Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Function of Scripture

"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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
I think the best way I have heard this verse explained was by Jim Berg, dean of students at Bob Jones University and author of the book Changed Into His Image. This is how he breaks it down:
The Bible teaches
  • Doctrine - what is right for us
  • Reproof - what is wrong with us
  • Correction - how to make it right
  • Instruction in Righteousness - how to keep it right

This Scripture, which is "breathed out by God", divinely works to convict men of sin and show them the way to God. (We read elsewhere that "the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.") I like the quote by James McHenry that says, "Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience." Wow! That's true. That is why, when we neglect the Word, we tend to easily stray for obeying God and go our own way instead. Sometimes we might even neglect the Word because it makes us feel guilty! Rather than running away from it, though, we ought instead to "saturate" ourselves with it; turning to the Saviour for His cleansing, and then going in the strength of His Spirit and the power of His Word, our sword and our shield. Aren't you grateful that He has given us the revelation of Himself to be our guidebook for our lives?

1 comment:

Your Mother said...

Very grateful, indeed! I love that definition of Jim Berg also.