“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful…” (2 Timothy 3:16a NLT)
When I was in college in the 1960’s I would make frequent trips to my mailbox. I couldn’t afford to call my girlfriend very often, so I had to rely on the mail. Receiving a letter from her was like hearing from heaven. I’d rip it open and read as fast as I could until I reached the part I was really wanting to see. You know, the part’s where she told me how much she loved me, missed me, couldn’t wait to see me – all the “good” stuff.
As a follower of Jesus, that’s a lot like how I view the Bible. I see it as God’s “Love Letter” to me. I love learning about Jesus and hearing how His love for me motivated so much of what He did while on this earth.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT) Paul wrote: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
Considering all the things happening in our world today, all the directions in which we’re pulled, all the options for evil that exist, I thought it might be refreshing to “drink in” some of the refreshing words of God. To see the purpose of the Bible and to understand why it’s so important, on so many levels.
This is the last letter Paul wrote, so he’s essentially summarizing for Timothy what, in his mind, is most important. In the verses above he outlines several reasons the Bible is so vital.
- It’s inspired by God. The Amplified Bible says: “God-breathed (given by His inspiration).” What does that mean? It essentially means that God personally chose every author. He considered their mind, their personality, their life experiences, their skill as a writer. Then God coupled those things with the guidance of His Holy Spirit to produce exactly what He knew we’d need to read, to enable us to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, Jesus. (Romans 8:29)
- It’s useful to teach us what is true. Truth is often debated today, but the Bible is comprised of truth that is defined by God. The Bible teaches us things that, from God’s point of view, are wrong in our lives (sinful) and teaches us what is right (His way for us to live). God has given us free-will, which gives us the option of accepting what He says or rejecting it. But Jesus said that He was the embodiment of all that is true, so to follow Him is to follow the path of God’s truth that leads to righteous living.
- It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. The Holy Spirit convicts, convinces and reveals to us when something in our life is wrong, which is the first step in turning from it. How can we correct something we don’t know is wrong? Then the Spirit guides us in ways to replace what’s wrong with something that is right. If I didn’t know that lying or gossiping were wrong behaviors for a Jesus follower, I would see no need to take steps to correct them.
- God uses the Bible to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. God knew us before we were a twinkle in our earthly father’s eye. He meticulously designed and equipped us for the specific roles that we would play in the carrying out of His plans on earth. The Bible refers to the primary tools God gives us as spiritual gifts, which when coupled with our natural abilities, give us everything we need, to do the good things God has in mind for us to do for Him.
This, obviously, is just a “snap-shot” of why the Bible is so important. But I’m praying that you’ll see yourself differently as you view yourself through the lens of how God sees you. As the pages of the Bible, God’s written word, come to life in your heart and mind, I pray you’ll begin to see how He has designed you to do what only you can do in the fulfillment of His purposes in and through your life.
It’s a big deal to be a child of God. To be chosen by Him to play a key role in the unfolding drama of the fulfillment of His will on earth, leading to the climax of history when Jesus returns. Not long after I committed my life to Jesus, I heard a radio preacher say, “When Jesus returns, He’s not coming back to take sides, He’s coming back to take over!” I’m so glad I’m standing strong with King Jesus.
The Bible has helped me understand what that means and what it should look like in my life. If you haven’t already, I invite you to begin your journey with Jesus today. Check out a brief video by clicking the link below that will help you understand what to do. Time is short. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet and begin to follow the One who is the central theme of the Bible.
Blessings, Ed 😊