice. In other words, this completing ministry of the Word is something that is “done to” the one who gets into the Word. If you will feed on the Bible, you will grow!
8. Hammer (Jer. 23:29). The Bible is referred to as a hammer because it possesses the ability to tear down and build up.
9. Fire (Jer. 20:9; Luke 24:32). It is called
fire because it has the power to judge, purify,
Thank God for the Bible! God has blessed
us beyond our ability to comprehend! He has
given us an inspired, infallible, inerrant record
of Himself, His will, and His ways. May we take
this blessed old Book, love it, read it, and carry it
in our hearts, assuring ourselves in the fact that
it is the truth! It will develop us, feed us, lead us,
and teach us all the way home to heaven!