“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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
Imagine a man lost in the wilderness, desiring to get home. As he wanders, he comes upon an overlook. The man excitedly walks to the edge in hopes of seeing where he is and how he can get home. As he is examining his surroundings, he suddenly feels an arm grab him and pull him back. The man watches astonished as the ground he was standing on falls hundreds of feet to the rocks below. While still in shock, he hears words from behind him, “You have to be careful, it’s unstable along the edge.” Turning around, the man sees an aged traveler who introduces himself, explaining that he has been exploring the wilderness for years. The explorer offers the man some food and tells him that he can bring him to safety. The man proceeds to thank the explorer for saving his life but explains that he believes he can get home without any help.
The man’s response in the story above may seem ridiculous, but it is this exact logic many Christians use every day. While the analogy is not perfect, it demonstrates the flawed relationship that Christians have with the word of God.
We know that God saves us (Ephesians 2:8-9). We also know that He uses the power of His word to save us (Romans 10:17, James 1:18). In fact, Paul addresses this idea in 2 Timothy 3:15 when he refers to the “Holy Scriptures” which can teach what one must know to come to a saving faith in Christ Jesus. God has chosen to use His written word to reveal the gift of salvation through Christ.
Then Paul tells Timothy that since it was through the Scriptures he found salvation, so it should also be through the Scriptures that he lives his life. Doesn’t this make sense? Just as the man, saved by the traveler, was foolish to continue in his own way, the Christian, saved through the Scriptures, is foolish to continue leaning on his own understanding.
Paul goes on to explain that the Bible is the very word of God. By saying that Scripture is “inspired” or “God-breathed,” Paul teaches that Scripture is the way in which God communicates to His people.
In James 3:13-18 we learn that there is a difference between worldly wisdom and heavenly wisdom. He describes worldly wisdom as jealous, selfish, and arrogant. On the other hand, he describes heavenly wisdom as pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, and without hypocrisy. The teaching of the world may seem “wise” but it only leads to destruction (Proverbs 14:12). Common teachings today such as: “be true to yourself” or “do what makes you feel happy” sound reasonable. How do we know what is wisdom from the world and what is wisdom from Heaven? The very God of Heaven has revealed His heavenly wisdom through the Bible. For Christians it is easy to fall into worldly wisdom. The only way to combat this is through continuing to find our wisdom from Scripture alone.
Scripture’s divine inspiration results, naturally, in profit for the believer. Paul specifically explains that it is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. It teaches us about who God is, and how He desires us to live. We cannot grow in sanctification unless we know the mind of the holy God we wish to be like (1 John 3:3). Furthermore, Scripture alone is adequate for the believer to accomplish every good work the Lord has set before him. Christians do not need any other special revelation from God, and they especially do not need to learn from other religions or ideologies. Scripture works through the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer to teach us all we need to know about how to live a life glorifying God.
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).