Verse of the Day Devotion: 2 Timothy 3:16
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16
I believe this verse is one of the most important ideas Paul relayed to Timothy. There are some intriguing points in this section of chapter 3, one of the most interesting ones is found in verses 14 and 15 where Paul says, “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15. He starts out by saying Timothy learned the sacred writings and, being convinced they were true, continued in learning all he could about them. These sacred texts referred to by Paul are basically the Old Testament documents. And it is through these sacred writings that he learned the truth which led to his salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Now, to our focus verse. Paul is saying that all scripture is inspired by God. So, what does he mean by ‘All Scripture’? Many believe that this refers only to the Old Testament because of what we saw above. First, the writer of Hebrews says, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” Hebrews 1:1-2. Before God spoke to us through the prophets and many other ways, such as visions and dreams. However in this time, speaking of when Christ was here and going forward, He spoke through Christ. And this message of the gospel taught by Paul was given to him by a revelation from Christ. “For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11-12. And also note Peter speaking of Paul, “and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:15-16. This unequivocally states the Paul’s writings are considered scripture.
Paul’s writings did nothing more than explain what the Old Testament was actually saying, and what Christ Himself taught. And because this is what all the writers of the New Testament did, I have to include the New Testament into the group called Holy Scriptures, as well as those not recorded but taught in the same way. And all these are inspired by God and thus are profitable for the following. One, for teaching everyone what God is actually communicating to us and what we are to do and not do, believe and not believe, and act out and not act out. Two, for reproof and correction; helping us understand and convincing us of any wrongs we have done and leading us to repentance and reparations if required. And third, for training us in righteousness; what is actually right and what is actually wrong.
And why is this important? “so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 1 Timothy. All scripture is used to help us live the life we are called to live. That includes the Old and New Testaments. To those alive during the writing of 2 Timothy, these were inspired and communicated by God to the writers and teachers. Therefore, we must take the time to learn all they say and live accordingly. For it is God’s calling for us to be equipped for every good work He puts before us.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.