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2nd Timothy 3:14-17

THE PRECIOUS WORD OF GOD!

"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto 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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1:

Paul is writing to Timothy. His subject, obviously, is the Word of God. Four consecutive verses about the Bible, what a treat awaits us as we carefully traverse this Text!

"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto 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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2nd Timothy 3:14-17

Today we will analyze a clause from that opening verse, "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of ...." 2nd Timothy 3:14

Both the things Timothy has "learned" and has been "assured of" must be taken from the Word of God. That's because the whole pericope here, the whole "slice" of Scripture we're studying, focuses on the Bible!

The verb "learned" translates "mathano," just meaning "to increase one's knowledge." God's Word promotes learning! In the Bible's longest chapter, one that wholly praises Scripture, Psalm 119, I found the word "teach" 9 times!

Who taught young Timothy the Bible? His Mother and Grandmother for starters! And Paul, who spoke to Timothy of ... "the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." 2nd Timothy 1:5

Then after "learning," praise the Lord, comes "assurance," at least according to Paul here in our Text!

Here it is again: "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of ...." 2nd Timothy 3:14

The verb that gives us "assured" is "pisteuo," just "to believe," especially when it appears in the active voice. But in this case "pisteuo" has been made into a passive verb. "To be persuaded" might be a good sense of its meaning. Stronger yet, "to remain committed!"

The Bible, first of all, teaches us!

We have all learned much because of God's Book!

God's Word is our source of knowledge.

But then, that blessed old Book assures us too!

It makes us steady!

Once we have learned God's Word, a lovely task in which we are all participants, we also gain more and more assurance as time passes!

Blessed assurance!

Praise the Lord!

Now, just one thing remains!

What, you may ask?

"Continue!"

Yes!

"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of ...." 2nd Timothy 3:14

The verb "continue" is "meno," just meaning "to remain, to abide, to continue!"

Always God's Word will produce such abiding, such godly living, such awesome assurance

"Meno" does not mean temporary residence!

It means to set up housekeeping, to stay indefinitely!

Timothy, don't be a quitter!

By the way, "meno" here is an imperative! We are commanded to stay "in" the Word of God!

Commanded to do something that will bless us immensely, immeasurably!

Sounds just like the Lord!

Amen!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

It does matter!

Who one's teachers are.

The quality of the teacher has a direct bearing on the quality of the teaching!

The first time the word "teach" is used in the Bible, God is the Instructor! He told Moses, "Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." Exodus 4:12

But, without doubt, in the Old Testament anyway, the main body of material to be taught was the Word of God! "And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them." Exodus 24:12

Here's more Biblical teaching, parents to children: "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deuteronomy 6:7

Teaching was important to Jesus too! "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities." Matthew 11:1 for some reason lists teaching first!

God has even equipped certain men to teach His Word, a gift to the Church in these days of Grace! "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Ephesians 4:11

I'm talking about teachers and teaching today because of our Verse, 2nd Timothy 3:14. Paul to young Timothy: "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them." That last clause, "knowing of whom thou hast learned them," is important. Spiritual things are in view here.

The verb is an aorist in Greek, "manthano," but spelled "emathes" in this form, indicating action that has at some time in the past already been completed.

Paul believes Timothy is well-versed in the Word of God! At least for his age, quite youthful yet, he is!

Paul is encouraging the young Preacher to stay faithful to the fundamentals of the faith he once learned!

And one reason "why," one critical reason, "knowing of whom thou hast learned them," certainly centers on the individuals who taught Timothy!

The participle "knowing" Is spelled "eidos," properly meaning "to see!" Knowing perceptively! To consider! To reflect!

Knowledge can be all the more precious if it came to you through a loved one! Or through a highly respected instructor!

There's a "hint" in the pronoun used, "whom," that knowledge can be personal. One's own, so to speak!

In that sense, a Daddy can share with his son or daughter his very faith! A parent cannot be saved for his or her child, of course! But still, he or she can certainly impart the Truth of God's Word!

For example, my Dad loved the King James Bible! That "value" in his life he somehow imparted to his son! That "conviction!" Now that's personal, indeed it is!

