By Oscar M. Baker
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." No doubt Paul had in mind all Scripture written up to this time. That then would include the Bible as we have it today except 2 Timothy, which he was writing. We have no doubt about it also being inspired. We do not include the Apocrypha, for it was introduced along with the LXX, not in the Hebrew Scriptures.
We note in the verse before that Paul says, "And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." No doubt Timothy up to this point had access to all Scriptures except this one last epistle, and now he has that.
All the Scriptures then were God-inbreathed. And because they are the inspired Word of God, we have the words added, "And is profitable..." We are always interested in that which is profitable, and we should be. And what can be more profitable than the Scriptures which speak of the unsearchable riches of Christ?
The Scriptures are profitable:
- For Doctrine. This refers to teaching. Our teaching concerning the dispensation of the mystery is found in Eph. 1-3 especially. Also much doctrine is set forth in Colossians.
- For Reproof. If we have proof, then we should have conviction. And this is the meaning of the word. But the Word can only reprove when believed. Reproof then comes from being convinced of the truth.
- For Correction. This is the only place this word is used. It means to right up again, set to rights, to restore. With rudder and compass one can set right the course of the ship. So is the inspired word.
- For Instruction in Righteousness. The word here is sometimes translated discipline. Also it can mean to teach. But the goal of the instruction or teaching is to go on unto righteousness. To Israel the righteousness of God was revealed by the law. Now lie deals with mankind righteously in grace because of the work of the Son. We have an imputed righteousness, the righteousness of Christ. But there is a righteousness to be put in practice in the daily walk of the Christian.
"That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." This is the goal. It has to do with both walk and the ministry of the saints. The walk of the member of the body of Christ is outlined in Eph. 4-6. It is to walk worthy of the calling. Perfect means to be filled. And furnished means equipped. So one is to be fitted and equipped for every good work.
To make the message a bit plainer, let us join the first and the last thusly, "All Scripture is given by inspirationof God, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto allgood works."
(Reprinted from Vol. 27 of Truth For Today.)