What is Scripture?
2 Timothy 3:10-17
How would you define Scripture?
What makes Scripture important for our lives on this earth?
Read 2 Timothy 3:10-17 (HCSB)
But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from them all. In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Paul wrote to Timothy recognizing that Timothy had followed his teaching and his example, along with his persecutions and sufferings. After this is tells Timothy that those who live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted. What do you think he means?
What types of persecution do you see in the world today or even experience?
Hostile persecution- this would be the equivalent of Militant Islamists killing and torturing Christians.
Discrimination- when we are ignored or considered later because of our genuine faith in Christ.
Moral- Culture will many times put Christians down because Christ leads us to a moral understanding that culture does not share.
Passive- Even within the church, people may single us out when we strive to genuinely serve Christ rather than serve people.
Persecution may also mean that people who strive to be godly don’t get to do the things they like or have the privilege of preference in this world.
In a culture where Christianity is somewhat of a norm, those who want to truly live a godly life will stand out from cultural Christianity and even be persecuted by some who call themselves “Christians.”
Persecution, in different forms, seems to be the norm for those who actually strive to be godly.
Paul, here, praises God for delivering him from all persecutions up to this point in his life.
What we must always remember is that God is more powerful than anyone who might persecute us in any way.
Because of the nature of sin, evil people and imposters will continue to become worse. They will deceive others and themselves be deceived.
This is also a norm in this world and we should not be surprised when we see people in the world becoming worse.
What is Paul’s challenge to Timothy despite the direction of people in the world?
Stay faithful to the teachings and the Scriptures!
If persecution is the norm for those who strive to be godly, then it is unlikely that we are striving for godliness if we are ever comfortable.
In this world, preference and acceptance become unimportant.
The most important thing becomes faithfulness to God by striving to live according to Scripture.
In this life, everything that I do is less about me and what I want and more about striving to live according to the Scriptures.
Coincidently, this means that people and churches that are concerned more with honoring preference (pleasing people) or gaining power than with exploring and living according to the Scriptures, they actually fail to honor God.
In the later part of this passage, Paul describes what Scripture actually is. How does he describe it?
Scripture gives wisdom for salvation through Jesus Christ
It is inspired by God
It is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training for righteousness.
Scripture is an essential part of the life of every Christian, because Scripture is what completes us in some way on this earth and equips us for every good work.
If we are not constantly in Scripture, we simply will not be prepared to do good in this world of evil.