2 Timothy 3:16, 17

“There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God’s Word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose rarely seen in these times.” - Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, 90

The God who spoke to reveal Himself and His ways promised a Savior, a promise He fulfilled through Jesus Christ. As we submit our lives to Christ in repentance and faith for salvation, we also submit to the authority of God’s Word. We show our trust in God and His Word as we: (1) acknowledge that it is from Him; (2) allow God to transform our lives by it; and, (3) serve in His mission as He equips us to live our lives for His glory.

In this message, the focus is on a major event in the life of Stephen. In Acts 7, we see the fruit of the Word of God in Stephen’s life. He believed God’s Word. He allowed God’s Word to change him. And, he proclaimed God’s Word boldly. In our passage from 2 Timothy 3, we will see that God’s Word should cause the same effects in our lives.


Paul uses the Greek word theopneustos (“God-breathed” or “God-exhaled”) to describe the nature of Scripture, God’s Word. God’s Word, like God Himself, is unique. God is eternal, and His Word stands forever (Is. 40:8). God does not change, nor does His Word. Because it comes from God (see 2 Pet. 1:20, 21), who Himself is truth, the Word of God is true.

As stated in Seventh-day Adventists Believe: “The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration. The inspired authors spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative, and infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the definitive revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Is. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21).”

Because we can trust the God of the Word to be true, we can trust the Word of God to be true as well. The words of men are just that— the words of men. We can trust that God—and, therefore, God’s Word—is true.

For every occurrence in our lives, big or small, positive or negative, there is no shortage of counsel available to us. Television hosts, radio personalities, friends, and family members all weigh in, giving us their perspective on what we should do or how we should respond. Do you demonstrate your trust in God by trusting that His Word is the one true source you can count on to direct you according to His will and ways?


Paul says that God’s Word is not only trustworthy but also “profitable.” What kind of profit does God’s Word bring? As Bible teacher and commentator Warren Wiersbe puts it, “[God’s Word is] profitable for doctrine [what is right], for reproof [what is not right], for correction [how to get right], and for instruction in righteousness [how to stay right].”

It is not just part of the Word of God that is profitable but all of it. We tend to focus only on the parts of Scripture that are familiar and/or comfortable to us. This passage should compel us to give ourselves to studying the entire God’s Word, knowing that God will use it to accomplish these objectives (doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness) in our lives. Ultimately, we know that God is working by the power of His Spirit, through His Word, to further conform us into the image of His Son.

Do you read the Word of God simply for information or do you read it for life transformation, allowing God to use it to teach, correct, reprove, and instruct you? Is God’s Word affecting your life? If not, would you ask God to help you read His Word toward that end?


Paul says that the Word of God bringing about this “profit” in our lives serves a purpose. That purpose is to ensure that the “man of God” (and, by extension, the people of God) is both “complete” (some translations say “perfect”) and “equipped.” Both of these words, “complete” and “equipped” (meaning “lacking nothing that is needed”), carry the idea of being prepared for service or action (i.e., “every good work”).

Perhaps our greatest “good work” for which God equips us as His followers is to obey the command of Christ to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18-20). This command encompasses everything from growing in our own walk with Christ to proclaiming the message of Christ in our own communities and to the ends of the earth. We seek to live as growing disciples ourselves as we make disciples of others, including sharing the gospel and, for those who trust Christ, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that Christ commanded. Because we trust God and believe that His Word is true, we not only allow His Word to work in our lives; we also take that Word to the ends of the earth, calling for others likewise to hear the Word of God and to submit to the God of the Word in repentance and faith in Christ.

Wiersbe says, “The ultimate purpose [of the Word of God] 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.” Have you simply been asking God to teach you from His Word, or are you asking God to equip you by His Word so that you can more effectively serve Him in His mission for His glory?


If you have never repented of your sin and trusted Christ as the only Savior and Lord, that is your greatest need. You will never fully submit to the Word of God if you do not first repent and trust the God of the Word. If you are a follower of Christ, will you today demonstrate your trust in God and His Word, not simply saying that you believe it is true but also allowing God to transform your life by it, fully equipping you for serving faithfully in His mission for His glory?