April 20, 2022 – 2 Timothy 3: 10-17 – God Breathed

Our reading this morning is 2 Timothy 3: 10-17

10 Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15 and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

Today we see one of the key verses in the Bible that teaches us how to use the Bible and how to understand the Bible. Today’s passage tells us that all of Scripture is God-breathed. There are a lot of words that we use in the church to describe this, and a lot of debate that ensues about how exactly we should understand this concept.

This is the way that I understand it. Wesley said that scripture is twice blessed. It was blessed when it was written and blessed when it is read. In other words, the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the sacred text and the Holy Spirit is present with us when we read the sacred text.

The same Holy Spirit that inspired the writing of Scripture is the same Holy Spirit that is present with us when we read the Bible. How about that? Isn’t that awesome?  God is as present when we read the Bible as He was when the Bible was written. We should understand just how sacred this gift of scripture is to us.

I do want to say a word regarding interpretation, however. I think this is where we trip ourselves up. We believe that scripture is inerrant. That means within out error in matters it speaks to (we see today, teaching, reproof, correction, training).  Scripture is without error.  Your (and my) interpretation of scripture is not without error.  Let’s be very careful not to confuse the two. Scripture is error-free. Our interpretation is not.  So, let’s lift up scripture, let’s stand upon its teachings and its authority. But, let’s also give the Holy Spirit room in our lives to make sure that we are interpreting it (as well as living it out) in a way that glorifies God and points others to Jesus.

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