Theme: The Sufficiency of Scripture
In this week’s lessons, we are reminded of the need to continue in those things we have learned from Scripture, in order to live a holy life.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:1-17
The second form of encouragement is that of Timothy’s earlier teaching he had received. This is why Paul tells Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (vv. 14-15).
Assuming the person has received proper teaching in the past, it is foolish to decide at some point in life to radically throw over everything he has been taught. How much more true when what that person has been taught is the Word of God. Someone who has had the blessing of Christian teaching in the home, at church, and through other means is a fool to relinquish that kind of heritage. When worldly temptations come to challenge our Christian thinking and behaving, we need to remember what we have been taught, some of us from our earliest days, and stand firm.
I think of that occasion when Peter was standing around the fire on the night of Jesus’ arrest. He was afraid to acknowledge that he was one of Jesus’ disciples on account of what might happen to him, and so three times Peter denied he knew Jesus at all. But after he did that, he felt a deep sense of shame and remorse. Peter had been with Jesus for three years, and could not go back to being what he was before.
In your own experience, you will find that the world has its appeal, and will try to lure you away from what you have been taught and enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. But if you yield to those calls you will find that you won’t be able to do it well, because God will make it miserable for you. Just as Peter repented from doing what felt right at the time out of fear, so you will repent and return to those truths you have been taught and become convinced of.
The third encouragement Paul gives is the power and efficacy of Scripture itself. Paul reminds Timothy in verses 16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible came from God himself. It is God’s word, and was communicated through men, but it is not the word of man. All of Scripture has been breathed out by God and is therefore useful and effective in those important categories Paul lists.
If you will read the Word, study the Word, meditate upon the Word, and inwardly digest the Word so that it becomes a part of you, then you will find that the power of God working through his Word will do everything you need to live a godly life, and to equip you for the work that he has for you to do. In other words, God through his Word will give you the ability and grace to continue in the things that you have learned from his Word, and God will bless that. You will see men and women come to faith in him, and you will find that you will grow spiritually, and families will together grow spiritually, and churches will be built up. This is why Christians have valued the Word as they have throughout all the centuries of the Church’s existence.
When a new British sovereign is crowned at the coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland presents the monarch with a Bible, and the Archbishop of Canterbury gives these words: “…to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the law and the Gospel of God as the Rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords.” And then the Moderator continues: “Here is Wisdom; this is the royal Law; these are the lively Oracles of God.”
And it is. And foolish is the man or woman who tries to build or continue on any other foundation.
What is the second piece of encouragement Timothy receives from Paul?
What is the third encouragement Paul gives?
Prayer: Pray regularly for someone you know who has been taught the Word of God from his earliest days, but today shows little or no interest.
Key Point: Someone who has had the blessing of Christian teaching in the home, at church, and through other means is a fool to relinquish that kind of heritage. When worldly temptations come to challenge our Christian thinking and behaving, we need to remember what we have been taught, some of us from our earliest days, and stand firm.