But, back to our Verse, or the "fragment" of 2nd Timothy 3:14 that we are studying today, of whom did Timothy learn his early Bible knowledge?

"Knowing of whom thou hast learned them."

No doubt another related Verse further explains Paul's meaning here. We are to compare Scripture with Scripture, you know. "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." 2nd Timothy 1:5

"Eunice" means "good victory!"

"Lois" means "agreeable," in Greek!

"Unfeigned" faith is literally, "not hypocritical" faith!

And the verb "dwelt" is "to be at home," using the noun "oikos," one's very house!

These ladies passed their faith along to their beloved son and grandson!

Mothers reading here today, there's no mention of Daddy at all! Acts 16:1 quickly tells us in passing that Timothy's Dad was "a Greek," perhaps Paul's way of saying "an unbeliever!" At least the father here did not take part in young Timothy's spiritual education!

If Dad won't, shame on him, Mom, you do it!

You might be rearing a Preacher, to the glory of God!

Not only parents or grandparents, but likely a dedicated old rabbi taught Timothy too. The equivalent of a venerable Man of God who has stood true through the years! Teach these young people to love Preachers! Godly Preachers!

Just like an heirloom is more valuable because of its source, so should the Truth be!

Oh, our Greatest Source of Truth is ... God the Holy Spirit!

He's the Real Teacher!

At least in these last days!

Jesus again, to His followers: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:16

Truth!

Hold it dear to your heart!

For many reasons, some being personal!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

It is a statement, but much more than that too!

That's because it's the Bible, God's Word!

Paul the Apostle, in writing to a young Preacher named Timothy, reminded him, "From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures." 2nd Timothy 3:15

This statement is the "springboard" from which Paul dives into one of the greatest paragraphs ever written about the Word of God!

Precisely: "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, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2nd Timothy 3:16-17

We now possess the above jewels, all because Paul needed to encourage Timothy to "continue" in the Faith! "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of." 2nd Timothy 3:14

To continue, because of two ever-prevailing conditions.

 Firstly, "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." 2nd Timothy 3:13

Secondly, stay faithful, because "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2nd Timothy 3:12

The constantly deteriorating nature of sin!

The ever-present threat of persecution, hard times!

The Bible is our antidote to such poison!

It will keep me from sin! "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11

And while it will not alleviate my hardships and trials, it will transform them from "stumbling-stones" into "stairways" for further knowledge! "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." Psalm 119:71

These things being true, Timothy needs to be freshly reminded: "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures." Again our verse, really half-verse for today, 2nd Timothy 3:15

The young man's parents, rather his Mother and Grandmother, seem to have been his tutors in those early days. At least Paul thinks so, once mentioning: "The unfeigned faith that is in thee, Timothy, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." 2nd Timothy 1:5

His Dad was perhaps not even saved! "Then came he, Paul, to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek," Paul in Acts 16:1 uses "but," a contrasting conjunction, to introduce Timothy's father. He was "unlike" his wife and mother-in-law!

Timothy probably learned the alphabet, memorizing the Scriptures! Our children even did that. He no doubt new the characters of the Bible, many Psalms by heart, Proverbs too! The Law! The Prophets! The Histories!

Yes, Timothy: "From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures."

The verb "hast known" is here expressed in the indicative mood (stating a fact), perfect tense (action that once begun, now continues indefinitely), active voice (Timothy had to participate) form of "oida." It at its base means "to see" something! To perceive it! It's a word picture: "the eyes of your mind being opened!" Things brought into clear focus!

The Holy Spirit of course is behind such intelligence! He is The Real Teacher! John writes: "But the Anointing (the Holy Spirit) which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the Same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie." 1st John 2:27, Amen!

Grandmother ... to Mom ... to Son! All via the power of the Holy Ghost of God! What an encouragement this verse ought to be to the ladies reading here today, ladies with teachable children or those so very "eager-to-learn" little grandchildren!

Timothy: "From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures."

