Five Eternal Gifts from God - Scripture 7
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 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)
Scripture alone is the believer’s final authority. The church must remain committed to this truth. Why is a commitment to Sola Scriptura so necessary? It is within the latter part of vs. 16 and all of vs. 17 we witness the necessity for Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura.
In acknowledging that God gives Scripture alone as the believer’s ultimate authority, why is it necessary for the believer? The Bible states that Scripture alone is “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 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)
The word “profitable”, from the Greek ὠφέλιμος / ōphelimos, means beneficial, valuable, or useful. Therefore, all God breathed Scripture is beneficial, valuable, and useful for the believer. How do the Scriptures alone benefit the disciple of Jesus Christ?
First, for doctrine! From the Greek διδασκαλία / didaskalia, doctrine means teaching and instruction. It is the content God teaches and what the disciple learns. Scripture is valuable in being the source of God’s positive instructions. Teaching about who? About what? Answer: God!
Dr. James M. Boice writes that “to know God is to know His intrinsic value, that He is creator, He is judge and He is the sole giver of grace alone unto salvation through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.”
Dr. James Packer explains that people who know God through His word (a) have great energy for God; (b) think great thoughts of God; (c) show great boldness for God; and (d) have great contentment in God.
Second, for reproof! From the Greek ἔλεγχος / elegmos, reproof means to rebuke, refute, or reject. Within the context, Scripture is profitable for rebuking people of sin. Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In Psalm 119:9 we read, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (851). “The Scripture contains both encouragement and warning, and this double aspect is always present” (Guthrie 176).
Third, for correction! From the Greek ἐπανόρθωσις / epanorthōsis, correction means to restore to an upright or right state. It means to improve one’s life and character. Not only does Scripture provide valuable positive and negative instruction, but it also provides guidance regarding ethical behavior.
Fourth, for instruction in righteousness! From the Greek παιδεία / paideia and δικαιοσύνη / dikaiosynē, the word instruction means to train, to bring under the commands and admonitions of God’s Word. This instruction is specifically concerned with righteousness, indicating a life of integrity, virtue, purity, and rightness before God.