Inspired (2 Timothy 3:16)

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Our next few memory verses are on the “Word of God and Prayer”

2 Timothy 3:16 (NASB) All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

All Scripture. The primary reference is to the Old Testament, since some of the New Testament books had not even been written at this time. (In 1Timothy 5:18 there are indications that some New Testament books were already considered equal in authority to the Old Testament Scriptures.)

Inspiration or God-breathed. Paul affirms God’s active involvement in the writing of Scripture, an involvement so powerful and pervasive that what is written is the infallible and authoritative word of God (see 2Pe 1:20-21). It is the Scripture that is inspired, not the man. The Bible does not claim to be written by inspired men. It does claim that the writing is supernaturally given or breathed by God. The Scripture is breathed out by God, not breathed into by God. The meaning is this: the writing is supernaturally given or breathed by God. The Bible claims to be the Word given by the creative breath of God.

The Bible is packed with verses attesting to its inspiration, authority, infallibility, and usefulness. Notice the chapter/verse location 2 Timothy 3:16. There’s a remarkable correspondence between John 3:16 and 2 Timothy 3:16. The two verses have more in common than their “street address” of 316.

John 3:16 talks about the Savior, and 2 Timothy 3:16 talks about the Scriptures. These two entities comprise the two greatest gifts ever conferred on humanity.

Both are called “The Word.” One is the living Word, and the other is the written Word. Both are utterly unique. Jesus is like no other person the world has ever seen, and the Bible is like no other book the world has ever read.

However, as important as the text is in teaching us about the nature of Scripture, it serves to anchor Paul’s overarching concern that Timothy persist in the gospel. Paul urges Timothy to give close attention to the Scriptures and to “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” (vv. 14–15).

We learn, then, that the Old Testament Scriptures are key to understanding the gospel and who Messiah Jesus is. In fact, they are full of Messiah Jesus. Without him, the Old Testament does not make sense. That is why the Scriptures “are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”—and this ancient saving wisdom will help us endure suffering for the sake of the gospel.

The fact that these gospel-testifying Scriptures are “breathed out by God” gives us confidence that Scripture is trustworthy and authoritative for our lives, guiding us graciously into all that is good.