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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Another Brick in the Firewall, part 4 (Firewall cont.)

You probably have 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 memorized.  It is yet further emphasis on the importance of the Word of God in the process of building a firewall to stand against evil men and impostors.
Another Brick in the Firewall, part 4 (Firewall cont.)

Paul reminds his apprentice that Scripture is not just any other book.  The Word of God is inspired, the ESV translates the word θεόπνευστος (theopneustos), “breathed out by God”.  The point?  Timothy best pay attention to, and remain in the inspired by God's Word.

Paul emphasizes his point by outlining for his man the function and purpose of the inspired Word of God.  The ministry of the Word of God Paul expounds here is fourfold:
  • Teaching
  • Reproof
  • Correction
  • Training in Righteousness
This illustration from the Navigators, Design for Discipleship, Book 2, is a great illustration of Paul’s instruction.
The Critical Nature of the Word of God

The purpose of the ministry of God’s Word in Timothy’s life and by extension ours is, according to Paul, critical.  It is to make us adequate.  Again our translations hide Paul’s emphasis.  The passage literally translated would be, “in order to adequate may be the of God man, toward all work good equipped.”  The word order emphasizes the purpose of making us adequate and equipped for good work.  The two words translated, adequate and equipped are the noun and verb form of the same word family, again emphasis.

The point here is that in the face of the increasing number of false teachers, the evil men and impostors, it is critical for Timothy to abide in the Word of God.  Not to do so will render him inadequate and unequipped.

Based on Matthew 28:18 – 20, and Paul’s exhortation to entrust this to others, 2 Timothy 2:2, the critical need to abide in the Word of God is true for us as well.  Not to do so, would, as with Timothy, render us inadequate and unequipped to deal with false teaching.

There is much more to say here, especially about verse 16, but that will have to be covered in another post at another time…meanwhile, there is one more brick…

1 comment:

  1. How desperately needed are the truths of this powerful passage! I still remember over three decades ago when our children were still at home we worked as a family to memorize these verses, and would act them out in our living room floor - walking straight, going off the path and curving back, etc. If it was important then, how much more now as you pointed out some days ago with the overwhelming multiple sources of false doctrine and outright godlessness bombarding us. It seems nearly every day I hear of another way the devil is using the internet to snare and mislead our young people - and adults. Sadly, our churches are also impacted and even worse so I keep finding roots in my own life that continue to try to sprout and if allowed bring forth noxious fruit.

    There is so much in Scripture that "lies on the surface," as it were that even a young child can understand. But there are far more and necessary truths that lie deep and require diligent work and study and meditation. Your blog is a great challenge to me to keep digging and wrestling with familiar and new truths that I desperately need to probe.

    Proverbs 2 has been one of my favorite passages on study and wrestling with the Word and seeking application that is truly life-transforming. The picture painted is perhaps familiar to men of my generation who grew up in the 40's and 50's when TV was just launching. The genre of Western movies was among the most popular TV shows (along side the "soap operas"). The Lone Ranger, Sky King, Roy Rodgers, etc. were the staples of my limited TV watching (black and white, of course).

    Always a feature was the weathered old "prospector" who owned a burrow, a bed roll, pick and shovel and canteen. From the looks of him he had no other clothes than what he wore. He spent all his time in the dry, hot hills looking for silver. When and if he found some and came into town to register his claim, the "bad guys" would kill him and take it. Not a life style most of us would willingly enter into.

    But, that is the picture the "wise man" who relays Proverbs 2 claims I need to get at the truths of God's Word. And more than just the truths, get to know God Himself.

    I have a long way to go, a very long way. But I'm committed to the journey. I have come to love the old Gatlin Bros Southern Gospel song, "Greatly blessed, highly favored and imperfect but imperfect but forgiven child of God!"

    The context of God's great grace to me in Christ enables me to wrestle, struggle, fail, dust myselve off, get up and keep up the search. I pray I will never give up.