“All Scripture Is Breathed Out By God”
2 Tim. 3:16
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16,17)
It may at first sound crude, but I want us to consider that God doesn’t have bad breath! Everything that comes from the mind of God; everything God caused to be written for our learning is good, perfect and necessary. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change,” (Jas. 1:17). Once we become convinced of the perfection of God and the perfect love of God, we entertain no doubt that all that He has given for us to read, study, believe and do is for our present and eternal good. God breathed out, God exhaled from His perfect mind and will. The result is Scripture.
This means there is no other book or writing that compares with Scripture. There may be books, articles and sermons that help us focus on Scripture and motivate us to apply it. There may be people who teach us and direct our thoughts into the text of Scripture. But there is no other book, no other person, no other presentation that is equal to the power and truth of what God caused to be written for us.
This means if we think we have discovered something to do as “the Lord’s work,” but there is nothing in Scripture to lead to that, it isn’t worthy of our energy or attention. It is through the use of Scripture that we are “complete, equipped for every good work.” Man cannot just harvest some bright idea or project out of his mind, call it “the Lord’s work” and recruit followers, thinking it is all approved by God – when there is nothing God has ever said that authorizes or leads to that activity.
This means our spiritual nourishment comes from what God has revealed, that provides the full benefit we need – for teaching, for reproof, for correction and training in righteousness. All my spiritual needs can be met when I rely only on Scripture. God breathed out and the result was exactly what we need.
This means I must read and study Scripture, then put the instruction into my mind and life, consistently and without long dry spells of neglect. How many of us have started reading Scripture, perhaps at the first of the year, but dropped it in March or April? How many of us have seasons of zeal and prayer and deep interests in Scripture, then let that season pass, distracted by the world? If we believe what Paul wrote in this passage, that belief must express itself in our habits, our thoughts, our priorities, our relationships and our growth as disciples of Christ.