The place of the scriptures in perilous times – Part 2
Paul the apostle presented himself as a model to Timothy, his protégé. As a way of mentoring, the Apostle set forth the following to build up Timothy, as well as the contemporary believer: (1) his doctrine; (2) manner of life; (3) purpose; (4) faith; (5) longsuffering; (6) charity; (7) patience; (8) persecution; (9) affliction. These experiences are divided into three categories: ministry duties, godly virtues and difficult experiences.
Apostle Paul’s doctrine was precisely the whole counsel of God, not a partial doctrine, which merely emphasised healing and deliverance. Timothy was to commit the same counsel “to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). As believers, we should be committed to preaching the whole counsel of God. Paul’s manner of life was consistent with his teaching. He had a godly purpose, Christ-like motive and driving passion to exalt Christ. He sought only the Lord’s glory. The combination of doctrine, manner of life and purpose is imperative for effective ministry. Godly virtues were inseparable part of his life. He also had unwavering faith in God and His promises.
In addition, Paul the apostle had a resolute, persistent spirit that made him uncompromising, and devoted to the Lord and the work of the Kingdom. He ministered in love and remained patient with difficult people and circumstances. From the time of his conversion, persecution and affliction were his constant companions. But he had a calm temper that suffered without murmuring or discontent. He was a man of great courage who endured persecution. To live godly in this world, we should be prepared to suffer persecution. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Paul the apostle reminded Timothy how privileged he was to have known the Holy Scriptures from his childhood. His mother and grandmother accepted the responsibility to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is instructive to mothers in the church. They should take up the challenge to teach their children the way of the Lord where the fathers, who are supposed to be the priests of the home, are failing. Every family has the responsibility to raise godly children to avoid the kind of judgment God brought on Eli, the high priest, in the Bible. The church, too, ought to have a ministry that will develop children in the word of God.
The Apostle affirms further that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The word ‘inspiration’, in the original usage, means ‘breathed out’. As God breathed into man and he became a living soul, so He breathed out the Holy Scripture. Therefore, we should not tamper with the out-breathed word of God. It should be treated as sacred, whether we understand it or not.
‘All scripture’ refers to both the Old and New Testaments, and they are profitable. People who do not teach from the Old Testament because they think they are given as symbols, which are fulfilled already, do err. But Paul the apostle, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, brought the New and the Old Testaments together in his writing and referred to them as the Scripture. “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”.
Further Reading (King James Version): 2 Timothy 3:15, 16; 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:1; Daniel 2:28,44; Hebrews 1:1,2; 1 John 2:18; 1 Peter 1:20; Numbers 24:14,23; Jude 18; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 1 Timothy 6:5,9,10; 2 Timothy 3:10-14; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1:5; 1 Timothy 5:18; Deuteronomy 25:4; Luke 10:7; Hebrews 1:1,2; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 3:16.
There is no other place to find materials for developing and establishing doctrine, except in the word of God. Therefore, we should be more committed to the Word, which reveals God’s plan of redemption to humanity, the love of Jesus Christ, the mysteries of the Kingdom and the way of escape from eternal condemnation. God’s word is His greatest gift to mankind.
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