Since, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [literally, God-breathed],” it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16). The infinitely wise God did not breathe forth a Word of little use or value; He breathed forth the most eminently useful and profitable book ever produced.
Some recognize the profit of the Scriptures but they use them the wrong way. They think that the Bible’s profit consists in its telling us (in code form) when Christ will return (contrast Mark 13:32) or who will win a war or a sporting event. Others open up the Bible at random and put their finger on a verse hoping that it will guide them in decision-making: Should I move to a new house? Should I marry him? Should I become a minister? Where should I go on vacation? Etc. Others think that the purpose of Bible reading is to make them happy and feel good about themselves.
The Bible must be used to learn about our Father and the duty He requires of us so that we can glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q & A 1,3). II Timothy 3:16 explains the profit of Scripture in four short phrases. The Bible is profitable “for doctrine.” Note that doctrine or teaching is put first; many today would place this last or ignore it altogether. Scripture instructs us about the Triune God, glorious in His holiness, power and truth, and His eternal purpose with the world, centering in saving His people through faith in Christ crucified and risen (15).
The Scriptures not only teach us the truth but they teach us how to live the truth. They are “for reproof,” convicting us and stinging our consciences for our wicked ways. They are also “for correction.” By “reproof” the Bible shows us our sins; by “correction” it tells us what we must do. Moreover, Scripture is “for instruction in righteousness,” so that it provides us with disciplined training in godliness. Since the Word is God’s hammer, it also empowers us to grow in grace day by day.
It is vital that you believe that there is profit in the Bible. If you don’t, you’ll stop reading it on your own, for what good does it do? You’ll grow weary in and then cease family devotions. On the other hand, believing in the profit of Scthe Scriptures, you’ll make diligent use of the Word personally and collectively. You’ll search the Scriptures and not merely “skim” it. And you’ll memorize parts of it and meditate upon it.
So look for profit in the Word in the way that it says it will profit you. Expect to be taught, rebuked, corrected and disciplined in the righteousness by the Bible. If you are not profiting, there is something wrong in your spiritual life and you must repent and rediscover the glory of the God-breathed Scriptures.
- Volume: 8
- Issue: 19
Rev. Angust Stewart (Wife: Mary)
Ordained - 2001
Pastorates: Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 2001Website: www.cprf.co.uk/
Address7 Lislunnan Road
State or ProvinceCo.Antrim
Zip CodeBT42 3NR
Telephone(01144) 28 25 891851