Sola Day 5 Sola Scriptura: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What is included, and excluded, by the phrase “all Scripture”? (verse 16)

2) What kind of profit is meant by the author? (verse 16)

3) What does it look like to be “complete and equipped”? (verse 17)

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Original Intent

1) What is included, and excluded, by the phrase “all Scripture”? (verse 16)
Paul was writing to Timothy, who was his “son in the faith”. (1 Timothy 1:2) Paul had met Timothy on one of his missionary journeys (Acts 16:1-5) and then took Timothy along as an apprentice for the gospel, for establishing churches, and for leading within the church. His letters to Timothy take on a fatherly tone of love, affection, and tenderness towards Timothy as Paul continues to teach and train and give wisdom for following Christ. This section of Paul’s letter sits squarely against the backdrop of Paul making it unmistakably clear to Timothy that 1) following Jesus will always mean persecution and difficulty, and 2) there will always be a consistent hard press against following Jesus by those who disregard Christ as Lord. After making his point in verses 1-9, Paul transitions to giving Timothy the safeguard against being hard-pressed by those who love the world more than Jesus, the unwavering truth of Scripture. Timothy was to be saturated in Scripture, not just once, and not only a part of Scripture, but all of it, continuously. For Timothy, the “Scripture” did not yet include all of the New Testament letters as they were obviously still being written. However, it is interesting to note that Paul’s instruction for Timothy to read the Scriptures, would have included a translation of the Torah into Aramaic, which was originally written in Hebrew. God has preserved His Word for centuries, keeping His truth intact even through translations of the Bible. He is a faithful God!

2) What kind of profit is meant by the author? (verse 16)
In Timothy’s day, the Church was just beginning to grow. There were no seminaries to attend for several years of preparation, or thick theology books to pour over, or other ministers of the gospel willing to sit across the table and glean wisdom from. Trusted wisdom could only be found in one place; Scripture. Paul urged his readers in every letter he wrote to persistently and continuously commit to the pursuit of deeply and intimately knowing the fullness of Jesus. Scripture. Scripture. Scripture. No other manuscript, no other message, only Scripture could satisfy completely our need to grow up spiritually. Peter says it plainly in 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence”. By studying Scripture, we come to deeply know God, His heart, His character, His love for us, and His calling on our lives. Peter says it’s through this knowing of Him deeply and personally that we have access to everything we need for life and godliness. This reality echoes Paul’s writings to Timothy when he says all of Scripture “is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness”.

3) What does it look like to be “complete and equipped”? (verse 17)
Christ did not come to earth to be our Rescuer, taking on the sins of the world, and inviting us to experience new life in Him just for our own pleasure and delight. He does not offer free “tickets to Heaven”. He offers maturity and growth and the opportunity to step into a rich and satisfying calling on your life, both now in this life on earth, and in the eternal one still to come. He crafted each of us with divine intentionality and purpose. Paul says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” God created us with the purpose of doing good works, His good Kingdom work. When Paul writes to the church in Colossae, he shares with them the deep joy he has found by doing the good works God had prepared specifically for Paul to do as a minister of the gospel. Part of God’s calling for Paul was to “make the word of God fully known.” (Colossians 1:25) Paul writes that he proclaims Christ, making Him known to all by using Scripture to warn and teach “everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.” (Colossians 1:28) The goal is maturity and depth in Christ for every single Christ-follower so they too might walk fully into the special calling God has on each of their lives. Paul labored to this end, surrendering his life to helping others understand who this God is who saved them.

Everyday Application

1) What is included, and excluded, by the phrase “all Scripture”? (verse 16)
Studying God’s Holy Word was not meant to be a once-learned-never-returned-to lesson, rather Timothy was to consider it a daily perseverance to be wrapped in truth. The only way to fight against deception and lies and quickly identify lesser loves, is to be immersed in Truth. How desperately applicable that reality is for each of us in our everyday lives! Take a minute to read verses 1-9 to get the broader context Paul was speaking to Timothy about. Then consider areas you are easily tempted to love the world and its ways over the truth of God’s Word and pursuing His holiness. Pray as you consider these areas, asking the Holy Spirit to show you where you are weak, relying on Him to strengthen you and equip you to walk in truth. Rest assured that if you use all of Scripture as your guide, and ultimate source of Truth on how you think about God, others, and your own life, you will be setting up your life for success. Merely knowing His Word will do nothing for you, living out God’s wisdom and truth is fundamental to a solid life that will not shake when struggle and persecution come. (Matthew 7:24-27) We can rest assured that the Bible we hold in our hands has been preserved and protected by the same faithful God who wrote the story of Redemption found within its pages!

2) What kind of profit is meant by the author? (verse 16)
When we have a need, or often times a ‘want’, in our modern day, we do whatever necessary to attain it. If we pick up an extra job late in the year, we know our profits will cover special gifts for Christmas. If a child needs a clean soccer uniform for an upcoming game (like tomorrow!), they will ask you to wash it! This is their “profit”. This is the idea associated with the profits available from Scripture. When we need to be taught (which, raise my hand, I need every single day!), when we need rebuking (this isn’t shaming, no, this is a safeguard to keep us from running away from the love of God!), when we need correcting (gentle guidance to make us wise and discerning as we learn to leave the ways of selfishness and sin), and when we need training in righteousness (that’s the meat and potatoes of how to really, truly follow Jesus with everything we have), Scripture holds all the answers. To grow up in our faith, to know our Lord Jesus with sweet depth and intimacy, to be equipped to love others well and lead them to knowing Christ more fully, we must know our Bibles. Study God’s Word! Be as familiar with it as you are your own home. Make His Word your anchor, and you’ll never be lacking in knowing how to love God and others as you live your regular, everyday life!

3) What does it look like to be “complete and equipped”? (verse 17)
We are all on a journey in faith. Some of us have barely begun the adventure as we kick the tires of Christianity, trying to put all the pieces together and wondering what is true, and if God exists, and how and why He would care about us if He did exist. Some of us have newly crossed the line of faith and exploding with excitement at how Christ is already beginning the work inside of us to make us new and teach us to follow Him. But the following is slow, the learning to submit our will to God’s is a long process where we learn to be humble and obedient as we are taught by God’s own Spirit how to love like Him. At any point along the way, we can step off the path and become side-tracked in our growth journey. Whether you’ve walked with the Savior for 50 years, 5 days, or you haven’t begun, let these words from Paul to Timothy encourage you. God’s design is for our spiritual growth and maturity so we can walk in full satisfaction in obedience to Him. He doesn’t leave us without a roadmap for this maturation process, His Word is powerful, active, and alive. (Hebrews 4:12) Our invitation is to read it, study it, know it, apply it, and grow deep in it. In so doing, we will know our God, who Himself will make us complete and equipped for every good work He has prepared for us!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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