“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…”2 Timothy 3:16
Who made her the boss?
My beloved sister is a year and a half older than me. We are tight, but as is the tendency of some older siblings, growing up, my sister thought she was the boss of me, especially when my parents weren’t around. I think by virtue of her coming first, she was always looking out for me, but, when I was a kid, her motherly tendencies weren’t always welcomed. After all, I had a mother for that. Still, her vocal objections, commands, and orders towards me, at times, were annoying. Who made her the boss? Was there some secret committee formed to grant her the authority to tell me what to do? And how do I revoke this “questionable” authority she seemed to project over me?
Two Big Questions
The example above can be somewhat similar to the life we live in accordance with the authority of the Bible. After all, the authority of this book we call the Bible can only be true if it is supported by a legitimate, transcendent source.
· Why do I need to be crucified with Christ?
· Why do I have to worship one God over other options?
· Why is a surrendered life the model I must follow?
· Why can’t I yield to other human desires that seem pleasing to myself?
The list of questions is endless, but they all point back to two major questions.
1) Is God the authority behind the universe?
2) And if I can determine that, does He possess the power and inherent ability to command such submission to his authority and the Bible?
If the answer is no to both questions, I’m free and clear to do what seems right in my own eyes.
If the answer is yes, well then, that changes everything. It means my submission should be carried out with a willing and joyful surrender of the heart, a vocal and intellectual affirmation, sincere love, and an earnest desire for continual application.
God’s Authority Is Real
The word of God offers us an answer. You must decide if you will choose to believe it. All Scripture is God-breathed…the authority of the word is backed by the full strength and inherent power of the Creator. To attempt to separate them would be futile. One does not come without the other.
The greater context of 2 Timothy 3:16 runs from 2 Timothy 3:1 to 2 Timothy 4:8. The Apostle Paul is describing a few things to Timothy.
· The state of much of humanity in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
· The importance of preaching the word (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
· The state of those who will not listen to sound doctrine and prefer a casual gospel (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
· The importance for Timothy to persist in being a minister of the gospel (2 Timothy 4:5-7).
· Paul’s soon departure from this world (2 Timothy 4:8-9).
It’s amid all of these things that Paul encourages Timothy to remain faithful to what he has learned about the sacred writings of Scripture. Paul acknowledges that evil people will go from bad to worse, and that persecution for those living godly in Christ will come. But, in all of these things, to steady his hope and belief in the authority of God’s word, for it would make him, and by implication us, wise for salvation through faith in Christ.
Truly our salvation in Christ is not a one-time event. It might begin with a prayer, but it must be walked out from there on in total surrender to the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, for all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him…(Matthew 28:18)
Don’t literally do this…but IMAGINE that you, as a civilian, were about to randomly pull over a cop and issue them a ticket. That situation would be laughable, assuming the cop doesn’t arrest you for impersonating a police officer, especially since you lack jurisdiction to do so. Now, recalibrate your own heart in light of this example to make sure that this isn’t true of how you approach God’s Word…like you are the one in charge.