Experiencing LifeOctober 27, 2023 2023-10-26 21:42
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
Paul is writing to a young pastor named Timothy, reminding him of the absolute importance of Scripture. Paul calls it the breath of God. When God created in Genesis 1, everything came about because God said. He breathed words. Then He breathed into Adam, and life entered into Him. All life originates from the breath of God. And it brings life.
Scripture is useful for teaching. It is intended to be taught, so faith comes from hearing. When someone to whom God has revealed great truth teaches that truth, depth and passion pierce the student’s heart. The Word of God is written upon the tablets of the heart as it is shared from the depth of one’s spirit poured deeply into another.
Being taught the Word of God brings life.
We live in a day when many who believe do not submit themselves to be taught the deep mysteries of God. Their understanding is surface. Their application is limited. The power of God is dulled in their content to remain in an elementary understanding. Life is squandered.
Scripture is everywhere. People post their favorite. Scripture inked on skin and adorning living room decor follows us wherever we go. But context, symbolism, and connectivity within the Biblical corpus escape us. Without the breath of God, there is no life. Is there any wonder that Christianity in modernity distinguishes itself little from the secular life in areas such as depression, anxiety, and fear?
The breath of God in Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, and correcting. Most of us consent to being taught, but few enjoy being rebuked or corrected. Yet, this is the constitution of life. To experience the breath of God that brings life, we must also submit ourselves to spiritual authority, giving consent to be rebuked and corrected when our lack of understanding has led us astray. Our pride will not allow this. We treasure the feel-good verses while avoiding those that limit our desires. Without rebuking and correcting, life is squandered.
Finally, we must note Paul’s words include all Scripture. More has been canonized since Paul’s letter to Timothy, but his counsel to Timothy was to engage with all Scripture. We are good at focusing on certain well-known verses quoted by many. But again, life comes when we engage the complete works of the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s teaching guides us to experience the eternal life of God at a higher level now while equipping us to live a sacrificial life. To enjoy life, we must submit to the tutelage of a well-versed teacher, accept direction, and study the Word thoroughly.