II TIMOTHY 3:13-17: “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What do we do in the face of evil? Paul tells young Timothy that perilous times are ahead. Men will be lovers of themselves rather than lovers of God. They will hate what is good and rejoice in what is evil. We are seeing the fulfillment of these words right before our very eyes.
As evil men and impostors grow worse and worse, as more people are deceived by their words and actions, how are we to respond as believers? Like the captain of a mighty sailing vessel, Paul calls out to Timothy – “STAY THE COURSE!”
- “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of…”
What have we learned and been assured of? What is the foundation of all that we believe and hold dear? It is the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. It is through God’s Word that we have come to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is through God’s Word that we have received the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God. God’s Word is our sure foundation. God’s Word is our map through the unchartered waters we now face.
But – is the Bible, God’s Word, enough? Can we really survive these perilous times with the Word of God alone? Many are tempted to reach for alternative methods and resources to address the times we live in. To simply look to the Bible seems too simplistic for some. How can a book, that is over 4000 years old, speak to the issues of our day?
The Bible is not just a book. The Bible is the breath of God. It is the inspired Word of God. It is living and active. By the Word of God, all things that exist were spoken into being (Hebrews 11:3). God’s Word is not lacking. It is the full revelation of all that we need to navigate through the troubling waters of life!
- “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”
Words are important. God did not choose His words without forethought. When Paul writes – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” – the Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul, meant exactly that! All Scripture, not some. The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Book of Psalms and the Book of Revelation. Every single word was given under the direct inspiration of God, through the Holy Spirit, speaking through His chosen vessels.
- “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” II Peter 1:19-21 NKJV
God’s Word is – God’s Word! It is the full expression of His love and will for our lives. Within the sacred pages of Scripture, we find everything we need for life and godliness. Paul tells Timothy to hold fast to God’s Word, for in these Sacred Scriptures, Timothy will find everything he needs to remain faithful to the call of God in his life!
- “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
God’s Word is all we need for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. As I was driving down the road the other day I noticed a church sign which read – “We don’t change the message, the Message changes us!” Paul echoes these words. Paul is emphatic and unapologetic. He says God’s Word has been given to us so that we might be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
It is common knowledge that the Pilgrims, who settled America, relied upon God’s Word as they forged a new nation. Our founding fathers relied upon God’s Word as they wrote the Constitution and By-laws. Our courts, in their early days, relied upon God’s Word in their statutes and judgments. And, schools used to teach children how to read using the Scriptures in their English primers.
Today, our society has spurned the Word of God. Many churches have attempted to change the Word of God. However, regardless of how they have treated the Holy Scriptures, the truth still remains. Our only pathway through the perilous times we now face is the Holy Scriptures, the inspired Word of God. It is only as we return to God’s Word that we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Lord, give me a deeper hunger for Your Word. Let me delight in every word that proceeds out of Your mouth. May I meditate upon Your Word and lay it up in my heart. Let your Word truly be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Through Your Word, lead me through these difficult and perilous times. Grant me Your grace, and increase my faith, as I hold onto every word that You have spoken!
In Jesus Name!