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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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All Scripture is Profitable

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV)

Paul clearly had the Old Testament scriptures in view when he spoke of “profitable for teaching” in the above verses. The Old Testament, he said, was “breathed out by God” and would make the man of God “complete, equipped for every good work.” Contrary to many popular, contemporary Christian ideas – the Old Testament will “make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” The Old Testament (OT), in other words, is a very valuable document authored by God to help us know Jesus Christ and live righteously.

We look to the OT to provide us with understanding of the nature of sin and the fall of man. We find there the ongoing revelation of God’s covenant of redemption and the Messianic prophecies. Only knowledge of the OT can help us understand such New Testament books as Hebrews and Revelation.

“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11 ESV) Paul has just discussed in the previous verses the fall of Israel in the wilderness. Now he notes that although these things happened to Israel, “they were written down for our instruction”. Think about that. The OT was written for our instruction. Do you complain when your pastor preaches from the OT? When was the last time you read from the OT?

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching. . . .” (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV) The Scriptures are not simply the words or thoughts of mere men, but of God who guided men by His Spirit. The Scriptures are truly profitable. A man must know the truth in order to be convinced of his error, and to do what is right.

Is it not wise to be concerned about your salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? Look at these verses and be inspired by the Scriptures. Study the Word of God which is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:15-17 ESV)

I cannot remember the source for the following story, but I think it brings us to an appropriate conclusion of this article: There was a great prophet of God who told his disciples that if they studied the Scriptures, the words would be written on their hearts. One day, a disciple asked, “Why on our hearts, and not in them?” The prophet thoughtfully replied, “Only God can put Scripture inside. But the careful study and reading of God’s Word can put it on your heart, and then when your heart breaks, the Holy Words will fall inside.”

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