The Object of Timothy's knowledge is made quite clear, the Holy Scriptures. The noun for the Bible here is "gramma," literally meaning "letters!" Then, "writings!" Then, "Scriptures!" It is a plural noun here too, "Scriptures," ending with an "s." Once when Jesus used the term, John 10:35, He used the singular form. "The scripture cannot be broken," promised our Lord! Therefore we can deduce that either the singular or plural form is acceptable, Biblical even! "Scripture or Scriptures!" Oh, "gramma" is derived from a root verb, "grapho," meaning "to engrave," to write in that sense! Indelibly! It's non-erasable in the right kind of human heart! 

Then Paul adds an adjective, the "Holy" Scriptures! He uses "heiros" here, basically meaning "sacred." Another way to word it, "dedicated to God!" A related word, "heiron," means a "temple!" It apparently signifies the whole temple complex too, as opposed to the most holy place, which is "naos" in Greek. The whole thing!

The entire Bible is "Holy" too!

Today we have studied a short clause, but it is obviously heavily freighted with meaning!

All Scripture is!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

The Bible is a great Book, the greatest ever!

It even participates in the salvation of a lost soul!

Paul said so in 2nd Timothy 3:15, writing to a young preacher named Timothy. The Apostle there mentions: "The holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

But can a Book do that, even a divine Book?

Yes!

The Greek verb translated "are able" is a form of "dunamai," meaning "to have power!" It technically means "the ability or might that has been placed within a person, inherent strength!" Still, it is a gift from God!

God's Word, then, has power! "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword ...." Hebrews 4:12

Paul again combines "word" and "power" in Acts 20:32, speaking to the Ephesians. "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up ...." Amen!

Back to our half-verse for today: "The holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

The next verb is "make wise." It is built upon the well-known "sophia" stem, "sophizo." Perhaps its basic idea is "skill, expertise." But this is not necessarily intellectual prowess, rather, moral integrity! One teacher said that it is related to "saphes," meaning "clear" in Greek! Unblemished! Spotless, unstained!

Linking "wisdom" and "salvation" as it does, one wonders if a slight implication here might be that the "lack of salvation" is directly related to the "lack of wisdom!" In other words, it's foolish not to be saved, not to follow Jesus! After all, He came "to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10

The great noun "salvation" is spelled "soteria." It is derived from the root verb "sozo," that is, "to save!" It brings certain word pictures as "baggage," baggage in a good sense. "To save" in a medical way, critically sick folks being made well! "To save" in a military way, the "victim" being dramatically "rescued!" Safe, in other words! "To save" in a social way, former "enemies" being made into "friends!" Reconciliation!

Yes, "sozo" and "soteria" are great New Testament words indeed! Jesus is our Saviour, spelled "soter!"

The Bible and Salvation?

Indeed!

Not only here in our Text today, "The holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus," but also in places like James 1:21. "Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." The adjective "engrafted" here is "emphutos," that which has "sprouted" from a planted seed!

See, the Bible and Salvation linked!

Or even Romans 10:17. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Also John 5:24 associates God's Word and salvation. Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

But, being saved is not just an "automatic" thing! We are saved "through" faith! The preposition is "dia," which, when used with a genitive case noun, means "by means of!"

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8 uses "dia" again!

And this very faith has a Source!  "The holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." It is "in" Christ Jesus!

We have just been told that the very "faith" with which we believed unto salvation ... was the property of Jesus Christ in the first place! Saving faith is only found in one location, and it's not the local library! It is "in" Jesus our Lord!

So far, this great Text has been very "inclusive!"

Look at our Text yet again!

"Timothy ... continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." 2nd Timothy 3:14-15, on our way to 2nd Timothy 3:16-17!

Now, let me capitalize and underline the "in" words. "Timothy ... continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

Yes, even "unto" is the little Greek word "eis," meaning "toward," but with the end result of being "inside" the goal, the target!

Again I say it, "inclusive!"

I, an old ex-sinner, am now "in" Christ Jesus my Lord! "In" His glorious Family! Paul meant it when he said, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2nd Corinthians 5:17

And the active Agent in all this, at least in our 2nd Timothy 3 context, is THE WORD OF GOD!

"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

Glory!

Paul said "Christ Jesus" here, not "Jesus Christ!"

