Rev. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

God's Word and the Christian

The Apostle Paul gave a charge to Timothy, "his son in the faith" (1 Timothy 1:2). And among other things he had this to say about the Word of God: "From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

I want to point out first of all that the Scriptures are instrumental in salvation. It was an advantage for Timothy, and any other child, to have had exposure to the Scriptures from early childhood. The reason is that it is ultimately the Word of God and the Spirit of God that brings an individual to repentance and faith. In Paul's letter to the Romans, we read, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). In order for anyone to be saved, he or she has to have heard the Gospel.

Secondly, we notice that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God. "All Scripture is God-breathed" or inspired -- even those parts that contain long lists of names or seemingly insignificant historical passages. If you study the Scriptures carefully you will find that God will speak to you through them. Peter explains how the process of inspiration occurred. "And we have the Word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:19-21).

Thirdly, the Bible is useful for equipping the saints. This involves teaching and training as well as rebuking and correcting. These terms are somewhat similar but serve to amplify how useful the Scriptures are to the Christian. In the previous chapter, Paul wrote, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). It is certainly correct to interpret the phrase "man of God" and "workman" as including all Christians.

Fourth, Paul emphasizes the importance of the Scriptures to Timothy when he challenged him with this: "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear" (2 Timothy 4:2-3).

The leadership of the Church and mature Christians need to take Paul's charge seriously especially since we are living in the last of the last days when there will be an apostasy or falling away from the truth. Of vital concern is what does the individual who stands in the pulpit believe regarding the Scriptures. "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).