2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17
Let’s examine the benefits that come from a close relationship with the Word of God. We are told in 2 Timothy 3:16 that the infallible, inerrant, and inspired words of God are “profitable.” This word means “beneficial, useful, and full of profit.” I would like to zero in on that aspect of the Word of God today and preach on “The Profit in the Holy Scriptures.”
I. THEY PERFORM AN EQUIPPING MINISTRY (VERSE 17)
The word “furnished” means “to be complete and equipped.”
A. They equip us for the faith. In the pages of the Bible, we learn all we need to know to give us:
1. Saving faith (2 Tim. 3:15). The Bible shows us our condition, gives us our condemnation, and tells us how to obtain our conversion. The Bible shows us a crucified and risen Savior who gave His all so that anyone who believes in Him might be saved. The Word of God is a book about redemption!
2. Serving faith (2 Tim. 2:15). Here we are commanded to “study” the Bible. This word means “to be diligent, to labor.” If we will spend the time we need in the Word of God, we will be able to “rightly divide” that Word. This is a surgical term that means “to make a straight cut.”
B. They equip us for the fight (Eph. 6:18). When Paul described the armor of the believer, he only mentioned one weapon: the sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God. The word “sword” comes from the Greek word rhema. It refers to what was called the “Roman short sword,” which was much like a dagger. This short sword was on the belt of all Roman Legionnaires. They carried it wherever they went and used it in many tasks—from preparing food to hand-to-hand combat.
By the way, when you try to fight the battles and the enemy of life in your own strength, you will fail (1 Cor. 10:12). But, when you fight the battles of life with the Sword of the Spirit, you are assured of victory (Matt. 4:11)! Learn the layout of the armory; it will enable you to fight far more efficiently!
II. THEY PERFORM AN ENABLING MINISTRY (VERSES 15, 17)
A. They enable us to grow spiritually (2 Tim. 3:15). Here we read that the Scriptures have the power to make us “wise.” This word means “to teach or to have understanding.” I would submit to you that there are people in this room today who have not had the benefit of obtaining an extensive formal education but who know the ways of God better than many theologians, because they know their Bibles.
If you will get the “seed” of the Word within
your heart, God will water it, and it will bear fruit.
You will grow! As you abide in Him, through
prayer and through studying and meditating on
the Word of God, you will find that “fruit” will be
produced in your life. You won’t have to struggle
to grow in the Lord; you just will! “Furnished”
in 2 Timothy 3:17 is in the passive voice. How
much time and effort are you putting into your
study of the Word (Ps. 1:2; 119:148)?
B. They enable us to go spiritually (2 Tim.
3:17). The Word of God gives us all the tools
we need to go to work for the Master. The Bible
teaches us about:
• God’s works (what He is doing around us).
• God’s will (what He wants from us).
• God’s ways (how He accomplishes His
As we read the Word of God, we discover
that there are some things we are to avoid and
some things we are to do.
As we obey the Word of God, we will find
ourselves “thoroughly” or “completely and
perfectly” “furnished” or “equipped” to do the
Lord’s work in this world!
God saved you to work for Him (Eph. 2:10;
James 2:18, 20). The Lord saved us to work,
and the Bible tells us how!
III. THEY PERFORM AN ENLIGHTENING
A. We are enlightened through their coaching
ministry. The Scriptures teach us “doctrine.”
This word simply means “teaching or instruction.”
It refers to the body of truth that we believe
and practice as part of the Christian faith. Everything
we know about God and believe as Christians
has been taught to us by the Word of God.
B. We are enlightened through their chastising
ministry. The word “reproof” means “to be
convicted.” It conveys the idea of putting something
to the test. The Word of God will put your
life to the test. It is like a set of scales or balances;
it will show you where you fall short. It is
like a plumb line; it will show you where you do
not line up! God’s Word is like a mirror, and it will
reveal the true you (James 1:23-25).
The word “reprove” comes from the same
word that is translated “evidence” in Hebrews
11:1. In both cases, it refers to “convincing evidence.”
In modern language, we would call it “the
C. We are enlightened through their correcting
ministry. The word “correction” means to
“restore to an upright or correct state.” The Bible
doesn’t just show us what is wrong in our lives;
it also teaches us how to fix what is wrong. It
teaches us about repentance and the confession
of sin (Prov. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). If you do what
the Bible says to do about the wrongs it exposes,
you will be on the right path in short order!
D. We are enlightened through their commanding
ministry. “Instruction in righteousness”
refers to “instruction that aims at increasing
virtue.” The Bible will tell you what is wrong
with you. It will also tell you how to fix what
is wrong with you. Then, it will tell you how to
live so that you can avoid being found in the
wrong again. Literally, the phrase “instruction
in righteous” means “that which cultivates the
soul.” The Word of God, if read, believed, and
lived out in your life, will cause you to become
more like Him!
A New York art enthusiast had a good collection
of paintings, one of them being the Leaning
Tower of Pisa, which hung over his writing desk.
For a long time, he noticed that it persisted
in hanging crooked despite the fact that he
straightened it every morning. Finally, he asked
the housekeeper if she was responsible for its
lopsided position each morning. “Why, yes,” she
replied, “I have to hang it crooked to make the
tower hang straight.”
Does that sound strange? That is exactly
how a lot of people read the Bible. Many people
twist the Word of God in order to justify their own
opinions or actions, or doctor it to make everything
appear right. Let us not twist the Scriptures
to suit our own fancy. Let us be sure to hang the
picture right! Preachers and teachers need to be
especially careful that we “cut it straight” (James
3:1). We must not allow our opinions to cloud the
message God wants His people to hear!
There is great profit in the Word of God, but
only as we take it as it is written and conform our
lives to it! Thank God for the Bible!