Of the 58 times "Christ Jesus," in that exact order, occurs in the New Testament, Paul writes 56 of them! "Christ," God's anointed One, the Messiah, His Dignity being emphasized! Then "Jesus," the One who saves! 

Paul uses "Jesus Christ" much more often however, he being a missionary to lost Gentiles. About twice as often it initially appears. "Jesus Christ" slightly accents His Saviourhood over His Messiahship.

In either order Jesus is the only Way to Heaven!

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12

Are you saved?

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

Now, with great excitement, we begin a truly "classic" Verse of Scripture!

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2nd Timothy 3:16

The first clause occupies our attention today. We must digest this Verse one sweet Bite at a time! It's too precious, too rich, to "eat" all at once! Remember what Jeremiah said to the Lord. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16

And Job too! "I have esteemed the Words of His Mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:12

So, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" is our Text this Lord's Day in July.

The adjective "all" is spelled "pas" in Greek. When it's used without an article (a, an or the) it means "every" or "each." It is absolute in its emphasis. There are no exceptions!

Each phrase, every clause, all the verses (31,102 of them), word for word ... the Bible is inspired!

One newer "translation" wrongly says here "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching ...." It thereby implies that some scripture might not be inspired. It would have us believe that it's just "scripture inspired of God" that's profitable!

The King James Bible properly says that ALL Scripture is inspired! If it's in the Bible, it is God-sent, God-inspired! Therefore, without error!

Yes!

Yes indeed!

The noun "Scripture" is "graphe," a thing "written." The so-called "lead" inside a pencil is really a substance named "graphite!" The words are obviously related. A "writing" instrument!

The "Scriptures" are, in reality, God's "writings!"

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God."

The rest of the clause "is given by inspiration of God" translates one Greek word! It takes six English words to properly express the meaning of "theopneustos." In this blended word one can easily see "theos," the noun for "God." Then the verb "pneo" appears, meaning "to breathe hard." As does a good strong breeze!

There you have it, "God-breathed!"

I would love to examine this "key" word elsewhere in the Bible. But it is only used here, this one time, in all Scripture!

The Bible being "God-breathed" though, at least leaves the impression that part of God's very Life abides therein, in the Holy Scriptures!

His Breath!

Listen to Jesus in John 6:63. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Sounds God-breathed, inspired, to me!

There is a move today to de-legitimize the Bible, to marginalize it, to lower it from its once lofty perch! To criticize it, calling it wrong again and again! Even some so-called preachers have joined that movement!

But they are wrong!

Man can't trash the Bible, not when God so protects it! "Thou, God, hast magnified thy word above all Thy Name." So observes Psalm 138:2.

Listen again, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6

And the nearly countless times some Prophet told, "The word of the LORD came to me, saying ...." Jeremiah 2:1

When we read the Bible, we truly hear God!

Another reason the Word of God  might be called "God-breathed" is that the Holy Spirit Himself is often associated with a "breeze" or "moving air" or even a "strong mighty wind!" Truly, the noun "spirit," spelled "pneuma," means "air!" The Holy Spirit is the Triune Member of the Godhead Who oversaw the development of Scripture! Peter says it best: "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2nd Peter 1:19

That gives "God-breathed" even more clarity.

And, naturally, the English verb "inspired" shares a similar meaning, "to breathe into," much like a Mom does to a colorful balloon she is preparing for a birthday party!

God did much the same thing with the Bible!

No wonder Paul in Hebrews 4:12 calls the Book "quick!" You remember. "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword."

Well, "quick" translates "zao," meaning "to live, to breathe!" One source says "to be lively!" 

What a glorious Book, the Bible!

 

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

Just one word, "profitable."

As it's used in 2nd Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable ...." 

All the Bible, every verse, profitable!

But what does Paul mean when he says the Word of God is profitable?

The actual Greek word is spelled "ophelimus." Bible students, look closely and you might recognize the Jewish name "Philemon!" Associated with Paul and Onesimus and Apphia and Archippus, the whole Epistle of Philemon!

All Scripture is profitable!

Three different New Testament words are translated "profitable," each having a different shade of meaning too!

