Page 7 - August 2018 - Truth & Tidings

 

 

 

 

 

Page 7 - August 2018 - Truth & Tidings
P. 7

lates) is in the present tense. Paul is not just   Scripture, can do this. There is no other
        saying that Timothy read the OT as a child,   resource that can equip us as believers. No
        and found it able to point him to salvation   secular education or training, no instruc-
        then. This “making wise unto salvation” is   tion in psychology or sociology can equip
        an ongoing process. Paul is making it clear   the Christian the way the Bible does, or
        the OT has not been reduced to irrelevance.   furnish him fully to every good work.
        Timothy did not have to make do with it   The NET rendering quoted above is use-
        until something better came along. The   ful, for it stresses that Scripture is valuable
        OT continues to have the ability to make   and vital for all who seek to live for God.
        Timothy wise, and it has the same power   The word translated “man” is the word for
        for us, not only to lead us to salvation in   human being, and we should not imagine
        the initial sense, but to continuously make   that Scripture is useful only for men, or
        us “wise for salvation” (NET).       useful only for those who publicly teach
          In verse 16, Paul expands on the profit   it. It must be acknowledged, however,
        of Scripture. Possessed of Divine power, it   that OT usage of the term “man of God”
        is “profitable [useful, salutary, beneficial]   is applied exclusively to Moses and the
        for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for   prophets. While we cannot limit the good
        instruction in righteousness” (KJV). There   works referred to here to public teaching,
        is something wonderful about the profit-  it is certainly included in the term. It was,
        ability of Scripture. We could sit down with   after all, a central part of Timothy’s re-
        a newspaper or a tablet and pass the time   sponsibilities. The importance of Scripture
        to no profit. Reading Scripture is different.   is highlighted in the next chapter. There,
        We never put down our Bible and find our-  Timothy is exhorted to “Preach the word;
        selves thinking, “That was wasted time.” It   be instant in season, out of season; reprove,
        is profitable in many ways. Scripture has   rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and
        a strikingly comprehensive competence.
        It is priestly and prophetic – possessing   doctrine”  (2Tim  4:2,  KJV).  “Preach  the
        value, on the one hand, for doctrine and   Word” is the headline command, and is
        instruction, and, on the other, for reproof   unpacked in the expressions that follow. It
        and correction. It deals with doctrine and   is striking  how closely the four aspects of
        practice, addressing every condition and   preaching the Word parallel the fourfold
        circumstance  of  our  lives  as  believers,   profit of Scripture, for how, apart from
        equipped with Divine power to meet our   Scripture could Timothy hope to “preach
        needs in all their variety, and to equip us   the Word.”
        “unto all good works” (v17).           The inspiration of Scripture is a won-
          Scripture is profitable, but it is profitable   derful thing, but it should not be just an
        for a purpose. “The person dedicated to   abstract theological truth to be dryly dis-
        God may be capable and equipped for   sected, or wondered at. It should lead us
        every good work” (NET). The adjective   to appreciate the power of God’s Word, its
        “capable” (artios) and the verb “equipped”   profit in every area of our lives, and our
        (exartizo) (“perfect” and “fully furnished”   purpose it alone reveals. None of this will
        in the  KJV) are closely related to each   happen unless, like Timothy, we receive it
        other, and the wordplay stresses the abil-  and know it; unless we open our Bibles and
        ity of Scripture to equip the man of God   prayerfully and carefully read the living
        to “every good work.” Scripture, and only   Word of God.

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