God Reveals Himself Through His Word
by Jeff Horn
In last week’s article we saw that God has revealed Himself through His creation. All mankind knows that there is a God by observing the vastness and complexity of the created universe. While this is enough information to reveal that God exists it isn’t enough information to understand how to have a relationship with Him. God, in His mercy, chose to give us written revelation of Himself to allow us to know how to be acceptable in His sight.
The Bible is God’s written revelation and we are told in 2 Timothy 3:15 that in this revelation we can have salvation, we can be declared righteous in the sight of the Holy God. In this verse Paul declares to Timothy, “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Through the Scriptures Timothy understood God’s wisdom in providing salvation through the acceptable sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Timothy put his faith in the work of Christ alone on his behalf and he was declared righteous before God.
In 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul points out that the Scriptures are “inspired by God” so they are a reliable guide on which to base our lives. The Greek word translated “inspired by God” could be literally translated “God-breathed.” The words of Scripture are breathed out by God, they are God’s words given to us in written form.
Paul goes on in verse 16 to note that the revelation of God provides more than just initial justification. He lists four areas in which the Scriptures are profitable for believers. The first area is “for teaching.” The Greek word translated “teaching” relates primarily to doctrine so the idea is of God teaching us. Through the Word of God we understand doctrine – information such as who God is, our status in relationship to Him, and how we can be pleasing to Him. Once we accept the Bible as God’s word breathed out to us, we can know everything required of us in this life to have a proper relationship with God.
The second area where the Scriptures are profitable is “for reproof.” This word speaks of conviction related to improper actions relative to the teaching we have received. The Bible instructs us regarding positive activity and negative activity and the Holy Spirit uses this instruction to convict us when we fall short of the standard set out by the Scriptures.
The third area of profitability is “for correction.” This word points toward restoration to a proper condition. God does not leave us in our guilty state. After the Word convicts us that we have gotten off the right path laid out for us in the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit uses the Word to show us what we need to do to get back on the path.
The fourth area where the Scriptures are profitable is for “training in righteousness.” The Greek word translated “training” related primarily to the training of children. This phrase points to the general training of the believer bringing us to maturity. This maturity results from the transforming power of the Word of God in our lives over time as we read and obey the Word through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
We see the result of these four areas of profitability of the Scriptures in verse 17: “so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” The word translated “adequate” might be better translated “perfect” or “complete.” The effect of the Word in the life of the believer is to bring us to completion, to maturity. It prepares us to do the good works that God has prepared for us to do.
When looking at the effect of the Word in building us up in our Christian walk it is evident the immeasurable value of committing ourselves to studying the Word with the goal of growing in our obedience to the Lord. May the Lord help us as individuals and as a body to have this commitment.