2 Tim 3:16-17 says “All Scripture God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God’s Word, teaches, rebukes, corrects, trains and equipping us for good works. And so, we need to ask about every passage, what should it do in us? How does it apply to us? These are the questions we want to run to as we read the Bible, but they need to be the ones we leave to the end. We need to first look at the other two audiences and ask the questions we looked at in our last lesson. Then once we have asked and answered those questions, we should get a pretty clear answer of how the passage applies to us.
However, sometimes seeing how a passage applies to us can be difficult. Thankfully, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 shows us five things we should desire to see happen in us from every passage. Below are five questions we should ask about every passage, to help us apply it. Also, alongside these questions are five actions which I believe 2 Timothy 3:16-17 shows that we should do as we read God’s Word. Let’s look at the five things that this passage shows us about what the Bible does in our lives and the questions we should ask and actions we should have as we study every passage of God’s Word.
1. God’s Word is useful for “teaching” us
QUESTIONS TO ASK: What has this passage taught me? (What has it taught me about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, sin, humanity, salvation, Christian living, holiness?)
ACTION: Study, meditate and memorise the things God’s Word teaches you. Learn from what you read!
2. God’s Word is useful for “rebuking” us
QUESTIONS TO ASK: What failures and sins has this revealed in me? What shortcomings does this passage rebuke me for?
ACTION: Repent and seek God’s forgiveness.
3. God’s Word is useful for “correcting” us
QUESTIONS TO ASK: What warnings has this passage given me? What do I need to change and do? What thought, word or action in my life has been corrected through this passage.
ACTION: Pray for God to transform you and correct the areas you have been convicted about.
4. God’s Word is useful for “training” us
QUESTIONS TO ASK: What resources and plans are need to help this become a consistent in my life? How does this passage help me bring about righteousness in my life?
ACTION: Plan how you can bring about the things you have learnt in the passage.
5. God’s Word is useful for “equipping” us
This is really a summary of the other four points. The other four things occur in us through God’s Word so that we are equipped for good works.
QUESTIONS TO ASK: What good works has this passage equipped me for? What tools and skills does this passage give, to help live a life of good works.
RESPONSE: Live out what you have learnt. Apply the lessons, tools and skills the passage has given you.
If we are to grow from God’s Word, then we need to be asking these questions as we read it. Also, we need to put into action these things once we have read it. And we need to pray that God would bring them about in us. True growth in the Christian life is becoming more like Christ and growing in holiness. If God’s Word isn’t doing this and is only giving us more knowledge, then it isn’t truly growing us.
Try the methods we have learnt in this lesson on Luke 18:9-14. (Think about the audience in the passage that Jesus is talking to. Think about the audience Luke is writing to and what it would have meant to them (see Luke 1:1-4). With what the passage would have meant for these two audiences, think about what God is teaching you through the passage)