Here's a glimpse of them.

"Sumphero" is one. Paul said to the Ephesians: "Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons ... and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house." In Acts 20:18-20 "sumphero" means "things brought together at the right time for the right purpose!" Similarly, we might say "everything fell into place" concerning a certain matter.

But "sumphero" is not the word used in our Text, 2nd Timothy 3:16.

Next is "euchrestos," blending the prefix for "good" with the adjective "kind" or "gracious!" This is profitability that is soothing and helpful and encouraging! One text says, "very useful!" Here's an example: "Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." 2nd Timothy 4:11

But "euchrestos" is not the word in 2nd Timothy 3:16 either!

Then the final word for "profit" in the New Testament, "ophelimus," is used quite sparsely, only three or four times in fact. It means something like "advantage."

The Scriptures are advantageous!

Using "ophelimus," 1st Timothy 4:8 tells us: "Godliness is profitable."

And concerning the great truths of young Titus' preaching, Paul declared: "These things are good and profitable unto men." Titus 3:8

Now here's the word picture for "ophelimus." It is derived from a root verb that means "to heap up" something! Piles of it! To accumulate it!

The Bible, the Word of Truth, the Word of Grace, is guaranteed to produce something valuable in our lives!

And whatever those valuable traits may be, they will be given in abundance!

Piles of knowledge of God!

Mounds of wisdom!

Hills of joy!

Plenty of good things!

To review, just using "ophelimus" ...

Godliness is profitable, prodigiously so!

Preaching is too!

But both of these are fully realized through the Power of The Word of God!

The Bible, love it ... and consequently enjoy loads of other good things too!

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable ...." 2nd Timothy 3:16

Yes indeed!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

In one of the most all-inclusive statements of Scripture, 2nd Timothy 3:16 reveals to us the broad scope of God's Word!

"I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad." So says Psalm 119:96, obviously talking about the Bible.

Spiritually speaking, there is literally nothing the Bible can't do!

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2nd Timothy 3:16

Look at those four areas of "profitability" please! "For doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

The Greek words, in order, are "didaskalia," basically meaning "teaching." In Greek "dao" means to learn.

"Reproof" is "elegchos," a very strong word meaning "conviction," a person absolutely being persuaded that he or she is wrong!

"Correction" is "epanorthosis," just making something "straight!" No longer crooked! The "epi" addendum intensifies the whole term. And the little "ana" prefix can mean "again." Overall, "straightened up again!"

"Instruction" is "paideia," a noun meaning "child-training." It can even include a little "discipline," a little "chastening" when necessary too! The Greek verb "paio" means "to whip!"

The noun "righteousness" means "a condition God approves." Spelled "dikaiosune," the word is ultimately derived from "deiknuo," amazingly, "to put on display!" This is "right-ness" the world can behold!

In retrospect, look at the positive and negative qualities these words present. Doctrine (positive) precedes reproof (negative) and they are followed by correction (negative) crowned with instruction in righteousness (positive)! It could be diagrammed this way: + - - +, beginning and ending with positive notes, yet beautifully balanced with two inner negatives!

That's perfection!

Another way to explain it might be as follows.

"Doctrine" shows us what to do, what to believe!

"Reproof" shows us when we have done wrong, what specifically we did too!

"Correction" shows us how to get straight again!

Then, "instruction in righteousness" shows us how to stay straight the rest of our lives!

Again I say, all inclusive!

The Bible is God's Panacea! That word means a "cure-all." It heals every kind of spiritual malady known to man! "Pan" means "all." While "akos" means "cure."

No wonder Paul's great three-word charge to the young Preacher Timothy was just "Preach the Word!" How memorable! How effective! How powerful, 2nd Timothy 4:2.

It should not astound us that the longest chapter in the whole Bible, Psalm 119, with all of its 176 verses, centers around the Word of God!

I close with a few of its shorter Verses. Be careful! We area about to be taught, reproved, corrected and refreshed in the things of God!

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."

"Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors."

"So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word."

"And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes."

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."

"Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. "

"O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts."

"How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

"Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me."

"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."

"I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments."

"I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word."

"Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever."

"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

"I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments."

The Word of God!

Amen!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

"Why" the Word of God?

For the Christian in particular?

Paul answers this vital question in 2nd Timothy chapter three.

"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, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2nd Timothy 3:16-17

Read the foregoing Text once again, looking for the pronoun "that." It's "hina" in Greek and is introducing a "purpose clause."

Let me reprint our Passage with emphasis. "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, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2nd Timothy 3:16-17

"Hina" here means "in order that." Or perhaps better, "so that." The following words will give us Paul's, rather, the Holy Spirit's answer to the "why" question!

"Why" the Bible, for the saints of God anyway?

Again, word for word: "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

The expression "man of God" might, here in this context, have special reference to a Preacher. We are studying today in one of the three New Testament "Pastoral Epistles," 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus.

"The man of God," in Greek, equals: "ho tou theou anthropos." Literally, "the man of The God!" One specific man is in view. And, certainly, only One God is in View! The only Living God!

But as the Text widens, the noun "anthropos" can become more generic. "Aner" means the "male" of the species. And "ops," the human countenance, the face! The word picture here implies a person looking upward! A human-faced individual acknowledging Almighty God! Or at least created to do so!

The Truth of 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 also applies to ladies who are saved! Be sure of that fact! God's Word helps them grow to maturity also! They are not pastors, but can assuredly be children of God!

Now let's notice the term "may be." Paul here would have written a form of "eimi," but as a subjunctive present tense, 3rd person singular verb. The subjunctive mood tells us Paul is expressing the ideal! His goal! A deep desire in his heart! This is the way it "should" be!

Perhaps every "man of God" does not properly respond to the precious Word of God!

But those who do, positively, will be _______________, just like Paul is about to tell us!

Will be what, Preacher Bagwell?

Back to our Verse!

"That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

The adjective "perfect" translates "artios." It is only found here in all the Bible! No doubt it is built upon the root word "arti," meaning "at this time" or "now." This very "moment!" Even "fresh," says one textbook!

"Always" furnished unto all good works!

"Fitted," says one teacher.

"Special aptitude for given uses!"

Here's the constant power of the Word of God!

It's ever-present ability to meet one's spiritual needs! Probably more kinds of needs than just spiritual, too!

Secondly, though less likely, "artios" could be related to the verb "aro," anything that is made "to fit" a certain situation! Particularly adapted for a specific place!

Really, these two meanings "blend" quite well.

Then next comes a participle, a verbal adjective, "exartizo," rendered as "throughly furnished" in our Text. "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

We now have a verb form of the adjective just studied! "Perfect" is "artios." While "throughly furnished" is "exertismenos." That's the precise spelling for "exartizo," when it's framed as a perfect passive participle.

To be properly equipped!

To be completed, just right, for a certain time, a certain situation!

Someone other than the subject himself did the equipping too! That's what the passive voice indicates.

God did, through His Word!

Re-fitted, by the Holy Spirit Himself, using the mighty Tool of Scripture!

But "prepared" ... for what?

"All good works!"

"That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 

The preposition "unto" is "pros," suggesting a close "face-to-face" relationship!

The Bible is no mere Book of theory! It's a Book of action, too! One cannot just sit and read it! It demands follow-up behavior, obedience!

"Good" in the above phrase is "agathos" in Greek, meaning that which is "beneficial" in its inner character, but also active in its influence! It spreads and impacts others, changing them along the way!

"Badness" that spreads is said to be "malignant."

"Goodness" that is pervasive to that degree is called "benevolent!"

And "works" is "ergon," energy that has been place within a person! God's power translated into a human being! Energized of God! Charged by the Holy Spirit and His Dynamic!

This "string," those very words in that order, "good works," occurs sixteen separate times in the New Testament!

One may then safely say that God is keenly interested in "good works!"

In fact, He gave us a whole Book to help produce them!

Yes!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

These "good works" can certainly be seen! Matthew 5:16

They are from God the Father! He's the Source! John 10:32

A Christian can be "full" of such good works! Acts 9:36

We were saved unto "good works!" That's why we are still here on earth! Ephesians 2:10

Women believers are specifically told to "wear" good works! 1st Timothy 2:9-10 actually discourages an over-emphasis on one's physical wardrobe!

