I remember once while on a family vacation in Cancun, Mexico, how my youngest daughter and I booked a two hour snorkeling excursion, which almost went kaput because of lack of preparedness. Allow me to share.
There we were, eagerly awaiting our excursion, the morning of our pre-scheduled trip after we had arrived to the docks much too early. Receipts in hand, and lot’s of extra time, we decided to identify our specific excursion vessel by matching the names written on the side of the boats to the name typed at the top of our receipts. Examining the boats from a right to left method, we noticed how the boats farthest away, towards the end of the docks, were much older and in a less than new condition, with names barely visible. Amazingly we both pointed at one boat in particular, while laughing out loud and saying in unison, “I hope that one isn’t ours!” Well, needless to say, we never gave it another thought. We sat quietly enjoying God’s magnificent scenery, until the other patrons began to arrive.
Well it wasn’t too long before we and all of the other patrons witnessed an entourage of deck hands arriving and all in unison we all gave our full attention as they began the awaited roll call.
My Daughter and I watched and listened attentively, as one by one, the other patrons responded “Here” and waved good-bye to us as they loaded their assigned vessels. In total we confirmed forty-five persons as they boarded the newest looking boats and began drifting off from the dock, sailing towards their adventure… I know what you are saying, this should have been our first sign to turn around and go back to the hotel; and possibly, you are right! However, we were determined to make the most of our day by taking our planned adventure to the local reef to snorkel!
Well needless to say – about ten minutes later a few late deck crew members arrived and our names were called and we boarded a vessel whose name I will not mention; but I will say that it was one of the vessels farthest towards the end!
Still determined, she and I both simply said, “Good morning!” to the crew, as we loaded the boat while gripping one another’s hands tightly. Now I must tell you that there was no question in my mind as to whether or not my fourteen year old daughter was praying… for I was certain that she was as her grip of my hand squeezed ever so tightly! You will undoubtedly understand when I say “Oh what joy we both felt when we arrived at the reef and saw all of the other boats in a circle with the other patrons’ in the water waving and calling out our names to join them.”
As our Captain maneuvered our vessel into position, next to the other boats, to let down the anchor, we watched as the deck hands on our boat then proceeded to open a little closet, which housed many items such as: life preservers, diving masks, the funny shaped tubes called snorkels, with the mouth pieces attached and the fins; we became excited again because we knew it was time!
Oh, how quickly our excitement faded as we were handed USED, DIRTY, DISCOLORED, and CRACKED equipment! As a matter of fact the only identifiable markers on a few of the items were the sizes, which clearly stated “kid’s small!” Extremely disappointed I calmly directed my comments to the captain as I said: “Thank you sir, but no thank you, unfortunately because of the condition of your equipment my daughter and I have changed our minds, and instead we will just have fun watching the others enjoy.” Yes, that’s right our snorkeling adventure was turning into a plain old boat ride that is, if the captain would not have pulled out two packages of new equipment!
My dear readers, allow me to thank you for indulging me as I shared with you a memorable vacation excursion held between me and my daughter that still brings laughter to our souls today. I figured it would be a great way to step into our lesson as we learn together the importance of being adequately equipped spiritually!
So I invite you to continue to walk with me, as we utilize the inductive study method on our observation Scripture below:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Here we find the Apostle Paul, a prisoner in Rome, penning his second letter to Timothy, his very last letter purposing to pass the torch to Timothy. It is here that we find Paul speaking of the Power and Excellency of Scripture!
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God
Up to this point Paul has already poured his heart out to Timothy by sharing many important things, such as: Warnings (verses 3:1-9), a Directive to be prepared by following his example (verses 3:10,11), and the Encouragement to continue the course by looking into his past, and holding fast to the basic teachings about Jesus (verses 3:12-15).
Now we find ourselves parked at verse 16 as Paul shares with Timothy and believers everywhere the origin of Scripture (the bible).
Paul declares that the bible, unlike other books, is different. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Therefore we must not look at the bible like a collection of stories conjured up by men; or a collection of incomplete writings with missing, buried, or lost manuscripts yet to be located, or even secret writings only preserved for a select few; but instead as complete Truth. Scripture is God’s personal message to all mankind revealing both Himself and His plan.
Now, possibly you are wondering how this is possible since it was physically written by men. Answer: God moved in the hearts of select individuals whom He inspired with His Holy Spirit to write. The bible is divine in origin, God is therefore the Author!
2 Peter 1:20-21 – 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
And is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
Paul was moved by the Holy Spirit of God, not only communicated the origin of Scripture, but the various uses:
Profit means: to gain, benefit, usefulness
Doctrine means: Teaching, Instruction, that which is taught, precepts
Reproof means: a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested conviction
Correction means: restoration to an upright or right state, improvement of life or character
Instruction means: the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body; Whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions; Instruction which aims at increasing virtue; chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)
Righteousness means: in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God; the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God; integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting; in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due.
Unlike the teachings of the world, which opposes the teachings of God, the Bible is absolute truth!
See Satan would have all of mankind to believe lies such as: (a) there is no God; (b) if there is then there are many routes to God, not just one; (c) there isn’t a heaven or a hell; (d) there’s nothing after death; and (e) if there is something after death such as a heaven or hell, no problem because as long as you have performed good deeds you have earned the right to one day live in heaven.
Now, I am certain that you have heard one, if not all of those lies. Haven’t you? Well, hopefully I have demonstrated through our message today how our belief system dictates our actions, and the importance of sound doctrine being essential for being adequately equipped in all functions of life and eternity.
My friend, God’s Word is sound doctrine and it is vitally important because it is Truth.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 – 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
Treasure Point: God wants us to understand the Truth. His Word is TRUTH!
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Lastly Paul shares the purpose of Scripture:
Notice with me how Paul clarifies a distinction, regarding “who” profits, from the Word of God, by saying: that the man of God may be complete – Now please do not think small by wrongfully assuming that he is solely referencing the male gender; because he is not. Instead he is including all Christians, meaning human beings, whether male or female – His distinction is twofold: (1) distinguishing humankind from all other beings of a different order – such as: animals, plants, and angels; and (2) identifying the two fold nature of man, the corrupt and the truly Christian person, who is conformed to the nature of God.
Complete means: fitted, perfect, having reference apparently to “special aptitude for given uses”
For the believer Paul declares we have been thoroughly equipped for every good work through the Word of God.
Thoroughly equipped means: finish, to furnish perfectly.
Furnished perfectly for every occasion, every task, and every calling; so there is no need to spend needless time searching for stuff to strengthen us on this journey when all sufficiency is found in the Word of God!
(1) If you are a Believer, meaning that you have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of your life, God has set you apart and has equipped you in His Word for His divine purpose to show forth His good works in and through your life. Please make a habit of opening His Word daily to meditate, memorize, and move into motion.
(2) If you are not yet a believer in Jesus – today salvation is knocking on the door of your heart, for it is God’s will that none perish but all is saved! God leaves instructions (the cannon of Scripture) His personal message of love to guide you home to Him. Choose Life.
Psalm 119:160 – The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
2 Timothy 1:13 – Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
All definitions quoted from: http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/dikaiosune.html