"Good works" constitute a major part of one's testimony, his or her very reputation! 1st Timothy 5:10

One can be "rich" in good works, or "poor" as well presumably! 1st Timothy 6:18

Then our very Text: The Bible is designed to produce good works in our lives! 2nd Timothy 3:17

There is such a thing as a "pattern" of good works! A lifestyle! Titus 2:7

Again we're reminded that Jesus saved us so that we might produce "good works" too! That's high praise, isn't it? Titus 2:14

Good works must be "maintained" too! Titus 3:8 and Titus 3:14

We are to think about one another, Christian folks, and try to "provoke" or incite or propel or motivate each other to good works! Hebrews 10:24

And, finally, good works can bring great Glory to God, even when beheld by evil-doers! 1st Peter 2:12

What a list!

 

 

LESSON 9:

The past few days we have been studying 2nd Timothy 3:14-17, perhaps the premier Bible Text on the inspiration of the Scriptures.

And old Preacher, the Apostle Paul, to a young Preacher, Timothy: "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto 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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

The greatest Book ever written, the Word of God!

Once this was said about the sword of the Giant Goliath, the champion King David slew with one little stone: "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, it is here wrapped in a cloth: there is none like that." 1st Samuel 21:9

Well, today we're taking about another Sword, the Sword of the Spirit, the precious Word of God! And, even more so, THERE IS NONE LIKE THAT! "And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," perhaps the most powerful piece of armour the Christian possesses! See Ephesians 6:21.

One night a few months ago, while driving to a Revival Meeting in a neighboring State, I stopped to get a cup of ice. The place I chose was one of the local bookstores in that area. While there I spotted a little book. It itself was about other Books! Written by a man who is a professor of journalism, this Volume suggested that we read less! That's a strange idea coming from a literature teacher!

Come to find out, he is a "postmodernist!" Having adopted that prevailing philosophy of contemporary society, western society anyway, he now denies the existence of absolute Truth!

Everything is relevant!

Something can be true for person one person, but not true for another!

To me, that's stupid!

Absolutely stupid!

Now, when a postmodernist picks up a book, strange things happen!

No longer does the author decide what a book means! The reader does! So an unread book is worthless, meaningless! A book means whatever the hearer says it means! Truth is in the eye of the beholder, or the ear!

Utterly nonsense!

Besides, I can tell you one Book you had best not try to interpret solely by yourself, The Word of God! It will judge us all some day! "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Other bits of "wisdom" from our postmodern world ... learn to "skim" books, not read them word for word!

But one had best not "skim" the Bible! Contrariwise, read it word for word, absorbing every bit of meaning the Spirit of God revels to your soul! We Christian are encouraged to delight in the Word of God, "and in that Law meditate day and night." Psalm 1:2

Our teacher continues with this little nugget. Reading is a waste of time! One forgets so much of what he reads anyway! Just get a rough idea of what a book says, and be gone! Through reviews, conversations with others, newspaper articles, rumors, or whatever!

No!

Not with the Bible!

We have a Remembrancer Who helps us! "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26

Absorb God's Word!

Make it a life-long learning project! "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2nd Timothy 2:15

Bottom line, postmodernism puts man or woman at the center of the existential universe! It's that ego-centric!

The Bible, on the other hand, makes God the Center!

The Scriptures then are not "anthropocentric," but "Theocentric!"

Thus, the godless universities now teach, books are less and less important and man more and more so!

Yet again, that's not the case with the Bible!

Here's God's evaluation of His Own Word! "Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." Psalm 138:2

Wow!

I shall never belittle the Bible!

Here are a few more reasons why.

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." Psalm 19:7-11, it's all about the Word of God!

The Book, absolute Truth, straight from Heaven!

Inspired of God!

Profitable for the saints of God!

Equipping us to all good works!

Yes, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

The Word of God, how very precious! This Bible Study Series contains nine Lessons. It is a verse-by-verse exposition of 2nd Timothy 3:14-17.

 

 

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